For low-income high school students who do enroll in college, few graduate within reasonable amounts of time, as revealed by recent reports from Boston and Chicago. Why? Traditional explanations have focused on financial aid as well as weak pre-college academic preparation that pipelines students into the educational graveyard of remediation.
A September 2008 study by Child Trends brings to light additional explanations for why students fail to access college or succeed once there. The study finds that the college readiness literature has mostly overlooked three key developmental competency areas—physical, psychological, and social—that predispose college success.
"College readiness criteria could be expanded to include healthy behaviors, avoiding risky behaviors, positive mental health, resilience, a strong work ethic and moral character, social competence, and creativity. The addition of these attributes would help youth prepare to optimize their success, healthy development, and experience in both college and the workplace."The task of raising success-ready youth falls on the shoulders of parents, schools, afterschool programs, community organizations, and religious institutions. “It takes a village,” is the old saying. “It takes a nation in service,” is the new one.