As high school graduation season approaches, it’s time to celebrate our students’ success. But while high school completion is an important milestone, we know it’s just the beginning when it comes to preparing students for the 21st century workforce.
"We are proud that our graduation rate is outpacing the national average, but we also know that high school graduation is now the floor," Tennessee State Education Commissioner Candice McQueen shared recently in the Chattanooga Times Free Press. "We are focused not only on high school graduation but also preparing our students to be ready for life opportunities after graduation."
Unfortunately, the future is not so bright for some students, either because they won’t complete high school or because even if they do, they may fail to meet basic college readiness requirements.
Despite high school graduation being the floor for student success, far too many students remain disengaged throughout their time in school. In fact, according to Gallup, student engagement drops dramatically as they progress from elementary school to high school.
When you consider low levels of engagement, it’s no wonder so many students are not prepared to succeed in college or beyond. Just how severe is the student engagement problem, and what can schools do about it? We’ve highlighted a few of the challenges facing schools here:
McQueen notes that aligning high school coursework to postsecondary and workforce needs is critical to success. At Hobsons, including our work with Naviance, we call this “connecting learning to life." We believe that by helping students see the connection between what they’re doing in the classroom and what they aspire to do in life they will be more engaged in school and in a much better position to succeed in college or career.
Schools that succeed in keeping students engaged align students’ strengths and interests with potential career pathways. Coupled with an understanding of each student’s long-term ambition and learning style can help educators develop individualized plans for success.
To learn more about what your school or district can do to help students connect learning to life, download our free white paper.