ERIC Number: ED308747
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-May
Reference Count: 0
The Lie and the Hope. Making Higher Education a Reality for At-Risk Students.
Rendon, Laura I.
AAHE Bulletin, v41 n9 p4-7 May 1989
Important steps for saving America's school system where at-risk students are fast becoming the new student majority are discussed. For example: 45% of all Mexican American and Puerto Rican youth never finish high school; illiteracy among minority students is as high as 40%; and between 1968 and 1986, the number of white children enrolled in public schools fell 16%. About 30% of the school population was minority in 1986. A Los Angeles (California) study shows as early as the first 2 weeks of first grade, students are categorized as fast or slow learners, and some who do not speak English are misdiagnosed. Once this decision is made, students in slow groups are educated quite differently. Minority students usually attend segregated schools with crowded classes and poor counseling. The impact of this crisis on higher education is enormous. High dropout rates greatly reduce the number of minority students qualified to enter college. Differential tracking in school leads many minority students to enroll in vocational, commercial, or general education programs. Higher education remains an unrealized dream for most minorities. Though college access is available via community colleges, fewer and fewer students are actually transferring out of them. Hope for the at-risk freshman depends on the amount that administrators, faculty, and counselors do to encourage, assist, and support them to survive the college experience. Faculty must take time to learn about minority cultures and must include minority perspectives in the classroom. They must set high expectations and help students reach them. Contains 8 references. (SM)
Descriptors: Access to Education, Administrator Responsibility, Educational Opportunities, Educationally Disadvantaged, Equal Education, High Risk Persons, Higher Education, Minority Groups, Racial Discrimination, Role of Education, Student Development, Teacher Influence, Teacher Role
AAHE Bulletin, One Dupont Circle, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20036.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper based on keynote address at the Freshman Year Experience Conference (Irvine, CA, 1989).