Three things to read on your snow day

With the whole East Coast buried under historic amounts of snow (or possibly buried – I’m writing this Monday, so I suppose the storm could have diverted!), there’s going to be a lot of shoveling going on today. And since the best part of shoveling is warming up afterwards with a mug of hot chocolate and something good to read, here are three reports worth checking out on your snow day:

Falling Short? College Learning and Career Success (Association of American Colleges and Universities)
The results of a survey of both senior executives and college students about what skills and knowledge college graduates need to succeed in the workplace (and whether, in fact, college students do possess those skills and knowledge when they graduate) found pretty strong alignment between the two groups on the importance of key learning outcomes and the applied learning experiences. However, while 74 percent of students think college and universities are doing a good job preparing them for entry-level positions, only 44 percent of employers think the same.

Breaking Down Walls: Increasing Access to Four-Year Colleges for High-Achieving Community College Students (Jack Kent Cooke Foundation)
Structural barriers at both two-year and four-year institutions make it difficult for community college students to go on to complete a four-year degree, even for those students who have demonstrated success at their community colleges, according to this report. Making it easier to students to transfer – and giving those students the support they need to be successful – would give four-year colleges access to a pool of high-performing applicants and would allow more students to fulfill their academic potential, according to the report.

The Seat Pleasant 59 (Washington Post)
This three-part series in the Washington Post from a few years back is well-worth a read. It’s about a group of students who in 1988 were fifth graders at Seat Pleasant Elementary, a school serving one of Prince George’s County’s poorest neighborhoods, when two wealthy businessmen promised to pay for their college educations. The series documents what happened to these students, who were, essentially, part of a social experiment.