ABOUT HIGHER LEARNING
The Call To Action
As the United States becomes more diverse, and as we readily connect to the world via transnational commerce and innovations in communication, we gain a truer sense of what it means to be “global citizens.” For our nation and world to continue advancing, more people must move beyond a high school education. Presently, however, the U.S. has not made the necessary educational strides to meet the future’s demands.
Two statistical briefs – one by Lumina Foundation and another by Complete College America – represent the numerous studies that further detail America’s educational and economic challenges. Schools, organizations, foundations, corporations, and other partners are ready to step up to the task and help more citizens become college graduates. We believe that a key component in this emerging success strategy is to empower and support more students through the entire college experience. Presently, only 56% of all undergraduates earn their degrees after six years. Completing college, and getting the most out of it, is a complex mix of proper planning, self-assertion, and continuous support. Emphasizing college access is no longer enough, particularly for the growing number of first-generation college students enrolling on campuses. We can and must do more. The quality of student experiences on campus, the livelihoods of future generations, and our status as a global leader depends on it.
More Than A Book
Higher Learning: Maximizing Your College Experience is a 240-page guide designed to help current and future post-secondary students better understand what it takes to get through college, taking full advantage of every opportunity and resource along the way. More than just a book, Higher Learning is an interactive strategic planner combining internet resources, personalized planning tips, peer support networks, and a wealth of advice to help students in and out of the classroom. Higher Learning covers the total campus experience: time management, test preparation, reading comprehension, writing papers, student organizations, establishing links with faculty members and mentors, scholarships and financial aid, working while in school, relationships, personal health, roommates, and much more.
Using This Website
The text in Higher Learning is organized into ten primary strategies and a summarizing/planning chapter called FOCUS. Information corresponding to each of those sections, as well as other news about getting into college, getting through college, and opportunities after graduation is provided on this website, broken down into the categories listed in the column to the right, under “Tags.” New features and articles are added a couple of times each week allowing us to provide the latest information about financial aid, scholarship announcements, current events on campuses, and much more. We also have a section specifically for college access/support administrators and counselors (see below). Additionally, our Facebook and Twitter pages will provide daily motivational messages and opportunities for students and educators to exchange ideas.
Supporting Schools, Organizations, And Programs
While Higher Learning makes a great graduation gift for a child, sibling, niece/nephew, former student, etc., our primary approach is to work directly with schools, college access programs, student organizations, and campus support initiatives, to distribute copies of Higher Learning throughout the student body. We see Higher Learning as a powerful compliment to a college’s existing student support strategy (ie, a “First Year Experience” or “Freshman Transition” seminar, new student orientation, peer outreach, or other initiatives), and an important supplemental resource for college access programs and high schools. To support this effort, we’re developing a series of customizable instructional guides to help educators lead workshops on Higher Learning’s strategies and monitor students throughout their college careers. Check back soon for more information.
Maximizing And Measuring Impact
By working directly with college access/support programs and schools, we build critical partnerships on the ground. Students will benefit from having Higher Learning in their hands, while gaining essential support and guidance from their college access/support leaders. In our efforts to study how the book is used by schools and programs, and what effects it has on student performance, confidence, and satisfaction, we will conduct brief, periodic surveys of students and educators. Some program partners will participate in more in-depth interviews and focus groups, while the basic survey will be available to any student or educator, through this website. We will use the findings to publish case studies and comprehensive reports, further exploring present-day best-practices for student support and outlining new approaches for student success.