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Graduation is one of the most exciting times in the life of a school counselor, but as tempting as it is to look at graduation as the end of a school counselor’s work with a class, the exact opposite is true, especially for students heading to college. An astonishing number of students who walk across the stage at graduation with plans to go to college never get there. Too many students overlook the letters and emails colleges send over the summer, asking students to complete financial aid forms, turn in important health documents, sign up for orientation and more.
If a student misses any one of these steps, the college will assume the student isn’t coming to college after all, and they’ll remove them from their attendance records. Suddenly, due to a couple of missed emails, the student’s plans for the fall, and for their future, take a turn for the worst.
This phenomenon is known as summer melt, and it affects more students than you might believe. According to surveys, up to one third of all students who leave high school with plans to attend college never arrive at any college campus that fall. Summer melt tends to hit low-income students hardest, as well as students who are the first in their family to go to college.
Realizing the devastating effect summer melt can have on students, there are some key steps the student’s support team can take to make sure their senior is on campus come the fall.
Text them reminders over the summer. School counselors can still support their students after graduation by texting them. Weekly reminders to check their email, complete their financial aid forms and register for classes can go a long way to keep students on track. Texting programs can make it easy for counselors to reach large numbers of students quickly, so this really doesn’t take away from their summer vacations—and it can make a big difference.
Continue those weekly meetings. Parents have long been advised to meet weekly with their senior for 20 minutes to discuss their college plans. Those meetings should continue in the summer, so families can review any mail or other communications the college has made. If doubts arise over what should be done, they can call the college and discover the next steps to take.
Head to campus. Older siblings can become part of the support team by taking the new high school graduate for a summer visit to campus. Summer melt sometimes occurs just because the student has doubts or concerns about being successful at college, or if they’ve made the right choice. There’s no better way to lose those doubts than to see themselves at school, meet their adviser, try out the food and buy some bookstore swag. This is a perfect way for brothers and sisters to bond with a sibling, reminding them of the ties that don’t change, even if life does.
Students often feel overwhelmed by all the forms and information colleges ask for, and missing even one of those requests can really set back a student’s college plans. Working together as a team throughout the college selection process—from the junior year, all the way to the fall of the student’s first year on a college campus—parents, counselors and siblings who are there to support and help the student every step of the way can make a world of difference.
Patrick O’Connor is a 2017-18 School Counselor Ambassador Fellow at the U.S. Department of Education.
The post Summer Melt: Why One Third of College-Bound Students Don’t Make It to Campus in the Fall appeared first on ED.gov Blog.
As May came to an end so did this year’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (APAHM) festivities. This month was full of amazing celebrations and thoughtful discussions. In DC alone there were many events hosted at federal and local government offices.
The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (Initiative) kicked off APAHM activities at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on May 3rd. Hosted by the DOE Asian American Pacific Islander Network, the theme for this month’s focus was “Unite our Vision by Working Together”.
I delivered the keynote address, noting the President’s Proclamation of May as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and the many contributions that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) have made in the arts, sciences, government, military, commerce, and education in the United States. The address highlighted Paul Chu, a scientific hero and pioneer in the field of superconductivity, Founding Director of the Texas Center for Superconductivity at the University of Houston, and the ways he helped pave the path for others in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics fields.
The Initiative also participated in other APAHM events across federal agencies including at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
The Asian American Government Executive Network celebrated its Senior Executive Service Development Program Induction and Graduation Ceremony. I keynoted the ceremony, discussing the importance of having mentors and coaches and the role that networking with quality plays in professional development. The speech also shared ways to stand out so others will appreciate and take note of your hard work.
Our intern, Sai-kit Jeremy Lee, participated in the U.S. Department of Education’s heritage month observance with Neel Saxena, Executive Director of Asian American LEAD in a discussion moderated by Okhee Shim with the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity Services. They discussed issues that AAPI youth are concerned about.
On May 15th, the Initiative co-hosted the 2018 AAPI Business Summit in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) and National ACE. This summit convened AAPI business leaders from across the nation to discuss growth strategies as well as federal resources available to them. There was also a panel of young business leaders discussing challenges and obstacles that the newer generation of AAPIs is facing. Acting National Director Edith McCloud from MBDA and I signed a memorandum of understanding committing our offices in support of AAPI businesses and the economy.
On May 17th, the Initiative hosted our own Community Leaders Forum. This forum provided an opportunity for community leaders to engage with senior level federal officials to discuss issues impacting the AAPI community. We also rolled out the strategic areas of focus to the community. Keep an eye out for our blog page to read more about this event.
The month wrapped up with events hosted by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget and the U.S. Department of Commerce where I sat as a panelist discussing AAPIs in the workplace and AAPIs in the Administration.
While APAHM may have come to a close, the achievements and history of AAPIs all across the United States will continue to be noted and celebrated by the Initiative, the Department or Education and the Administration.
Holly Ham is the Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Photo at the top: Minority Business Development Agency Acting National Director Edith McCloud and White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Executive Director Holly Ham sign a memorandum of understanding.
The post APAHM Filled with Amazing Celebrations and Thoughtful Discussions appeared first on ED.gov Blog.