To and through college

To raise college completion rates, students must work harder in high school and reach out for help in college, says Kai Drekmeier, co-founder of InsideTrack, in a Hechinger Report interview.  Drekmeier’s company provides coaching for college students, but those who need help the most are the least likely to ask for it until it’s too late, he says. In particular, community college students “need to be proactive about reaching out to use” the help that’s available.

 And if they don’t, they’re not going to get help. So what happens is the more motivated students who use the resources effectively are going to be fine, and the students who need more support don’t get the support that they need. Also, community colleges are often—as far as the advising needed for incoming students—there aren’t enough resources.

College readiness includes understanding “the amount of time and rigor that success in college takes,” Drekmeier says. “We’re not expecting enough of our students.” Working a low-wage job to avoid taking out student loans is “shooting yourself in the foot if it is interfering with your ability to focus, pass your classes and finish on time,” he concludes.