“Now What?”

Read the commentaries from our June 14, 2015 Courier-Journal package reflecting on the release of Uncovering the Tripwires to Postsecondary Success

The Tripwires that can Hinder Postsecondary Transition

By Gentry Fitch

A high school diploma is no longer the same commodity it was half a century ago. High school graduates are making slightly over $30,000 a year while those with a bachelor’s degree earn twice as much.  Over the long term, college dropouts sacrifice nearly $500,000 in lifetime earnings.

What Middle School Students Think About College, Careers

By Ashton Bishop

If, like me, you’re a student at Green County Middle School in Greensburg, Ky., you cannot avoid hearing the phrase “college and career ready,” a fact that sometimes prompts an automatic eye roll.

Poor Students Need More Assistance from Policymakers

By Amanda Whalstedt

I understood early that as a kid growing up without a lot in Appalachia, doing well in school meant I was not always seen as a poor kid. So staying on top of my schoolwork has been my plan from the beginning, and that’s probably why my own father felt compelled to spell it out for me once: “We’re poor. You know that, right?”

The High Price of Kentucky's Remedial Education

By Mariah Mowbray

As I worked myself into a frenzy this spring writing a string of never-ending essays for what seemed like every financial-aid scholarship in existence, I wondered if I would be able or ready to take on the burden of a loan. I can only imagine what I’d be facing if I also needed to worry about paying for college classes that didn’t count toward my degree.

Guidance Counselors Often Need Help, Too

By Susie Smith

The role of a high school guidance counselor has evolved rapidly in the past few decades, becoming an even more essential component of a student’s path to education beyond high school. No longer simply about scheduling, high school guidance counseling is more about being able to advocate for and advise students as they make important transitions to postsecondary life.

The Problem with the ‘Gifted’ Label

By Eliza Jane Schaeffer

Educators call me gifted, but really I’m just lucky. While I dissected a variety of animals in Academy Advanced Biology, students outside of the magnet program dissected none. While I participated in a month-long qualitative analysis in Academy Advanced Chemistry, my peers in other classes did not. While I am taught how to approach applying for college in a weekly zero hour seminar, other students, who may need it more than I, are not.

Don't Let Minority Fortunes Flounder

By Naomi Kellogg

I will always remember the first play I was in. The “gifted” group in my first grade class put on a production of “Elmer’s Colors.” In the story, Elmer, who is an extremely colorful elephant, learns to accept his uniqueness around all of the other elephants that are shades of gray. Cast as Elmer, it took me only a few moments to realize the differences between my classmates and me.

Affordability and the College Dropout Crisis

By Andrew Brennen

For those of us nearing the end of adolescence, we are experiencing the last time we can somewhat irresponsibly run around doing whatever we please with minor regard to consequence. There’s a plan to follow on the path to maturity: Go to college, spend four years studying harder than we ever have before, graduate, and prepare to drop to our knees begging along with our fellow graduates for a job that probably doesn’t yet exist while straddled with a total of somewhere between $902 billion and $1 trillion of debt from student loans.