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How to Improve Learning Outcomes

August 27, 2012

It’s common knowledge that the higher your post-secondary degree, the higher your income is likely to be.

However, due to the economy and the technological advances of our society, obtaining a post-secondary education has gone from being a way to boost your income to being a necessity.

Jobs that used to require basic training and minimal education, like manufacturing positions, now require more skills and education. By 2018, the share of jobs that require post-secondary education will rise to 63%. However, 7,000 students are dropping out of high school per day – an unsustainable number. If the dropout rate remains the same, our unemployment rate will continue to rise at a very rapid pace, and available positions will remain unfilled due to the shortage of a skilled labor force.

The solution? Keep your at risk students in school and ensure they continue to pursue an education beyond the basics. Here’s how…

Set Small Goals

Going back to school and sticking with it all the way through will prove to be very challenging for some of your students. Many of them will feel overwhelmed and probably want to give up at some point. To offset the pressure and stress, help them set small, manageable goals. By focusing on smaller steps, the overall feat will seem more manageable, and they will be more likely to succeed. Their confidence will be reinforced by these small (but important!) accomplishments as they move closer to their final goal.

Looking for more info on how to keep your students in school? Check out this blog on risk factors for non-traditional students.

Show Them the Numbers

Your students might not understand the positive effects an education can have on their lives. Tell them! Share with them the income difference between high school dropouts, people with a high school diploma, and those with a certificate or associate’s degree. In 2011, a study found that the median weekly earnings for an individual with less than a high school diploma were $451. For an individual with an associate’s degree, their earnings were $768 per week. That is a difference of almost $16,500 a year! Help them find a career they love and are suited for by assessing their skills and abilities.

As I mentioned before, obtaining a post-secondary education and job training is no longer a bonus; it has become a necessity.

For more tips and ideas on how you can help your students succeed, feel free to sign up for my new webinar, “Best Practices for Better Student Outcomes.”

Do you have a success story to share? Feel free to tell us about it in the comments below!

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