Tough but Fair for All

How to prepare students for the rigors of higher education.
Tough but Fair for All
Image: Hill Street Studios / Getty Images

The 2017-2018 Bilingual Christian College Guide has plenty of resources and ideas for you to help you prepare your student for college. It will be available for download and distribution in just a few more weeks. It will contain information on Christian colleges and universities and showcases articles like this one by Dr. Carlos Campo below. He has wise advice to help you equip your students to serve the Lord in their respective callings.

Do you care about improving outcomes in recruiting, retaining, and graduating Hispanic students at the college and university level? Be sure to register for the 2017 National Hispanic Education Summit, which will take place in New York City on November 8, 2017 at Nyack College. Join us along with speakers and presenters Dr. Irvin Scott, Dr. Carlos Campo, Dr. Robert Reyes, and Dr. Andrea Ramirez.

A set of clear and consistent high educational standards has been adopted by nearly every state in America. These standards are designed to prepare students for college, the workforce, and life. They are tough but fair. As these new standards are implemented, you will see new skills emerge.

High expectations can make all the difference for students. Neither of my parents completed high school, but they knew the power of a good education and made it clear that they expected me to work hard and complete my studies. A college education was an expectation, not just a dream. They told me that my education was something that no one could ever take from me, and in a world of unpredictable change, my education was something I could count on my entire life. They made education a priority for our family, and spoke to me about my studies and my progress nearly every day. They taught me to never be satisfied with anything less than my best, and the incredible wonder of learning something new. Their high expectations opened a whole new world of opportunity for me.

In preparation to teach college, I visited many high school classrooms. There, I learned that students who were “college material” were directed to honors and AP classes. Other students took “less rigorous” classes. When I visited these classes, students were often simply watching videos or having empty “group discussions.” My heart sank as I realized that these students were not really being educated at all, and that they would face many difficulties as a result. The expectations had been set too low, and they were missing out on learning opportunities that their peers were enjoying.

Once I began teaching college-level English, I met many students such as those I observed in high schools, who were not adequately prepared for the rigors of college study. They had been passed from grade to grade, but they never really learned the material they needed to be successful in college. That pattern of social promotion and a lack of preparation must be broken now, and that is why those of us at the NHCLC are so supportive of higher educational standards for all students. No longer will we have one standard for children living in wealthy suburbs and another for students in the heart of our largest cities. No longer will we have one set of standards for “college bound” students and another for students “destined for the workforce.” Instead, all students will be held to higher and equal standards that can be compared across states, and which will challenge them and prepare them for real-life and academic success.

In light of these higher and equal standards, I encourage you to prepare your students for college by:

1. Praying (with your child) for wisdom on how to best prepare him or her for college.

2. Reading Scripture with your child and encouraging your child to read daily.

3. Signing your church up for Education Sunday (first Sunday in September) so that your church can begin receiving free educational resources and scholarship information.

4. Creating a home environment that encourages learning.

5. Communicating high (yet reasonable) expectations for your children’s achievement and future careers.

6. Being highly involved in your children’s education at school and in the community (speak to your children’s teachers often).

7. Encouraging healthy habits (study, nutritional, spiritual, and sleep).

8. Monitoring homework (encourage your child to be responsible, to work on his or her own, and then to review homework with you).

9. Encouraging your child to practice using new words learned in school and from reading.

10. Connecting your child to a college student who can serve as a mentor.

11. Setting up opportunities for your children to take the pre-ACT and/or pre-SAT tests before his or her junior year of high school.

12. Taking your children to visit colleges in their junior year of high school.

13. Learning about FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid;

14. Exploring your child’s dream for his or her career and then reviewing with your child the steps to make that dream a reality.

15. Encouraging the parents in your church to do the “Raising Highly Capable Kids” study.

16. Visit to better understand how your state is developing accountability systems to measure student progress.

Carlos Campo is the president of Ashland University in Ohio and chair of the Hispanic Alliance.

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Tough but Fair for All