College students should learn to expect the unexpected

Of the questions that preoccupy incoming college students — financial, scheduling, housing, belonging — advisors report that the choice of major and career path is the most anxiety-inducing. After all, isn’t choosing the right major the ticket to a successful career and life? Unfortunately, most students feel undue pressure to discover the perfect major.

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Leaders, Students Strategize: How to Make Hartford A Hopping College Town

Hartford has 11 colleges and universities downtown or nearby — including the newly opened UConn Hartford — but that alone doesn’t make the city a college town.

“A lot of towns would be jealous to have this many colleges,” said Richard Sugarman, who is president of Hartford Promise, but he said the schools don’t yet have the kind of presence that seeps into the community and transforms it.

 “It’s a mutual thing where the community feels connected and informed and engaged by the college,” Sugarman said, “and the college feels connected, informed and engaged by the community.”

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We should all be concerned about college student retention

The degree to which college students are capable of successfully moving from matriculation to graduation, described as “retention” or “persistence,” should be a concern for all of us.  Employers regularly complain that the skills needed for the workplace are lacking.  Policy wonks lament the declining ratio of productive workers to retirees, now about three to one, down drastically from decades ago – an ominous threat to the solvency of the Social Security system, as well as the viability of the economy and the health care system.

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Reconnecting Higher Ed - What to Do?

Higher education seems to be splitting into two different socioeconomic camps: one for high school grads coming from "advantage" backgrounds (increasingly the minority of college-bound students), heading off to pricey private colleges or prestigious state universities (e.g., UConn), and the growing majority of underrepresented, first generation and otherwise challenged students often lacking the "back home" support to thrive in higher ed.

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