The Times West Virginian

Opinion

December 13, 2013

Students must be equipped with needed knowledge as they enter college

We often have the goal of seeing students move on to college after graduating from high school.

Getting them there is one thing. Keeping them there is another.

A recent report found that many in-state students just aren’t earning a degree after six years. An annual graduation report presented to an interim legislative committee showed that less than half of in-state freshmen who enrolled in fall 2005 actually earned their degrees after six years. Only West Virginia University was the exception, with a six-year graduation rate of 56 percent.

For other state schools, the rates weren’t as positive, according to the 2012 report. They are: Marshall University, 44 percent; Shepherd University, 43 percent; West Liberty University, 41 percent; Concord University, 38 percent; Fairmont State University, 34 percent, Glenville State College, 30 percent; Bluefield State College, 25 percent; WVU Tech, 24 percent; and West Virginia State University, 21 percent.

While graduation rates at Fairmont State, Shepherd and West Liberty were about the same or better than peer schools, that’s not exactly the place we want to be.

“In some cases, the standard isn’t very high,” said Senate Education Chairman Robert Plymale, D-Wayne said during the interim meeting. “Exceeding your peers and only having a 38 percent graduation rate, or 41 percent, to me, that’s still not acceptable.”

Higher education officials have set a goal of at least a 6 percent increase in graduation rates.

There’s a lot of work to be done, but it doesn’t rest completely with retention on the collegiate level.

College preparation through the public school system is going to be key in seeing these numbers increase. Consider that nearly 26 percent of West Virginia freshmen enrolling in our state colleges in 2012 had to complete at least one development courses in the fall semester. At Fairmont State, 42.6 percent of freshmen had to enroll in development courses.

That means that nearly half of the students in college essentially had to relearn material they should have already mastered in high school before moving on to higher education level classes.

We simply have to do better.

We are on the ground floor of an education reform in this state because of the new flexibility offered from No Child Left Behind requirements.

We have the opportunity to make sure that students are equipped with exactly what they need when they move from classrooms in high school to college lecture halls.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely

    The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
    It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
    It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.

    July 23, 2014

  • Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer

    July 22, 2014

  • Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life

    Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
    And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.

    July 20, 2014

  • COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?

    Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
    I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.

    July 20, 2014

  • Relish the rich bounty of state’s diverse, unique food traditions

    This week, a group of federal officials on a three-day culinary tour of the state visited the Greenbrier Valley to find out what most of us here already know — we have a rich food tradition in West Virginia.
    The group was made up of officials from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    July 18, 2014

  • Soup Opera in need of your support again this time of year

    It’s happening again.
    It usually always happens about this time each year. Sometimes it’s a little earlier and sometimes a little later.
    But Soup Opera executive director Shelia Tennant knows it will come — usually in July. And she’s never that surprised about it.

    July 17, 2014

  • County honors men who gave all in helping their community

    The next time you’re driving in the Rivesville area, you might notice new signs on two of the area’s bridges.
    Those signs, which bear the names of Alex Angelino and Denzil O. Lockard, were unveiled Saturday in honor of the men whose names they display, two men who died while serving their communities.
    The bridge on U.S. 19 over Paw Paw Creek was named to honor Lockard, while the bridge on U.S. 19 over Pharaoh Run Creek was named to honor Angelino. Lockard, a former Rivesville police chief, died in 1958 at the age of 48 while directing traffic. Angelino, a Rivesville firefighter, died at the age of 43 of a heart attack while fighting a fire in 1966.

    July 16, 2014

  • State must learn to keep costs down and perform more efficiently on less

    The West Virginia state government began its budget year last Tuesday with a small surplus of $40 million — less than 1 percent of its annual tax revenues — thanks only to dipping into its savings.
    Let’s not do that again.

    July 15, 2014

  • Long-range vision with transportation has been made to be thing of proud past

    Last week’s closure of Fairmont’s Fourth Street Bridge is a symbol of a problem that must be fixed.
    The United States should be proud of the vision its leaders once displayed to address the country’s transportation needs.
    Back in 1954, for example, President Dwight D. Eisenhower announced his goal of an interstate highway system — something that transformed the country.

    July 13, 2014

  • COLUMN: Who would leave animal in sweltering car?

    I was standing and debating between two brands of a product in a big box store when I heard a call over the intercom:
    “Will the owner of a green Cavalier with a dog inside please report to the lawn and garden center.”
    I shook my head. I hate seeing dogs in cars waiting while their owners shop. About five minutes later, there was another announcement over the intercom.

    July 13, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Politics
House Ads