An unconscionable number of California Latino high school students are not college ready, an unconscionable number of Latino college students are not graduating from college, and those Latino college students who do graduate from college are not being prepared for the labor market: As a Latino, what is my plan of action?
AN UNCONSCIONABLE NUMBER OF CALIFORNIA LATINO HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ARE NOT COLLEGE READY, AN UNCONSCIONABLE NUMBER OF LATINO COLLEGE STUDENTS ARE NOT GRADUATING FROM COLLEGE, AND THOSE LATINO COLLEGE STUDENTS WHO DO GRADUATE FROM COLLEGE ARE NOT BEING PREPARED FOR THE LABOR MARKET: AS A LATINO, WHAT IS MY PLAN OF ACTION?
As the 2014 academic year begins in our state and country, according to Public Policy Institute of California fewer than 4 in 10 California high school students are completing the requirements to be eligible for the state’s public universities, and that once students who drop out or do not finish high school in four years are removed from the equation, the proportion of public high school graduates who met the UC and CSU entrance criteria in 2012 drops to 30 percent statewide, 20 percent for Latinos and 18 percent for African-Americans. Furthermore, according to the report, “Advancing the Success of Boys and Men of Color in Education,” Latino young men are seriously behind when it comes to graduating from both two- and four-year colleges, from 2009 through 2012 only 45% of Hispanic men graduated from four-year colleges within six years. For two-year colleges, only 30% of Latino young men who received a certificate or degree or who transferred to a four-year college over six years. And lastly, according to research by Richard Arum, a professor of sociology and education at New York University, two years after on-time graduation, 25 percent of young adults live with their parents and 70 percent receive financial support from their parents.
From my point of view, it is hard NOT TO SEE that an unconscionable number of our young citizens are being poorly served by their educational institutions. If you are a Latino student, what is the first step or action that you must take in order for you to succeed in the face of the aforementioned challenges? Jim Rohn’s adage comes to mind, “You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.”
Always remember, the first and most important strategy of academic achievement is to recognize that you are responsible for your own learning. You must take responsibility for your own learning. You must be responsible and manage your time and efforts for creating your own future. What I remember most from my own experience as an undergraduate, graduate student, law student, and as a professional student affairs & academic administrator at the University of Southern California and California State University San Jose, was that the students who did well in college shared the traits/characteristics of always being self-motivated, disciplined individuals who appreciated (were grateful) for their opportunity of being a student. They all had in common a determined desire to consciously and proactively seek ways to improve their study effectiveness and efficiency. And as students, enjoyed the rewards of their efforts; better grades, prestige and personal satisfaction. And therefore did well, very well upon graduation and thereafter in their careers.
It is unquestionable that to get good grades in both high school, college, and graduate school you need to work hard and most importantly, work smart: set-up routines, rituals, and so forth to optimize your study efficiency and effectiveness. In my experience, throughout the years, working with a very large number of diverse students and clients, the most enduring and most successful individuals, both academically and professionally, were and are always those individuals who have developed self-disciplined management habits and consistently adhered to the core fundamental skills of time management, goal setting and prioritization.
In contrast, I have known quite a few students and professionals who, when they entered college or graduated from college, either did not develop, abandoned or failed to internalize self-management and personal responsibility. These individuals encountered very difficult challenges. They simply had not developed the structure or habits to know when and how to assume adult responsibilities. In short, it is critical that you take the first step or action of developing the habit and discipline of self-management and an internalized sense of responsibility. Anybody, including you, can develop and internalize disciplined self management habits and consistently adhere to the core fundamental skills of time management, goal setting and prioritization. This is something we ourselves can learn to do, it is not something we only do when it is either taught or imposed on us by other people such as our parents, teachers, professors, counselors, supervisors, etc.
The importance of developing self-disciplined management habits and consistently adhering to the core fundamental skills of time management, goal setting and prioritization cannot be overstated. It is absolutely essential to always remember, the first and most important strategy of academic achievement is to recognize that you are responsible for your own learning. You must take responsibility for your own learning if you wish to achieve success in whatever you do. Instead of being or becoming another statistic in the current educational environment and encounter problems at home, in school, in the workplace, in your town, in your city, in your country, and in this world, you should seek out the quality of responsibility and develop a disciplined study and work routine. This individual approach will catapult you forward in your relationships, in school, in your career, and in your life.