While policy makers debate increasing funding, adopting common core standards, and expanding student access to rigorous course work, the college-knowledge gap between low-income and upper-income students continues to widen. Mychal Wynn offers an immediate solution through books and materials that assist in widening the primary-to-postsecondary pathway to college by providing parents and students with the information needed to create viable college-bound plans. Mr. Wynn's unique insight into the obstacles confronting children and families from underserved communities, from low-income backgrounds, attending low-performing schools, or who attend schools that do not have extensive higher level course offerings is reflected through commonsense strategies appropriate for all students in all situations.
The most culturally responsive strategies that teachers can utilize to “connect” with students and “capture” their attention is to engage students in discussions about their dreams and aspirations; understand the unique issues and obstacles confronting them; assist students in setting goals and conceptualizing strategies; and giving students the capacity to pursue their dreams and aspirations.
Far too many students squander their middle school years. Students fail to use extracurricular activities to prepare for high school participation, they fail to take advantage of academic programs to prepare themselves to pursue rigorous high school coursework, and they fail to develop the study skills, work ethic, and test preparation strategies needed to succeed in high school and prepare for college.
The Middle School College Planning series initiates the college discussion through middle school involvement. Parents and teachers learn how to help middle schoolers in the critical 7-year journey encompassing the middle-through-high school years.
The High School Planning series should be required reading for all urban, inner city, and students attending high schools with low college enrollment rates. The report from the Education Trust, “Engines of Inequality: Diminishing Equity in the Nation's Premier Public Universities” profiles the inequity in the college enrollment rates of students of color and children living in poverty.
“While students from affluent families are finding it increasingly difficult to gain admissions into state universities and elite private colleges, students of color and children living in poverty are finding themselves locked out of college admission opportunities.”
All students need to better understand how to fully utilize the 4-year high school experience to make themselves competitive candidates for college admissions. Students learn how to increase grades, better prepare for standardized tests, the importance of extracurricular activities and community service, how to create powerful essays, and why making a positive contribution to their high school can substantially increase their chances of being accepted into their first-choice colleges.
The College Planning Notebook is the ideal college-planning tool. The 3-ring binder contains the second edition of, “A High School Plan for Students with College-Bound Dreams: Workbook” with a complete college planning activity to jump start students' college planning efforts.
Complete with divider tabs for tracking each component of a student's college-bound plan: academics; extracurricular activities; intangibles; application/financial aid; college research; scholarship research; and references/résumé.
The notebook also serves as a valuable resource for mentors, counselors, coaches, parents, and certainly students by guiding their efforts through each of the critical components of maximizing each student's high school opportunities as he or she becomes a competitive candidate for college admission.
Ten Steps to Helping Your Child Succeed in School demystifies the entire process of supporting a child's development personality type, learning style, Multiple Intelligences (or the ways in which they are smart); understanding their child 's best and worst learning situations; identifying the best schools, teachers, and programs for their child's unique gifts, talents, needs, and aspirations.
Activities further provide a means of bonding parents and children as they develop action plans and enhance home-school communication through a common vision of increasing student performance and development.