The national topic of college readiness for high school students was brought to the state and local level as Dr. Douglas Wunneburger, Bryan ISD board member and Texas A&M University faculty member, presented a session on the important subject at the annual Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) and Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) conference.
Along with his co-presenters (Corinne French, Valley View ISD Board Member, and Amy Lawrence, Denton ISD Director of Guidance and Counseling), Dr. Wunneburger discussed this time of transition for students during their “Readiness Redefined” workshop that included tips and suggestions on preparing high school students for college and careers. Attendees learned how to maximize existing programs and shared ideas about best practices and services that are working in other districts.
One of the issues the presenters discussed at length during their session is the fact that some students who are receiving college credits in high school are still unprepared for college life in general and college coursework, specifically.
“Students in their first year at college are forced into higher level and advanced classes with more mature students,” Dr. Wunneburger noted. “They have little time to acclimate to college life and lack the physical and emotional maturity of their classroom peers.”
The success of Bryan Collegiate High School (BCHS), specifically, stands out for several reasons, according to Dr. Wunneburger.
“BCHS students attend college classes with other college students on campus so they are used to the college environment and better prepared. Also, BCHS focuses on core classes rather than gaining hours for an Associate’s Degree.”
Dr. Wunneburger stated that BCHS emphasizes service and character lessons, as well as peer teaching, to build self-concept for all students.
The presenters also stressed the need for districts to continue to focus on the whole child – academic/social/emotional needs – when preparing them for college and career pathways, including emphasis on the following skills: optimistic thinking, decision-making, leadership, teamwork, problem-solving and coping.