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Parenting Adult Children for Your Peace of Mind and Their Accountability

Friday Food for Thought: It All Goes Back to “Character”

Posted on September 26, 2014 | No Comments

by Linda Herman, LMHC

I get the outrage over the recently publicized violence of Ray Rice toward his wife.  But let’s go beyond decrying the NFL and demanding more programs to teach men how to behave.  What about the influences in young men’s lives before  they get to adulthood? Are we saying that the only way males will learn to treat females is with private or public “programs?”

What a pity to ignore guys’ upbringings and the years of opportunity for creating healthy individuals. And let’s not put this all on the guys. The women’s movement of the 60’s/70’s focused on empowering women. At the time, women being treated as sex objects was extremely frowned upon. Yet, dress for young women has never been more sexually provocative. Women give and receive mixes signals from the guys in their lives.  It may never have been a more challenging time in which to grow up.

Abusive behavior NEVER is okay, whether one is a celebrity or not. We’ve got it right alerting children to bullying behavior.  What about also alerting our children to the traits that make for its opposite:  a “decent” person?

Here are some thoughts for parents and grandparents:

  • Teach your daughters/granddaughters about “screening” the guys who enter their lives.

Does he work or go to school? Does he have any history (to your knowledge) of crude or aggressive behavior?  Is he into music that degrades women?  Does he have a substance abuse problem? Is he more interested in knowing them sexually than getting to know anything else about them?  These are all questions worth answering before getting too involved with someone. Encourage conversation about these areas.

Women forget that they decide whom to date and with whom to go to bed.  If young women give themselves away too easily, it does not encourage respect on the male’s part. The opposite is more likely to occur.  The female sends messages to the males in her behavior and dress. Let they be ones that say she is not an “easy” target.

  • Teach your sons/grandsons about how to treat females.

How is it that guys learn to treat girls and women? Teaching sons basic courtesies like holding a door open for a woman (probably archaic for some,) or staying on the street side when walking with a girl may sound small, but convey a larger message of caring and respect.

You are always modeling your values. Conduct yourself like a parent, not a pal. Correct your sons and daughters when they need it.  Challenge the MTV version of sexuality.  Your children/grandchildren may accuse you of being out of step with the times, but they won’t get the message of restraint and respect from TV or their friends.

  • Don’t be afraid to talk about character.  In our fear of sounding judgmental, we  avoid  speaking about  this, yet we all grew up knowing the difference between good and poor character. Today we are more likely to use psychological labels than label a behavior as “bad.”

These topics are of great interest to me. I especially pay attention to the character of those in positions of influence over others. What are they modeling?

At the local school level, how are our schools approaching character development?

 

I will be researching the latter and writing more about this topic in a future blog.

Enjoy your weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

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Friday Food for Thought: Parents’ Greatest Fears

Posted on September 12, 2014 | No Comments

by Linda Herman An acquaintance asked me recently if she should be financially supporting her adult son. I had to get a few questions answered before I could answer her question. Things like:

  • Has he been working? If not, what are the circumstances?
  • Is he living independently now?
  • What is his general level of functioning
  • What is your greatest fear if you stop helping him?

While all of the questions are important, the last one is the most critical. Parents with an adult child they deem at risk are terrified of what will happen if they stop healping. Here are their most common fears:

  • He will be homeless, sleeping in his car or under a bridge somewhere.
  • He will sink deeper into depression or drug use.
  • He will commit suicide.

With those kinds of fears, most mothers just cannot NOT give financial support, either by providing that child a place to stay or the funds to live elsewhere. I totally understand their love and their fears for him/her. And, that is precisely why I NEVER tell a parent in therapy to just put their her child out of the home.  I do not want a parent coming back to tell me that she followed my recommendation and her child overdosed.

But I can and do talk about related topics. For one thing, I have seen hundreds of situations over my years as a therapist. It is rare that a  young adult who is “stuck” emotionally or due to drugs suddenly wakes up one day and embraces a new attitude and lifestyle. Despite their complaints to the contrary, many stuck young adults become rather comfortable with a predictable life of little responsibility. The world consequently looks intimidating and the young person increasingly believes that there is not a place for him in it. He becomes even more alienated, thus perpetuating his lack of growth.

There are consequences for his actions and for those of the parents. Working and productive siblings become resentful of a brother or sister of whom nothing is expected. They feel bad for their parents, and furious with them as well.  Relationships between parents become strained if the parents are not in agreement with how things are being handled at home.

Change doesn’t have to happen all at once. Sometimes, and often with difficulty, parents find success in gradually increasing the expectations of their child or decreasing the “help” that they provide.   This can look like cutting off money for gas, cigarettes, or phones. It may mean no access to a vehicle unless the young person is out job-hunting or  as a means for getting to work.

If a parent thinks her daughter needs drug treatment, then she may offer to drive her to the treatment center and/or give contact information to her.  Some parents make entering or completing treatment a condition for letting their young person stay home. Parents have to have a bottom line and the child needs to know what that bottom line is. It is human nature to push parents to the limit, especially when a child has been successfully manipulating Mom or Dad. There is no change without discomfort all concerned.

If a parent is going to insist that a child leave, I recommend that resources be presented to him/her, e.g.   agencies, shelters, phone numbers of other friends or family members who may temporarily offer housing. Regardless of what parents do, some endings are tragic. Mom or Dad get the call they have dreaded− that their child is gone.

Parents have no way of accurately predicting the outcome for their son or daughter if they increase their expectations of him/her. But I am pretty sure of the outcome if the situation is allowed to continue as is:  Nothing…no change, no growth, just an increasingly disillusioned young person with little confidence to meet the challenges of adult life. These are not easy decisions.

Take your time; reflect; don’t let anyone decide for you.

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Friday Food for Thought: When Parents Should Butt Out

Posted on August 29, 2014 | No Comments

by Linda Herman

 

Amy Dickinson, whose column “Ask Amy” appears in the Seattle Times, frequently hits the nail on the head when it comes to issues regarding adult children. On August  18, she focused on the parents of an adult child, particularly the mother.

The letter writer in this situation was the father, who was presumably caught between his daughter and his wife.  Here is the dilemma:  The daughter, age 24 and a college graduate, is in love with a young man. The young man is starting graduate school and plans to teach while working at fulfilling his dream of being a successful writer.  He is in love with their daughter and wants to marry her.

Doesn’t sound too bad, right? Ah, but for the mother it is. She has already labeled her potential son-in-law as “lazy, directionless, and not good enough for her only daughter.” Wow. The dad is working on both sides- trying to get the mother to be accepting, and coaching the young couple on “proving” his wife wrong.

I know parents who would give anything to have such a young man join their family: no drugs, loves and is willing to marry their daughter, motivated to work, study, and has a passion. I see nothing wrong with this picture, at least not for the young couple. Amy pointedly says that “the only one needing an attitude adjustment” is the wife. She advises the father to back out of the middle and to set his wife straight –‘If you can’t learn to tolerate him and they do get married, then you are going to be very lonely.’

Just so we don’t forget: Our children have to follow their dreams for them, not our dreams for them. Do we want to have a relationship with our adult children, or do we want to alienate them?

Let’s have and convey faith that they can make smart choices. If they don’t, we can be supportive and be a resource if they want us in that role. Our children are more likely to use good judgment if they are not sidetracked with resisting pressure from us. It is the natural way of things.

The urge to differentiate oneself from one’s parents is often stronger than common sense. If a young person has to prove her parents wrong, she may set aside her best judgment while pushing them away.  I have had both young men and young women tell me of actions taken (just to resist parental pressure,) that they knew were not in their own best interest.

Don’t put your adult children in that position. Be supportive of adult choices that clearly present no danger to anyone. They may just be right.

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Friday Food for Thought: It’s Your Job to be Real, Not Nice

Posted on August 16, 2014 | No Comments

by Linda Herman

Note:  This is my 100th post !!

 

It’s Your Job to be Real, Not Nice.

What? This isn’t what I learned growing up. I thought being a daughter, wife, and mother meant being a nice person.  Doesn’t it?

For most people, being nice comes easily. For women especially, we value confluence i.e. getting along, coming together. Conflict makes us uneasy. Consequently, we may go to great pains to avoid disagreement.

I want to be treated pleasantly when I go about my daily activities, whether it be working, shopping, doctor’s appointments, visits with family or friends.  The truth is, however, that being nice has its place and its limits.  Relationships cannot maintain without some conflict and the means for resolution. Just being nice won’t get people through the rough patches in a marriage, friendship or in parenting. Using an easy example, parents who are too nice with their children may fail to give their kids the boundaries that will provide security and lessons about life. We can’t always be our children’s friends. We have to deliver messages that they don’t want to hear.

We are “real” with our children when we when set appropriate limits, give them feedback (positive and negative), allow them to experience natural consequences, and hold them accountable. When they don’t like what parents have to say, young children often accuse them of being “mean.” We come to expect some of this in parenting, so, as I said above, this is a relatively “easy” example of being real.

In our relationships with adult children, spouses, partners, or friends, being genuine can be more difficult. We can, however, be authentic without being aggressive, real without being destructive. In fact, to maintain positive connections, finding ways to communicate our deep feelings in a nondestructive way is essential.

Here are a few thoughts about being authentic in your relationships:

  • When you have trepidation about communicating something of importance, think of your goal. Are you wanting to build up or tear down, to be closer or more distant? Most of us would say we want to build up and be closer, but our actions don’t always take us in that direction. We need to behave with a constructive approach.
  • People worry that they will hurt the person with whom they have an issue. Make sure that you give a complete message to that person. For example, you may want to give some negative feedback to a friend at work, but you don’t want her to feel that you don’t like or appreciate her.   A “complete” message could include noting how much you enjoy working with her, and that you don’t want to damage your friendship , but that you do have something of concern to talk about. Then share what is of concern to you.

Toastmasters International gives people excellent skills in evaluating others’ speeches. They begin the evaluation with what they liked, make their constructive comments, and end evaluations on a positive note.

  • Be a good listener.  Listening is a huge part of effective communication. Make sure that you acknowledge the other persons’ position or feelings. That does not mean that you must agree with him.  In my office, the main complaint I hear in couple’s therapy is that one or both does not feel heard or understood by the other. Good listening means listening without jumping right in to defend yourself. It means listening without judging the other’s perceptions, beliefs, and feelings.

There is always some risk involved when we are candid with others, but that candor, delivered carefully, can deepen both conversation and connection. Give it a try.

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Friday Food for Thought: Peanut Butter Sandwiches-Unfit for Today’s Kids?

Posted on August 1, 2014 | No Comments

by Linda Herman, LMHC

How many of you remember what you had for summer lunches at home when you were in grade school, or high school for that matter? I know we ate plenty of bologna sandwiches, peanut butter and jelly, and leftover ham in ham sandwiches. If my mother was home, she’d have us eat celery, a carrot, or an apple. Then we’d chase it down with a glass of milk. If there were cookies in the house, we’d have one or two of those.

Nothing fancy, but it worked and we grew up okay. My mother, a high school graduate, knew that feeding her children was an essential part of her “job”. If she wasn’t at home, she made sure there were some basics in the cupboard.

But the lunchtime landscape has changed. At various sites in communities around the country, anyone 18 and younger can show up and get a nutritious midday meal for free through the USDA Summer Food Programs.  “Kids” can’t take the food home. The overseers of the programs want to make sure that the children are getting the food. And of course, parents are not eligible for these lunches.

The reasoning behind these programs is simple: Help the children stay nutritionally safe while school is out.

But the ramifications of these programs are complex.

As a therapist, I am tuned in to underlying messages in our actions as individuals and as a nation. So it was with interest and care that I considered some of the messages within a seemingly well-intended program.

  • What strikes me first is the idea that parents cannot figure out how to put a simple, but nutritious lunch on the table for their children. Is the takeaway here that we have so little faith in our nation’s mothers and fathers that the government has to see that kids eat properly?  If that is the case, then we are in trouble.
  • Whose job is it to be absolutely sure that their children eat? If we assume that indeed parents are bright enough to know how to put a meal together, then why wouldn’t loving parents do their absolute best to make that happen? Is there an underlying message that today’s parents don’t care? Since the programs are designed for less affluent people, do we conclude that they care less for their kids than do more affluent parents? If that is the conclusion, I’d say that’s a pretty negative stereotype of the nation’s less economically fortunate.

 

Not only are there underlying messages being conveyed, but there are unintended consequences as well.

  • First, feeding one’s children is a basic parental function of humans and across species. Having the government step in and take on that role robs parents of the opportunity to be responsible in this area for their kids. It makes it easier for parents to disconnect and just send the kids off to eat elsewhere and assume that someone else needs to make the meal happen.
  • As I hope I am conveying frequently in my blogs, doing more and more for people never leads to greater independence and empowerment. Rather the opposite occurs.

Not only does increasing “help” of this kind undermine family function, it creates more                         dependence, in this case on the government.

  • Who would be willing to be the “bad guy” to stop such programs if the government ran out of money?  Have you ever started saying “no” to someone who is used to getting something?   My guess is that these lunches are here to stay.

Lest you see me as heartless, let me make a few closing comments. I have great faith in people to do the right thing when called upon to do so, and that includes taking care of their families. If indeed, people have neither the means nor the mindset to make a healthy lunch, then perhaps the moneys for the program would be better spent in inviting parents in to learn food preparation tips and giving them ingredients to take home and do it themselves.

Even if it is not on the approved list of nutritious meals, having a homemade peanut butter and jelly sandwich on occasion might work just fine.

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Friday Food for Thought: Archie’s Demise

Posted on July 18, 2014 | 1 Comment

by Lina Herman, LMHC

 

I first was introduced to comic book character Archie in the 1950’s. My brother had a friend whose mother worked for a comic book distributor. Luckily for us, overstocked comics made their way to our house, in perfect condition (except for the missing cover, which had to be removed.)

About monthly, we’d be treated to comics. Of the variety that arrived, including Dick Tracy, Archie was my favorite. He was about as deep as I could handle in my early elementary years.  A couple of my friends had older sisters and I’d occasionally hear about their boyfriends, but dating was completely out of my realm.

Archie was a benign introduction to the subject of relationships.  For those of you  in the know about him, he had two girls interested in him: Veronica and Betty. I was fortunate to be naïve enough that the cast of characters in this upbeat, light comic met my requirements for lessons about the dating life in the fifties.

After a few years, I moved on, finding soon enough that the world was much more complex than I had thought at the time. I never looked back at Archie, assuming that, like Dennis the Menace, he had never grown up.

But grow up he did! And right into our contemporary times.  I missed the ensuing years, but the Archie of 2014 considers the hot topics of the day. Sadly, just when I learn that he is still out there, I find that he is meeting his mortal end.

Not through a car accident or illness, but at the hands of a gun-toting character who wants to kill Archie’s gay friend, Senator Kevin Keller.  Archie steps in front of the shooter and takes the bullet for the senator.

Wow. No naivety here.  The era of the “old” Archie is gone. You won’t find it on cable TV or the internet.   Now no topic is off limits. Is that so terrible? Some may think it is. You may want your children and grandchildren to hang onto their innocence as long as possible.

But perhaps today’s programming and Archie’s demise will serve a purpose: to keep the conversation going about the issues of the day. I’m all for that, as long as the discussion of our different views is done respectfully. Nothing is accomplished in a relationship, in a family, or in a country when one side shouts down or name-calls the other.  Let’s make room for future Archies, who can effectively generate discussion on a variety of topics, including immigration, gender issues, evolution vs  intelligent design and the best path for our nation’s future.

And maybe, if we’re lucky, Archie won’t even have to be killed off.

One Response to “Friday Food for Thought: Archie’s Demise”

  1. Thanks for another lively, witty and relevant commentary. I greatly enjoy reading your Friday posts and their reasoned but passionate support for compassion and sanity.

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Friday Food for Thought: July 4th, 2014

Posted on July 4, 2014 | No Comments

by Linda Herman

The 4th of July, 2014

 

I’ve been alive for over sixty 4ths of July in my lifetime. As a child, I went to fireworks celebrations produced by Italian immigrants in Youngstown, Ohio.  Prior to the nighttime fireworks, my family attended a Romanian-American July 4th picnic.  The fifties were a time of relative innocence; we were not bombarded in the media about the alleged sinister underbelly of America that many are quick to put forth today.  Our families loved America and proudly displayed the flag.

Last week’s Pew Research report -http://www.people-press.org/2014/06/26/the-political-typology-beyond-red-vs-blue/–that only 40% of “Solid  Liberals” are proud of being American is in stark contrast to another story in the news: Children from Central America are flooding across our southern border. Estimates vary, ranging from 50,000 to 90,000, but they continue to come, the majority without their parents.

Why would they want to come here? To come to a country that tries to keep its people down?  That, by the recent Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision -according to Hilary Clinton- is moving in the direction of countries that take extreme positions against women? Would Michael Moore recommend that instead they go to Cuba?

We know why they come here:  for better lives. I live in a city that is only 55% Caucasion. Kent, Washington, a southern suburb of Seattle, has taken in so many immigrants that the Kent School District is one of the most diverse in America. According to official reports, there are 138 languages spoken in the schools here.   www.kentreporter.com/news/212790641.html

 My city is diverse; my neighborhood is diverse. Some mornings when I walk I see no other “whites”. I commonly encounter  folks from Vietnam, Hong Kong, India, North Africa,  Mexico, and Samoa—sometimes  wearing their traditional garb. People aren’t patting themselves on the back for their cultural inclusiveness. They are just living their lives, working, raising families and,( as I write this tonight),  celebrating in the street  with family, friends and fireworks.

 Their stories are frequently compelling. A  twenty-four year old Ukrainian immigrant I know came here as a young teen.  Now a citizen who does remodeling on the side in addition to his regular job,  he enjoys commenting on life in America versus Eastern Europe. “Back home,” he told me, “my friends do the same work that I do. Only there is no work. They just get drunk every day. There is no welfare, no unemployment, no social security.” There is little hope.

 He cannot understand the negative press about our country. He came here seeing not obstacles, but unlimited opportunity. “If you work hard, you can accomplish just about anything.”

 What a gift to see America through his eyes, rather than those of the naysayers. And what a gift for me to be reminded of that same spirit of enterprise that my Romanian grandfather possessed coming here himself as a teen.

Hoping you have had a great 4th and can find reason to feel pride in our country.

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Friday Food for Thought: Millennials and their Malaise

Posted on June 20, 2014 | No Comments

We thought that the Baby Boomers were the most written-about generation.  But we may be dead wrong, at least according to Raffi Wineburg, who wrote a guest column for The Seattle Times 6/19/14. (Guest: Millennials are not biology lab frogs — stop The Seattle Times)

According to Mr. Wineburg, millennials are under a “constant scrutiny” that is not helpful. “One day, we’re all just selfish, selfie-snapping pipsqueaks of the ‘Me Generation.’ The next, we’re selfless and deserve an official apology from The New York Times.”

I don’t think it’s that his generation is written about a lot that most troubles him, however. It is the reality of the world into which they have become adults.  According to The Atlantic Monthly www.theatlantic.com/…millennialsin…/283752/,  millennials have it worse than any prior generation.  Wineburg points to a rate of about 15% unemployment for today’s 16 – 24-year olds. That is not a happy picture.

Like Wineburg, a number of millennials who cannot get jobs seek internships. While common during their college years, internships have increasingly become substitutes for jobs after graduation. They are one way to acquire experience and to get a foot in the door of companies. Such “career moves” were mostly unheard of for us boomers. So indeed the millennials are facing a different employment climate.

The picture is even bleaker for those who are not getting college degrees. This group, according to a recent Pew Research study reported on in Salon.com,  is at risk of becoming a permanent underclass. In the 25-32 age bracket, Americans without a college education earn $17,500 less a year than their peers who have completed college.

One solution being tried in Seattle is the phasing-in of a $15 an hour minimum wage.  Thus, even if those young people lack education beyond high school, they can earn $27,300 in an entry level job working 35 hours per week.

Raising the minimum wage obviously is not the only solution. How about stimulating economic growth and job growth by giving tax incentives to companies that bring or expand business in various regions? How about that elusive pipeline? We are far enough away from alternative sources of fuel being commonplace that we should move forward with the pipeline that will bring fuel and jobs to our country.   We can bring the price of gasoline down and stay energy independent while putting thousands to work.

Finally, we can change the way high school education works through public-private collaboration in various vocational programs and apprenticeships.  Students in the trades would leave high school with a specific skill set leading directly to a job or more advanced vocational skill development.

The future belongs to the millennials and those coming after them. Let’s improve their prospects, whether they are headed directly into the workforce, vocational schools or universities.

 

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Friday Food for Thought: The War on women by women

Posted on June 6, 2014 | 2 Comments

by Linda Herman, LMHC

 

 

Elizabeth Armstrong and Laura Hamilton, both college professors, give us an up-close look at today’s young college women through their five-year immersion in dorm life at a large Midwestern university. Their book, Paying for the Party, reveals their findings. We may like to think that the college experience and dorm life are the great equalizers for females post high school, but that simply is not the case.

Instead, there is a social hierarchy, based upon one’s family income, the degree of financial debt one incurs, social networks and financial prospects.  This hierarchy extends beyond the college years into life choices and career moves after university graduation.

As live-in observers of dorm life, the book’s authors saw first-hand the way in which this hierarchy played out in the dorms.  Olga Khazan  writes about their new study published in Social Psychology Quarterly, in The Atlantic (http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/05/theres-no-such-thing-as-a-slut/371773/) . The conclusion of Armstrong and Hamilton was that economic inequality “drove many of the differences in the ways the women talked about appropriate sexual behavior.”

New to me was the term “slut-shaming”. Calling someone you didn’t like a slut was a guaranteed way of making her feel bad. Interestingly, there was class division in how this term was viewed and applied.  The affluent young women considered casual sex (outside of steady relationships) okay, as long as vaginal intercourse was not involved.  Thanks to President Bill Clinton,  frequently “hooking up” with guys for oral sex is not considered slutty behavior by these women.

The less affluent women tended to have what sounded like a more conservative view. To them, all sex and hooking up belonged in steady relationships.

Hurling the term “slut” at one another was not limited to commenting on one’s sexual behavior. It could be used when wanting to insult someone for being rude or uncool. While most of the slut-shaming was done privately, the affluent young women were more likely to publicly humiliate those of lower socioeconomic means. This happened when the less affluent dared try to break into the richer social clique.

Why is this the case? The affluent women apparently felt themselves superior to the unaffluent.  It was not enough that they had more money, access to the sorority system, better social connections and more choices. They actively sought to do damage to the other women. That sounds like a war on women by women to me.

I’m guessing that all of the young women went through diversity training in high school or college. Surely they learned to have respect for other groups, based upon race, gender identify, and ethnicity. But they must have missed the course on how to treat others of lower socioeconomic standing.

 

We can and should do better.  Check your daughters’  and granddaughters’ attitudes toward others, especially those they consider  their “lessers”. A crash course in character development may be needed before they head off to the dorm next Fall.

 

2 Responses to “Friday Food for Thought: The War on women by women”

  1. Sheila Ball says:

    I think the social hierarchy is the same for men-especially the ivy league schools. Great article!

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Friday Food For Thought: The Future Look of College Education

Posted on May 23, 2014 | No Comments

by Linda Herman, LMHC

 

Recently I defended the position of students paying for their college educations for a Wall Street Journal debate.  As one might expect, reactions ranged from full support to scathing reproach for my position.

The naysayers to my position might benefit from learning about today’s college student population. According to data from Complete College America (2011), “There is a new American majority on campus.”    They report that only 25% of college students on campuses are full time students attending residential colleges with their parents footing most of their educational and living expenses. (from the US Department of Education).

The rest of Americans attending college (75%) have an entirely different experience. They are commuters, balancing work, families, and school.  A full forty percent of college students can only attend school part time. So while some may idealize parents paying for their children’s educations, the reality is that the majority of students do not have that kind of monetary support.

A large majority of students are unable to complete college in four years.  Recognizing the challenges for these students led to the formation of Complete College America. CCA defines itself as a “national nonprofit with a single mission: to work with states to significantly increase the number of Americans with quality career certificates or college degrees and to close attainment gaps for traditionally underrepresented populations.”  College attendance has more than doubled since 1970, but the number completing programs has not changed.

CCA  has the participation of thirty-three of our state governors in trying to solve the college completion dilemma. They are recommending changes in how universities go about their business. For example, they say that time is wasted on remedial classes.  Instead, they suggest that remediation be “embedded” into the regular college curriculum. They want students to be able to proceed toward degrees or certificates at a faster pace, using shorter academic terms,  less time off between terms and year-round scheduling. If students can demonstrate competency in a given class, they should have the opportunity to move forward to other classes.

CCA also recommends “block scheduling”, in which class meeting times are fixed and predictable, allowing students more consistency in planning work around their schedules. Coupling this with supports like peer groups and learning networks by major, City University of New York has launched Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) which has tripled the graduation rate of participating students.

The state of Tennessee has a statewide approach that has increased  the graduation rate of students from its 27 Tech Centers up to 75 % (sometimes 100%).  Their approach is one of providing whole academic programs into which students enroll, rather than individual classes. There is a set schedule running from 8:00 am to 3:00pm daily for classes, effectively simplifying and streamlining their programs.

It’s one thing for people to wring their hands about the problem of getting students to the point of degree completion. It’s a wonderful “other thing” to see states making real changes that are already bearing fruit. Let’s hear it for CCA and the governors who have signed on to be part of it.

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