Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Primer -- Knowledgeworks

Editor’s Note: A year ago, education, business, nonprofit and civic leaders from Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky came together to launch an unprecedented effort to make a cohesive system that ensures that every child gets a college diploma and succeeds. While much work is yet to be done to reach that goal, the Strive coalition has earned high marks locally and has gotten attention from those elsewhere who are trying to get everyone on board to reach education goals. As Strive enters its second year of operation, we offer here an account of Strive's first-year successes written by one of the group’s founders.

Collaborative Tries a Holistic Approach to Student Success
Nancy L. Zimpher
University of Cincinnati
For decades, America's colleges and universities have known that the educational "pipeline" needs repair, literally from birth to career. Students arrive at schools under-prepared for kindergarten and to our campuses unprepared for college-level work. Worse yet, some students do not arrive at college at all.

In response, proposed solutions have almost outnumbered the potential students. We have implemented standards (usually without the resources to help students achieve them), we have blamed the schools, the parents, the community, the times. We have tried incentives with mixed success. And, true to our academic natures, we have studied the problem endlessly.

In Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, a collection of colleges and universities, local governments, school districts, businesses, foundations and nonprofit organizations is trying something new. Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky's unprecedented effort, known as Strive, employs a holistic approach focused on getting kids to graduate from high school and earn a degree or other postsecondary credential.

To read more of Primer, go to

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