UTB President to Sit on Education Nation Panel, Will Discuss Higher Education Completion Rates

Friday, September 23, 2011 - 1:35pm

Higher education and the completion rate is a huge concern for our nation.

One of such great importance that it will be a highlighted issue at this week's upcoming Education Nation Summit, a gathering of educators from all over the country that will discuss just about any and every education concern plaguing our nation.

Dr. Juliet V. Garcia, president at University of Texas Brownsville has been asked to sit on the panel that will discuss this very topic on the national forefront.

The experienced educator says that completion rates are just not where they need to be at higher education institutes across the United States.

"We've got to look at this issue together as a country because it's never been more important for us to have a greater number of students complete college. as a region it's important, as the state of Texas it's extremely important, but as a whole country in order to be competitive it's important," says Dr. Garcia.

She adds that the traditional student is no longer the 18 year old right out of high school. Trends are changing to reflect non-traditional students are the majority of those attending classes; those who are returning to school or maybe part timers. The outside challenges these non-traditional students face affects whether or not they're able to juggle schooling and their responsibilities outside the classroom, ultimately affecting the higher education completion rate.

Get this, she also adds that as the country continues to grow, more elementary schools are needed, but after that, there doesn't seem to be a need for more high schools; a huge indicator that students are dropping out, never even making it to college.

So how do we, as a nation, keep kids in school in the first place, and motivate them to move on to higher education?

While a definitive solution won't be found at this week’s Education Nation Summit regarding this higher education issue, Dr. Garcia believes it will be a real wake up call to the nation and there will be a greater push to figure out what needs to happen in order to keep kids in school beyond just twelfth grade.

“If we don't do something now and we don't do it together, as a nation, our country has a trajectory that's not productive, and that's of concern," says Dr. Garcia.

The first airing for NBC's Education Nation will broadcast live on MSNBC Sunday, September 25th, beginning at 11 o'clock central time.


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