College Dropouts: Can CSM do more?
Every year even a greater number of high school graduates decide to attend, four year and
community, college as an extension of their parents’ “American Dream”. Yet consistently even a
greater number of them become college dropouts after a short stay. Yvonne Raley states in
“Why We Quit” that “Two-year public colleges have a worse record, graduating fewer than 30
percent of their students” (5). The question is: What is causing this and what may be the
College of San Mateo (CSM) has become an active participant in addressing lack of
student study skills and student socio-economic background as the most important reasons for
student dropout in community colleges.
“Community Colleges have become dumping ground for all the educational problems in
the rest of the system” Allen (14). The majority of students arrive at colleges unprepared for
college work. Additionally, a great majority of us have been placed in remedial classes to which
we neither relate, nor belong since a great majority us are not proficient in 8th-10th grades of
either subjects. Most of the substandard students who have passed through the K-12 system lack
the skills, or the focus, or the knowledge to deal with college.
A vast majority of students in community colleges, some 70% of them, fail to graduate.
At CSM Freshman retention rate, due to lack of basic study skills, is taken very seriously,
steps are taken to help us understand the subject material better. A multilevel organization has
been put in place to help students who struggle scholastically.
The first line of defense has, as always, remained with Academic Counselors ( Bldg. 1,
room 115). They can help us with their educational goals, academic planning, and resolving
personal concerns that interfere...