At-risk and unprepared students in US higher education

The impact on institutions and strategies to address the new student body landscape

Authored by: Kathleen F. Gabriel

Routledge Handbook of the Sociology of Higher Education

Print publication date:  June  2016
Online publication date:  June  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138778122
eBook ISBN: 9781315772233
Adobe ISBN: 9781317677789


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Education’s vital role in the preparation of citizens in a democratic society has been commented on by numerous scholars. Astin (1999) points out that, “our colleges and universities educate each new generation of leaders in government, business, science, law, medicine, the clergy, and other advanced professions, and train the personnel who will educate the entire citizenry at the precollegiate level” (p. 8). The importance of going to college after high school cannot be overstated in order for those in our society “… to be economically self-sufficient and deal effectively with the increasingly complex social, political, and cultural issues of the twenty-first century” (Kuh et al., 2007a, p. 1). Moreover, universities, colleges, and community colleges prepare students to contribute to the communities where they live. Higher education is fundamental for “… providing effective learning experiences [which are] critical for both the students themselves and our society, which increasingly relies on every individual to participate productively in our economy, our democracy, and the global village” (McClenney, 2004: 3).

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