The College Crusade of Rhode Island aims to save students from the ‘gap trap’

Q: Tell us a about The College Crusade of Rhode Island and its mission?

Ginestet: The College Crusade prepares and inspires young people to become the first in their families to attend and complete college. Our organization started in 1989, and we support more than 4,000 students each year.

Q: What was the College Crusade proposal that won the $25,000 second prize during the Nov. 12 Nonprofit Innovation Lab pitch contest?

Ginestet: In September, we launched the “Gap” initiative – a model to support students who paused their postsecondary education because of the pandemic. These low-income and first-generation students are most vulnerable to fall into the “gap trap” and are at risk of dropping out of school. With each passing month, these students are losing valuable educational momentum, and there are minimal services to support them. Leveraging the flexibility of our generous funders, the College Crusade’s pilot program supports 100 of these gap students with targeted coaching. Our goal is to help these students get back on track and eventually to bring the initiative to scale so every young person in Rhode Island can access a gap coach.

Q: How much have college enrollment rates fallen in Rhode Island amid the pandemic and what can be done to help get students who are not enrolling to apply to college?

Ginestet: According to the National Student Clearinghouse, Rhode Island saw an 8.1 percent enrollment decline among Rhode Island colleges and universities this fall. However, this decrease is not evenly distributed among student demographics. First-generation students, low-income students, and students of color have seen the steepest declines in enrollment. These students need rapid and targeted support to resume their education as soon as possible. The longer the pause, the more difficult it will be to earn a college degree. This not only negatively affects students and their families but threatens to derail the state’s post-COVID economic recovery.

Q: What are the biggest challenges that Rhode Island students are facing as they try to become the first members of their families to go to college?

Ginestet: First-generation students in Rhode Island face numerous challenges. Finances are certainly at the top of the list. Even before the pandemic, our students struggled to cover all the costs associated with college (tuition, fees, books, transportation, living expenses, etc.). With many students working to support their families, especially during the pandemic, the financial obstacles are even more complex and significant.

Also, student morale is a major concern. From a psychological and risk-taking perspective, our students need to feel optimistic about their chances for success when they decide to embark on a college journey. When students feel hopeful about the future, they are more willing to look at issues from a long-term perspective. The pandemic has really dampened our students’ optimism, and we are working closely with them to bolster resilience and help them refocus on long-term goals.

Q: What kind of help do “gap coaches” provide to students who are struggling to avoid the “gap trap”?

Ginestet:

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Countdown to college: What to consider if you’re thinking about a gap year | Momaha

Gap years have become a hot topic of conversation. Many parents are reluctant to pay private school prices of $70,000-80,000 per year or even public university fees of $25,000-$50,000 a year to have their child upstairs in the bedroom on a screen all day long. COVID-19 has impacted so much, but for many families it has really refocused the conversation about the value of college.

The pathway to college from high school can be too straight and narrow for some. There are students who secretly wonder if they are ready to handle the independence or the pressure. Some are burned out on studying and just want to get off the treadmill. Parents may find themselves second-guessing whether their hard-earned money will be well spent because they don’t see their children taking academics seriously.

The gap year experience is becoming more popular in the United States. It’s already a widely accepted rite of passage in Europe. A gap year will help students gain confidence and real-world experience and also provide a major departure from their structured lives. It could be a totally structured program such as LeapNow’s programs in India or South America that offer college credit, or a self-designed program with community service, internships, travel or an opportunity to follow a passion,

If you think your student is a candidate for stepping off the beaten path to college, here are some things to consider.

Source Article

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Pandemic widens learning gap in education-obsessed South Korea

A teacher prepares lesson with a cell phone on the first day of online class in an empty classroom as South Koreans take measures to protect themselves against the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) at Seoul Girls High School on April 09, 2020 in Seoul, South Korea.

Chung Sung-Jun | Getty Images

Students in South Korea like elsewhere are taking online classes off and on, studying from home during the coronavirus pandemic.

When South Korea began its delayed school year with remote learning in April, that spelled trouble for low-income students who rely on public education, get easily distracted and cannot afford cram schools or tutors used by many in this education-obsessed country.

Students like Han Shin Bi, who struggled to concentrate.

“Online classes were really inconvenient,” said Han, a high school senior in Seoul. “I ended up with a bad grade (in an exam) because I didn’t really focus on studying while online. It was a blow.”

Like legions of other students around the world, kids in South Korea are struggling with remote learning, taking online classes off-and-on from home as the nation battles the coronavirus pandemic.

Experts say the reduced interaction with teachers, digital distractions and technical difficulties are widening the education achievement gap among students in South Korea, leaving those less well off, like Han, at even more at a disadvantage.

Students who were doing well before the pandemic, often from middle- and upper-class families, have an easier time keeping their grades up and plenty of family support if they run into trouble.

In South Korea, Asia’s fourth largest economy, which university you attend can determine nearly everything about one’s future: career prospects, social status and even who one can marry.

“One’s academic background doesn’t always match his or her capacity. But an incorrect view that they are the same is prevalent in this society,” said Gu Bongchang, a policy director at the World Without Worries About Shadow Education, an education NGO in Seoul.

A government survey of 51,021 teachers released last month showed about 80% of respondents saw a widening gap between their strongest and weakest students. To address the problem, the Education Ministry has hired part-time instructors to help 29,000 underprivileged students at elementary schools. Some teachers have been assigned to work one-on-one temporarily with about 2,300 high schoolers who are struggling.

With teachers mostly posting prerecorded lectures online, Han couldn’t ask questions in real time, and her family cannot afford to hire a tutor or send her to a cram school, like most of her friends.

“I don’t want to compare myself with others,” she said. “But If I had had lots of money, I think I could have learned many things (after school) … and I actually wanted to learn English and Chinese at cram schools.”

Even some model students say distance learning is tough.

“I felt I was trapped at the same place and I got lots of psychological stress,” said Ma Seo-bin, a high school senior at an elite, expensive foreign language

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Pandemic widens learning gap in education-obsessed S. Korea

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — When South Korea began its delayed school year with remote learning in April, that spelled trouble for low-income students who rely on public education, get easily distracted and cannot afford cram schools or tutors used by many in this education-obsessed country.

Students like Han Shin Bi, who struggled to concentrate.

“Online classes were really inconvenient,” said Han, a high school senior in Seoul. “I ended up with a bad grade (in an exam) because I didn’t really focus on studying while online. It was a blow.”

Like legions of other students around the world, kids in South Korea are struggling with remote learning, taking online classes off-and-on from home as the nation battles the coronavirus pandemic.

Experts say the reduced interaction with teachers, digital distractions and technical difficulties are widening the education achievement gap among students in South Korea, leaving those less well off, like Han, at even more at a disadvantage.

Students who were doing well before the pandemic, often from middle- and upper-class families, have an easier time keeping their grades up and plenty of family support if they run into trouble.

In South Korea, Asia’s fourth largest economy, which university you attend can determine nearly everything about one’s future: career prospects, social status and even who one can marry.

“One’s academic background doesn’t always match his or her capacity. But an incorrect view that they are the same is prevalent in this society,” said Gu Bongchang, a policy director at the World Without Worries About Shadow Education, an education NGO in Seoul.

A government survey of 51,021 teachers released last month showed about 80% of respondents saw a widening gap between their strongest and weakest students. To address the problem, the Education Ministry has hired part-time instructors to help 29,000 underprivileged students at elementary schools. Some teachers have been assigned to work one-on-one temporarily with about 2,300 high schoolers who are struggling.

With teachers mostly posting prerecorded lectures online, Han couldn’t ask questions in real time, and her family cannot afford to hire a tutor or send her to a cram school, like most of her friends.

“I don’t want to compare myself with others,” she said. “But If I had had lots of money, I think I could have learned many things (after school) . . . and I actually wanted to learn English and Chinese at cram schools.”

Even some model students say distance learning is tough.

“I felt I was trapped at the same place and I got lots of psychological stress,” said Ma Seo-bin, a high school senior at an elite, expensive foreign language school near Seoul. “What was most difficult is that I didn’t have my friends with me so it was hard to be dedicated to my studies.”

When South Korea resumed in-person classes in phased steps in May, authorities let high-school seniors return first to let them prepare for the national university entrance exam in December — a crucial test in their lives. Younger students

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Pandemic Widens Learning Gap in Education-Obsessed S. Korea | World News

By HYUNG-JIN KIM, Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — When South Korea began its delayed school year with remote learning in April, that spelled trouble for low-income students who rely on public education, get easily distracted and cannot afford cram schools or tutors used by many in this education-obsessed country.

Students like Han Shin Bi, who struggled to concentrate.

“Online classes were really inconvenient,” said Han, a high school senior in Seoul. “I ended up with a bad grade (in an exam) because I didn’t really focus on studying while online. It was a blow.”

Like legions of other students around the world, kids in South Korea are struggling with remote learning, taking online classes off-and-on from home as the nation battles the coronavirus pandemic.

Experts say the reduced interaction with teachers, digital distractions and technical difficulties are widening the education achievement gap among students in South Korea, leaving those less well off, like Han, at even more at a disadvantage.

Students who were doing well before the pandemic, often from middle- and upper-class families, have an easier time keeping their grades up and plenty of family support if they run into trouble.

In South Korea, Asia’s fourth largest economy, which university you attend can determine nearly everything about one’s future: career prospects, social status and even who one can marry.

“One’s academic background doesn’t always match his or her capacity. But an incorrect view that they are the same is prevalent in this society,” said Gu Bongchang, a policy director at the World Without Worries About Shadow Education, an education NGO in Seoul.

A government survey of 51,021 teachers released last month showed about 80% of respondents saw a widening gap between their strongest and weakest students. To address the problem, the Education Ministry has hired part-time instructors to help 29,000 underprivileged students at elementary schools. Some teachers have been assigned to work one-on-one temporarily with about 2,300 high schoolers who are struggling.

With teachers mostly posting prerecorded lectures online, Han couldn’t ask questions in real time, and her family cannot afford to hire a tutor or send her to a cram school, like most of her friends.

“I don’t want to compare myself with others,” she said. “But If I had had lots of money, I think I could have learned many things (after school) . . . and I actually wanted to learn English and Chinese at cram schools.”

Even some model students say distance learning is tough.

“I felt I was trapped at the same place and I got lots of psychological stress,” said Ma Seo-bin, a high school senior at an elite, expensive foreign language school near Seoul. “What was most difficult is that I didn’t have my friends with me so it was hard to be dedicated to my studies.”

When South Korea resumed in-person classes in phased steps in May, authorities let high-school seniors return first to let them prepare for the national university entrance exam in December — a crucial test

Read more