The Essential Role of Tech in Closing the Degree Attainment Gap
Most of the available jobs in today’s market require a college education. We currently have many learners opting to pursue higher education, but very few leave with a degree. There is a huge disconnect between the attendance rates and the graduation rates at four-year colleges and universities. Only 32 percent of college learners finish their degrees within six years at open-admission universities. Our education system needs to do something to close the degree attainment gap.
Tech could play an essential role in minimizing the number of college dropouts and start closing the gap. With programs available to educators and administrators, learners might become more likely to stick with school until they achieve a successful outcome.
Data can establish who is likely to drop out.
The volume of learners who drop out of college is unflattering for higher education centers. For years, it was almost impossible to recognize the profile of a learner who was unlikely to finish their basic education. Now, the data is easier to manage and can reveal red flags for learners who might be at risk of leaving the university altogether. Professors might notice that learners with low grades or poor attendance are on the brink of abandoning the university.
This data allows them to reach out and attempt to remedy the situation. By retaining learners year after year, a college has a better chance of closing the degree attainment gap. They might also develop new systems that can support learning based on their feedback from at-risk learners.
Tech gives more support to learners.
Many schools require a rigorous bout of standard academic courses to ensure a well-rounded education. Learners come to dread some of these classes because they know their own shortcomings with these core subjects, including higher-level math and science. It’s rather common to see learners drop out or withdraw from courses before their completion due to failing grades. Tech can help to give more support and practice for learners who need assistance. At some colleges, it reduced the withdrawal rate from 60 percent to 21 percent. Extra support can keep learners in class longer and make them more likely to attain their degree.
Learners need more personalized attention.
Larger schools are unable to give learners the time and attention they need in large introductory classes. This means that struggling learners can often slip under the radar when an educator fails to pull them aside. With tech, universities could change this dynamic. Personalized teaching and tutoring online can give learners access to the help they need without the embarrassment of having to ask for it. They can conveniently learn at their own pace without requesting that the professor rearrange their schedule. This can be a great advance for most learners who remain quiet in class even though they are struggling academically.
Universities and colleges could close the degree attainment gap using the advances in tech that are available. They can monitor learners at risk of leaving school, offer more support for difficult classes and give more personalized attention. These attributes will be key in ensuring that learners who start college graduate with their degree in six years or less.