A reader sent me the following press release. It describes how college freshmen who get a scholarship will have an electronic monitoring system, where they are expected to check in and report. It appears that the system relies on the student to check in regularly and interact with his or her electronic tracking system. Maybe this will be helpful. Or maybe it will be like that annoying Microsoft Paperclip that used to pop up uninvited and offer to help you whether you wanted help or not. What happens when the students don’t respond? What is the follow through if they respond and say they don’t understand what is happening in their Algebra class? Will someone send help? Will it be like the thingies that senior citizens wear around their necks to call for help when they fall down? Will anyone answer? Or will they get an electronic response that asks them to log in and press 1 if they speak English, and press 2 if they want to complain, and press 3 if they need help with their student loan, and press 1 if their roommate is annoying them, and so on.
College Success Foundation – DC Using New Technology
to Mentor and Monitor College Freshmen
Initiative to Assist D.C. Students in Adjusting to Campus Life and Studies
Washington, D.C. – The College Success Foundation – District of Columbia (CSF – DC)
announced today the launch of a pilot program to help college-bound D.C. students successfully
complete their first year of college. The program monitors students’ adjustment to college life
via interactive, multimedia modules that students access online or via smart phone apps. The
pilot will be conducted in partnership with csMentor, Inc. and funded through a grant from the
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
“Making the leap from high school to a successful first year of college is a particular challenge
for the underserved students we work with,” said CSF – DC Executive Director Herbert R.
Tillery. “We are excited to test a new technology-based tool that allows us to consistently
monitor our students’ academic and social adjustment to campus. That data will help us
pinpoint students who may be struggling and allow us to intervene at an early stage.”
Students participating in the pilot will receive and respond to Mentoring Interactive Programs or
“MIPs” via the web and mobile device. Each on-demand MIP includes a short video message
from a mentor and is combined with a “Check In” – a brief set of questions. The video message
anticipates challenges freshmen face as they prepare for and then move through their first
college term. Responses to the weekly “Check In” paint a cumulative picture of the student’s
academic and social adjustment. The technology analyzes that data to create regular Progress
Updates shared with the student and with CSF – DC.
“We are pleased to be partnering with the College Success Foundation – DC to help District
students make it through their first year of college,” said csMentor Advisory Board Chair Dr.
Steven Gladis. Dr. Gladis is author of the widely read book Surviving the First Year of College:
Myth vs. Reality. “Higher education nationally has been in a dropout crisis for decades. For
every two college freshmen who complete their first year, one will drop out. And those numbers
haven’t improved over time.”
The pilot will involve approximately 250 college-bound District of Columbia students.
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College Success Foundation — District of Columbia
For more than 5 years, CSF – DC has inspired students in 6 high schools in Ward 7 and 8 to
pursue their dream of attending college by providing a unique integrated system of support and
scholarships they need to graduate college and succeed in life. The College Success
Foundation – DC is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization.