This is a student inspired topic. #TeacherStudentConvos
I was having the usual student-teacher discussion with one of my local scholars, ( Hi J), and she brought a pressing concern to my attention.
She mentioned that facing challenges is normal and expected when navigating the path toward college.
What makes it more challenging, though, is what she identified as cultural norms that can get in the way of providing the courses, opportunities, and content needed to fulfill the requirements or fit the ideal applicant's profile.
It is not the first time I have heard this while teaching. Some students are facing challenges with finding ways to diversify their high-school resumes outside of academics.
It seems that cultural norms that are out of sync with 21st-century college and industry demands reduce the options they provide for high schoolers to stand out on college applications.
In the past, college entry was mainly focused on academics exclusively. However, there has been a steady expansion of criteria for the desired applicants to meet.
The criteria now go beyond academics to include participation in extracurriculars like sports and programs that expose students to leadership, critical thinking, and even social and environmental activism.
For example, medical school aspirants need to show excellent math and science scores, but they also need to express the ability to provide a suitable bedside manner and servant skills.
With specialized programs, initiatives, and courses, high schools would be able to provide students with opportunities and content that helps develop and display these things.
They would ultimately be making their students more marketable.
So this piece's question is...
How do schools in cultures that do not fully support the implementation of extracurriculars and special programs meet these 21st-century ideals outside of academics?