What the dismal statistics of college graduation rates in 6 years, (The 6-year graduation rate was 59 percent at public institutions, 66 percent at private nonprofit institutions, and 23 percent at private for-profit institutions.) https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=40 points to is a need for help for students in college to stay there and succeed.
I am a college counselor. I help students in high school find the college that is right for them. Lately I have been asked to help students when things go wrong – a college that isn’t the right fit, a mental health issue that necessitates fewer classes or a disciplinary issue that results in a suspension. There are so many things that can go wrong once a student is in college and parents have very few rights to find out that anything is even wrong unless the student tells them. Colleges are bound by FERPA laws that preclude them from contact with parents unless a student is under 18 (20 U.S. Code § 1232g)
What is a parent to do when things turn South? I suggest that colleges need to have success coaches that go beyond what mental health counselors or academic advisors do with students. Colleges that have implemented this have a history of success. http://success.students.gsu.edu/
Georgia State University has had such a program since 2003. From 2003 to 2015, according to GSU, its graduation rate (finishing a bachelor’s degree within six years of starting) for African-American students rose from 29 to 57 percent. For Hispanic students, it went from 22 to 54 percent. By 2014, for lower-income students (those eligible for a federal Pell grant), it reached 51 percent — nearly the same as for non-Pell students. Its graduation rate for first-generation students went up 32 percent between 2010 and 2014.
We need more such programs to ensure students success.