Wall St. Journal Article: “A Generation of Men Give Up on College”

By General Education Advice

From the Wall St. Journal

At the close of the 2020-21 academic year, women made up 59.5% of college students, an all-time high, and men 40.5%, according to enrollment data from the National Student Clearinghouse, a nonprofit research group. U.S. colleges and universities had 1.5 million fewer students compared with five years ago, and men accounted for 71% of the decline.

This education gap, which holds at both two- and four-year colleges, has been slowly widening for 40 years. The divergence increases at graduation: After six years of college, 65% of women in the U.S. who started a four-year university in 2012 received diplomas by 2018 compared with 59% of men during the same period, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

The whole article provides stunning facts about male underachievement.

My first book Motivate Your Son focused on the motivational challenge that I saw facing teen boys.  When I created our Student Mastery Program, I did not have a gender focus in mind.  I hoped to train students to become great students.  I soon noticed that many of our female students had what I’ll call technical issues – perhaps not studying effectively or not knowing the material – but that many of our male students, in addition to having the same challenges as their female counterparts, also had motivational issues.

Then I looked at my notes related to clients.  95% of the unmotivated students were boys.

I wrote the book and soon was contacted by parents not just in Shoreline Connecticut or in nearby Connecticut suburbs but also throughout the country (and surprisingly even from some in Canada, England and Australia). Amazon has that effect!

In any event, for the last decade since the book was published, I’ve been working with teen boys in relation to motivation in high school.

My basic message has stayed the same: those that are unmotivated in high school limit their post high school choices and more importantly do not build their work character that will be vital for post high school success.  For most, the best path is college.  Those who argue otherwise have not worked with 18-22 year olds who have highly limited options outside of college.  Could college better, a better value and so forth?  Of course.  Nonetheless, for most it’s the option that takes adolescents and turns them into functioning adults.

When seeing what I called “The Lost Boys” – those who never really made the transition from high school to the adult work world – which really means they are “lost men”, 18-26 year olds who work part-time jobs or float between unemployment and low-level full time jobs, it becomes abundantly clear that their challenges did not arise recently.

Most every one was not motivated in high school.

That’s the root cause that has led to a crisis that the Wall Street Journal’s article elucidates.

We can help.

CEO, The Learning Consultants and Connecticut’s top private education consultant
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