Creating a Pervasive Culture of Educational Success

Today all young people need to be “college-bound.”  This could include a union apprenticeship, 2 or 4 year college degree, certificate, or anything that will improve marketability.   With so many affordable education options, financial aid, and support services, there’s no good financial excuse why every young person shouldn’t be able to do it.

Over the course of a lifetime, a 4 year college degree earns almost $1 million more than just a high school degree.  Yet only 44% of Indiana 9th graders enter college, and only 22% complete a degree within 6 years.   Our own MCCSC graduation rate is only 79.4%, which proves that too many children and families are obviously not hearing the message.

School is an important touchpoint, but if we rely on it to be the only one, we will continue to be disappointed.   Children and families need to sense a pervasive college-going expectation throughout the community that all young people will stay on-track for graduation and continue their education after high school.  They need to feel it at work, at church, at home, at the mall, and at the bowling alley.  Anyone can deliver it, including co-workers, bosses, relatives, and volunteers.    Here are some ways your company can play a role:

  • Say positive things to your employees about education, especially high schoolers or parents of school-aged children.
  • Be sure you and your staff are friendly with young customers.  Look for ways to start conversations about postsecondary plans.
  • Encourage your employees and customers to take advantage of online resources like and

In business, word-of-mouth advertising is the best form of promotion.  Promoting the value of education is no different.  Look around.  What other roles can you play to encourage educational success in the people you come in contact with?