Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

November 15, 2012

Lubbers: Education attainment a priority

Promoting college success on agenda.

The Indiana Commission on Higher Education had a clear message for Howard County Wednesday night: increasing educational attainment here is an urgent priority.

“For many of us, we grew up in a time when determination and hard work gave you a good middle class life,” said Teresa Lubbers, Indiana commissioner for higher education.

People had jobs right out of high school that offered good pensions, health insurance and vacation time. Those same jobs often aren’t available today without some sort of post-secondary training, Lubbers told a group of educators gathered for a meeting Wednesday on college success.

So the state of Indiana has set a goal for 60 percent of Hoosier adults to have some sort of post-secondary degree by 2025.

That includes Howard County, Lubbers said.

Statistics show the county is ahead of the curve in terms of providing children and young adults access to college, but students here don’t always follow through.

According to statistics provided by the Indiana Commission on Higher Education, 89 percent of Howard County students graduate from high school, and 47 percent go on to study at a public college or university, Both of those figures are higher than the state average.

Once those students get to college, though, 35 percent of them need some sort of remediation. Statewide, only 31 percent of college students need remediation.

What’s more, only 27.2 percent of Howard County students graduate with a bachelor’s degree on time. The state’s average is 31.5 percent.

Howard County’s Career Success Coalition is trying to change that.

Lubbers said 32 local businesses and organizations have joined forces to host activities that promote post-secondary success.

The group has hosted 56 different college-related activities since its inception earlier this year.

“We’ve been thrilled with what we’ve seen,” Lubbers said.

But there’s still work to do. Educators voiced their continuing concerns.

Southeastern School Corp. Superintendent John Bevan said kids have no idea how much college costs. That became apparent when he sat on several scholarship committees and read scholarship applications last year, he said.

Lubbers said that’s a problem statewide.

“We need to do a better job of connecting with students, so they don’t wake up all of a sudden in the second semester of their junior year and think they still have time,” Lubbers said. “They don’t.”

She said the commission on higher education has made a concerted effort to reach out to students as young as first and second grade to talk about college and its costs.

Marilyn Skinner, Director of the Center for Early Childhood Education at Indiana University Kokomo, said there needs to be more of a focus on reaching students sooner here.

“The state has got to look at preschool,” she said. “Students come into kindergarten behind. [Some] children come in and don’t even know how to hold a book.”

Kindergarten curriculum becomes more advanced every year, Skinner said. Parents need to know what they can do to prepare their students, she said.

Lubbers said that’s a concern she thinks the state is taking a closer look at.

“If we’re going to close the achievement gap, we have to look at early childhood education,” Lubbers said.

For Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region Chancellor Steve Daily, student debt is the real concern right now.

“We’ve got to get control of the debt problem,” he said. “People are abusing the loan system. They borrow money they don’t have to borrow.”

Lubbers said that is certainly a “huge” issue today. She said with rising college costs, families are beginning to wonder if college is even worth it anymore.

College is still worth it, she said.

“You just have to be smart about it,” she said.

Parents should start talking about and planning for college when their kids are in preschool, educators advised.

Lubbers said Indiana and Howard County are on the right track to fix some of those problems. The real changes are going to be made at the local level.

“The hard work to move those numbers will be done at schools and at colleges and universities,” she said.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • tornadodamage34-20-04.jpg Kokomo Skating Arena: 10 years gone

    If you drive past the intersection of East Morgan and North Ohio streets these days you’ll see some trees, a parking lot and a Dollar General store. What you won’t see is the Kokomo Skating Arena, a landmark which stood on this corner for decades until a tornado caved the roof in April 20, 2004. Those who knew it well said they won’t soon forget it.

    April 20, 2014 6 Photos

  • Question Time: Name a baby (or babies) today

    “Imagine you’re having a baby (or babies) today. What would you name it (or them) and why? (You can give answers for a girl, a boy or both; and any combination for twins, triplets, etc.)”

    April 20, 2014

  • 400SUnion.jpg Counties move forward with flood mitigation one year later

    One by one, properties were bulldozed from the neighborhood between Carter and Murden streets in downtown Kokomo, physically erasing evidence of residential flooding in an area long prone to it.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Flooded area - E Murden 01 Jaimz family seeks closure after losing everything Ashley Jaimz and her sister, Amanda Urbina, took a drive through the Cedar Crest neighborhood the other day to view how residents were faring in the wake of a Nov. 17 tornado. The drive was intended to provide some closure to Jaimz, who is still stru

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - FEMA 03 Kokomo resident whose basement collapsed during flood repairs own home

    Walter Raderstorf can still remember sitting in his living room inside his home on West Park Avenue, realizing he had escaped a brush with death. “I was in the basement carrying stuff up and I came in here and sat down,” he said. “It wasn’t 30 second

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Late Kokomo teacher dedicates estate to foundation Longtime Kokomo School Corp. teacher Holly Kirkpatrick will continue to have a positive impact on students thanks to a $38,000 donation from her estate to the Kokomo Public Schools Education Foundation. Kirkpatrick died in November 2012 after teachin

    April 20, 2014

  • flood anniversary Thomas family ready to move on after flood In the Thomas household, few things take precedent over baseball. You’d be hard-pressed to find a couple more dedicated to youth baseball in Kokomo — or anywhere else for that matter — than Michael and Lashanda Thomas, who have passed that love of th

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • EasterEgg hunt 10 'Controlled chaos' at city's Easter egg hunt With buckets and Easter baskets in hand, hundreds of kids 10 years old and younger packed Kokomo's Northwest Park Saturday to see who could grab up the most Easter eggs. Organizers split the kids up in three age groups, 0 to 3, 4 to 6 and 7 to 10, wi

    April 20, 2014 4 Photos

  • NWS-FloodFollowDay2-15.jpg April flood brought people together to bail out community

    [Editor’s note: On April 19, 2013, a record flood hit Howard and Tipton counties. Today, we look at some of the financial aspects of the flood. In Sunday’s edition, look for stories about people who were affected, what has changed in the floodplains and how the communities are moving forward.]

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS-KT041914-TwoinjuredinMiamiCocrash-CLG-pic.jpeg Two injured in Miami County crash

    PERU — Two people were injured Thursday afternoon in a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of U.S. 24 and Ind. 19.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries