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Choosing College: How to Make Better Learning Decisions Throughout Your Life

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Choosing College: How to Make Better Learning Decisions Throughout Your Life

Michael B. Horn, Bob Moesta

ISBN: 978-1-119-57013-4 August 2019 Jossey-Bass 304 Pages

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Description

Cut through the noise and make better college and career choices

This book is about addressing the college-choosing problem. The rankings, metrics, analytics, college visits, and advice that we use today to help us make these decisions are out of step with the progress individual students are trying to make. They don't give students and families the information and context they need to make such a high-stakes decision about whether and where to get an education. 

Choosing College strips away the noise to help you understand why you’re going to school. What's driving you? What are you trying to accomplish? Once you know why, the book will help you make better choices.

The research in this book illustrates that choosing a school is complicated. By constructing more than 200 mini-documentaries of how students chose different postsecondary educational experiences, the authors explore the motivations for how and why people make the decisions that they do at a much deeper, causal level. By the end, you’ll know why you’re going and what you’re really chasing.

The book:

  • Identifies the five different Jobs for which students hire postsecondary education
  • Allows you to see your true options for what’s next
  • Offers guidance for how to successfully choose your pathway
  • Illuminates how colleges and entrepreneurs can build better experiences for each Job

The authors help readers understand not what job students want out of college, but what "Job" students are hiring college to do for them. 

Foreword: Helping You Make Progress xvii

Part I Introduction 1

1 Is This Book for Me? 3

Ask the Right Question 3

You Could Be Struggling Because… 4

Why This Book Can Help 5

Helping You as a Student 8

Helping You as a Parent 10

Helping You as a School Professional 11

2 College Choosers Face a New, High-Stakes World 13

The College-Choosing Problem 13

A Higher Percentage of People are Going to College Than Ever Before 14

More People Apply to More Places 14

Many Don’t Know Whether to Go to College at All 16

Want a Job? Go to College! 16

Stop Stressing About Whether You’ll Get In 18

College Doesn’t Work for Many People 19

College Doesn’t Pay Off for Many People 20

Even If You Complete, It Might Not Be a Good Investment 22

There are Other Good Pathways 23

That Adds Up to a Lot of Dissatisfied People 23

It’s Not Just 18-Year-Old High School Graduates 24

The Rankings and Advice Out There Won’t Necessarily Help You 27

Don’t Leave Your Choice to Luck 28

Part II Helping Learners Make Better Choices 31

3 Help Me Get into My Best School 33

Getting In 34

Devin’s Story 36

Talikha’s Story 37

Ujana’s Story 38

Understanding the Help Me Get into My Best School Job 40

How to Be Successful When You Have This Job Arise in Your Life 44

What to Do If You are a Parent of a Child with This Job 57

What Not to Do 61

What to Do 62

4 Help Me Do What’s Expected of Me 63

Going for Others 63

Maddy’s Story 65

Trisha’s Story 67

Greg’s Story 68

Understanding the Help Me Do What’s Expected of Me Job 70

How to Be Successful When You Have This Job Arise in Your Life 73

What to Do If You are a Parent of Someone with This Job 82

What Not to Do 84

What to Do 85

5 Help Me Get Away 87

Your Escape Room 88

Naomi’s Story 88

Kyle’s Story 90

Understanding the Help Me Get Away Job 91

How to Be Successful When You Have This Job Arise in Your Life 94

What to Do If You are a Parent of a Child with This Job 102

What Not to Do 104

What to Do 106

6 Help Me Step it Up 109

Pick it Up 110

Naomi’s Story 110

Neil’s Story 111

Olivia’s Story 112

Understanding the Help Me Step it Up Job 113

How to Be Successful When You Have This Job Arise in Your Life 119

What to Do If You are a Parent of a Child with This Job 128

What Not to Do 130

What to Do 132

7 Help Me Extend Myself 135

Learning for Learning’s Sake 136

Naveena’s Story 136

Trisha’s Story 138

Karen’s Story 139

Understanding the Help Me Extend Myself Job 140

How to Be Successful When You Have This Job Arise in Your Life 144

What to Do If You are a Parent of Someone with This Job 147

What Not to Do 149

What to Do 150

8 Living Life Through the Jobs 151

Bob’s Story 151

Five Principles for Your Learning Journey 154

Part III Helping Educators Design Better Choices 161

9 Why Understanding the Job Changes What You Offer 163

Applying the Jobs to Your Job 164

Why Needs, Demographics, Categories, and Listening to Users Misleads 165

Moving from Correlation to Causation: What Job Does a Milkshake Do? 170

How Understanding the Job Changes What You Offer 173

Organizing Around a Job 176

10 How Institutions and Entrepreneurs Can Design Better Experiences 181

Wayfinding Academy’s Story 181

Comparing the Five Jobs 184

Go Beyond the Averages and Surveys 186

Help Me Get into My Best School 187

Help Me Do What’s Expected of Me 190

Help Me Get Away 192

Help Me Step it Up 196

Help Me Extend Myself 200

Why Most Colleges Must Focus 204

Part IV Conclusion 207

11 Parting Advice for Learners and Educators 209

Recommendations, Not Blueprints 209

For Students 210

For Schools and Learning Programs, Both Established and Yet to Be Created 214

Forging an Educational Marriage 223

Appendix: How to Unearth a Job 225

The Forces and Timeline That Comprise a Job to Be Done 225

How to “Watch” What People Do and “See” the Job to Be Done 230

Identify the Energy in Someone’s Decision 232

Who We Interviewed 234

How We Chose the Students We Interviewed 237

Interview, Code, and Cluster 238

Acknowledgments 243

About the Authors 251

Notes 253

Index 271