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Students Who Get Better Career Guidance Remember College More Fondly

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LA Johnson/NPR

Of all of the departments universities cultivate, career services could be the most important.

A new survey of 11,483 college graduates, for the Gallup-Purdue Index, found graduates who reported “very helpful” campus career-services experiences were 5.8 times more likely to say their university prepared them for life after college, 3.4 times more likely to recommend their school and 2.6 times more likely to donate to their alma mater than graduates who found their campus career help “not at all helpful.”

So who found career services helpful and who didn’t? Those who studied humanities were the most likely to report disappointment — 22 percent said campus career-services were not helpful. That’s compared to 4 percent of engineering students.

And in a breakdown by race, the survey found white students were the least likely to use these services — 50 percent, compared to 65 percent of black students and 64 percent of Asian students. White students were also the least likely to report the services they got were “very helpful.”

Not surprisingly, the survey found that students who have high loan debt sought out career services in big numbers. But those deeply indebted students also reported very low levels of satisfaction with the services they received.

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Education

What Former Employees Say ITT Tech Did To Scam Its Students

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Chelsea Beck/NPR

When he first moved to Miami, Waltter Teruel says, working as a recruiter for ITT Technical Institute was a welcome change from his life in New York where he had been selling antiques and life insurance.

As a recruiter, Teruel says, ITT Tech took care of the pitch to potential students for you. Recruiters used scripts set out in detailed PowerPoint presentations and got long lists of prospective students to call. But soon the welcome change faded. “Most of these students, they were looking for a job,” not more school, says Teruel.

When ITT Technical Institute closed, employees began to share tightly designed sales tools, like those PowerPoints, that offered a glimpse into the strategy that helped the company grow to more than 130 campuses across the country.

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Education

For College Students With Kids, Getting Cheap Child Care Is A Challenge

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Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Student parent.

Ever heard that term? It’s used for a student who is also a parent, and there are nearly 5 million of them in colleges around the country. That’s over a quarter of the undergraduate population, and that number has gone up by around a million since 2011.

It can be really, really expensive to be a student parent, especially if you need to pay for child care while you’re in class.

In some states, child care for an infant can cost as much as $17,062 a year, according to a report by Child Care Aware of America. Add that on to the ever-rising cost of college tuition — both private and public — and the financial strain of getting a college education becomes a huge burden for low-income parents. So much so that only a third of student parents get a degree within six years, often citing mounting debt as a reason for dropping out.

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Education

Raising A Child With Dyslexia: 3 Things Parents Can Do

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LA Johnson/NPR

A mother, who spent years coaching and encouraging her dyslexic son, recalls his childhood with one pervasive feeling: “It was really scary.”One father told me his home life was ruined. Trying to do homework with his struggling daughter, he says, felt like “a nightmare every night.” Optimism and determination would inevitably descend into tears and anxiety. The culprit: dyslexia.

Yet another mom — whose son and daughter both have dyslexia — suggests changing the definition of dyslexia: “It’s no longer a reading problem. It’s a life crisis.”

As the most common learning disability, dyslexia affects somewhere between 5 and 17 percent of the U.S. population. Its reach extends far beyond the classroom, causing stress, tension and confusion for families with a dyslexic child.

But experts and parents say there are three key things that can help.

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Education

6 Potential Brain Benefits Of Bilingual Education

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Chelsea Beck/NPR

Part of our ongoing series exploring how the U.S. can educate the nearly 5 million students who are learning English.

Brains, brains, brains. One thing we’ve learned at NPR Ed is that people are fascinated by brain research. And yet it can be hard to point to places where our education system is really making use of the latest neuroscience findings.

But there is one happy nexus where research is meeting practice: bilingual education. “In the last 20 years or so, there’s been a virtual explosion of research on bilingualism,” says Judith Kroll, a professor at the University of California, Riverside.

Again and again, researchers have found, “bilingualism is an experience that shapes our brain for a lifetime,” in the words of Gigi Luk, an associate professor at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.

At the same time, one of the hottest trends in public schooling is what’s often called dual-language or two-way immersion programs.

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Education

Texas May Be Denying Tens Of Thousands Of Children Special Education

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LA Johnson/NPR

When Rosley Espinoza’s daughter was very young, in preschool, she started acting differently. She seemed distracted and would get in trouble at school.

“Lack of interest, teachers’ notes coming home with behavior notes,” Espinoza says, speaking in Spanish.

She says she asked school officials to evaluate her daughter, Citlali, for special education, but they didn’t.

Every year, Espinoza says, Citlali’s behavior got worse. Last year, in second grade, “she stopped paying attention in class … [she was] harassing other children. On some occasions she would scream, yell.”

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