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The statistics are a total surprise to most: 45 percent of postsecondary school students did not enroll directly out of high school. Many are part-time students, people who are returning to school after life intervened, or otherwise nontraditional” learners—and this segment is growing. Back to School is the first book to look at this population of second chancers,” in a work thatMake magazine calls optimistic yet simultaneously realistic.” Written in the anecdotal style of his bestselling Possible Lives, veteran educator Mike Rose paints a vivid picture of the community colleges and adult education programs that give millions of Americans a shot at reaching their aspirations. Chapters treat topics from remedial education and bridging the academic-vocational divide to the economic and social benefits of returning to school, the importance of second-chance education for democracy, and the college-for-all debate. Throughout, Rose combines what Education Digest calls rich and moving vignettes of people in tough circumstances who find their way” with whatPublishers Weekly calls highly practical areas for improvement in higher ed., such as orientation programs, occupational schools, physical campus layouts, and pedagogical training for new teachers.” The result is a book Tavis Smiley says examines the role of nontraditional college students and the pivotal role they have in shaping the economy's future.”
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