WASHINGTON -- Jim comes to college with big academic ambitions, struggles with his grades as he balances course work with basketball and a social life, but emerges having found a career path that flows from his interest in sports.
Yasmin, a high school overachiever like many of her peers of South Asian descent, gets A's and B's but feels like her grades aren't good, values social relationships over her mostly "boring" courses, and seems to relish her academic work only at the point (in her junior year) when she sees it as linked to her to her personal and family life.
Contradictions abound in the world of incoming community college students.
Most say they feel welcome at their institutions, but few receive information during orientation that is critical to their success. Most say they have the motivation and skills it takes to succeed, but these same students quickly adopt behaviors that are detrimental to their performance in the classroom. Most meet with academic advisers, but they do not always outline their academic goals and develop plans to accomplish them during these meetings.