Why Millions of Americans Never Finish College

How can millions of Americans be out of work or stuck in low-wage jobs, while employers leave millions of jobs unfilled each year? A big reason is the nation’s college completion crisis—something that is just beginning to get the national attention it deserves. In fact, less than half of America’s college students ever graduate. And the numbers are worse at community colleges, which are the primary providers of education and training for the 29 million middle-skill jobs that pay middle-class wages.

This isn’t only a problem for the individuals who don’t graduate. It’s a problem for all of us. Without decent jobs with decent pay, people remain trapped in poverty, income inequality persists, and the American promise of opportunity for all can’t be fulfilled.

Well-paying jobs that require only a high school diploma have largely disappeared as automation and globalization continue to transform the economy. By 2020, 65 percent of jobs will require at least some postsecondary education. Community colleges serve close to half of all American students, enrolling 10 million students each year, but just under 20 percent earn an associate’s degree within three years.

Dismal as these numbers are, they don’t reflect the full extent of the problem, since the statistics exclude students enrolled part-time and those who “stop out”—take a break from school to work or care for family and later return to college. There is anecdotal evidence that completion rates for these students are even lower. This means that a large swath of America’s potential workforce isn’t getting the education and training they need to support themselves and their families and climb into the middle class.

There are two central reasons that students don’t complete college, and they typically operate in tandem: inadequate preparation and difficulty navigating college.

High school graduates from high-poverty areas are generally not well prepared for college-level work, so they get assigned to “developmental” (remedial) courses in math and English. Working adults who enroll in community college in an effort to advance their careers face similar hurdles, as their academic skills are typically rusty.

Students may be required to take anywhere from one to three developmental courses, which must be taken sequentially and don’t confer college credit. The delay costs students both time and money—developmental courses use up financial aid, which has a lifetime limit, and don’t count toward a degree—and produces frustration and discouragement. Seventy percent of students assigned to developmental courses never complete college.

The second reason students don’t earn a degree is the difficulty of combining college with other commitments or navigating the higher education system. Close to two-thirds of community college students work to support themselves and their families while in school, and they may be facing homelessness and hunger. Many are single parents, and more than a third are the first in their families to attend college—both factors that can pose major obstacles to graduation.

Because many community college students have had little prior exposure to higher education, they often struggle with all the moving parts that go into completing college successfully: choosing courses that lead to a degree, applying for financial aid, obtaining tutoring or other academic supports, and balancing work and school.

This is not a new problem; it’s been on the radar of educators and policymakers for decades. Our organization, Jobs for the Future (JFF), and its partners have developed some solutions to improve college completion rates nationwide:

Redesigning remedial education

New approaches aim to shorten the time a student spends doing remedial work and make that work relevant to the student’s career goals. Whenever possible, developmental education courses become credit-bearing, speeding the student’s progress toward a degree.

Colleges are also looking for more effective ways to measure academic readiness. Instead of relying on standardized test scores to determine which students need remediation, colleges are using multiple measures, including high school transcripts, teacher evaluations, and conversations between students and advisors.

JFF has worked with Florida, West Virginia, Ohio, and other states to lead a national movement to reform developmental education.

Guided pathways through college

A course catalogue is not unlike an all-you-can-eat buffet: It presents students with a dizzying array of appealing options but provides little guidance on choosing the right courses, in the right order. With only minimal advising available, college students frequently make poor choices and end up with a disjointed collection of credits instead of a degree or the right credits to transfer to a four-year school.

The solution, called “guided pathways,” is like a prix fixe menu. The universe of choices is narrowed and organized into sequences that help a student get and stay on a path to completing a certificate or degree. Guided pathways also include intensive advising and other supports to help students navigate all aspects of college life. JFF provides expertise to institutions and policymakers to promote policies and programs that support guided pathways.

Early college high school

Early college high school prepares low-income students academically and gives them the knowledge and confidence they need to navigate college. Students in these programs take college courses, for credit, in high school, so they reach college academically prepared instead of requiring remediation. Extensive support from teachers and counselors, and lots of exposure to college campuses, culture, and expectations, gives even the most vulnerable students an opportunity to complete college.

Most students (94 percent) in these programs graduate from high school with some college credit, and a third earn an associate’s degree by graduation, allowing them to enroll directly in a four-year college. JFF and our partners have helped start or redesign more than 280 early college schools that currently serve more than 80,000 students nationwide.

Developing these solutions requires a great deal of thoughtful, collaborative effort. Each has taken years—often decades—to develop, and all are works in progress that require significant investment to sustain. Improving college completion rates is slow and costly, but the cost of leaving large swaths of the population behind is far higher.

Circus Sarasota Presents “Ovation” 2018

University Town Center

140 University Town Center Dr

SarasotaFL 34243

February 9, 2018


March 4, 2018

Circus Sarasota boasts an impressive roster of international artists pushing human boundaries and leaving audiences awestruck. This year’s performance, titled Ovation, honors the 250th anniversary of the circus arts, its legacy and those who have impacted the artform. Included in an international lineup of all-stars are Ukranian quick change masters the Smirnovs, unbelievable hand balancers Duo KVAS, and French juggling master Kris Kremo. Also featured in the world class performances are the tempting tricks of the Juju tight wire act, Sylvia Zerbini and her masterful horses, AJ Silver and his laser-sharp lasso act, Italian clown Luigi Folco and the extraordinary talents of The Flying Cortes family.

Don’t wait! Get your tickets NOW – because this show will sell out!

All Opening Weekend Tickets 20% Off – Sponsored by ABC7!

TO PICK UP YOUR TICKETS: All tickets are held at the Box Office. Please present your confirmation email, or identification to the Box Office, located at the Big Top at the southeast corner of the UTC mall parking lot, across from Dillards.

BIG TOP OPENS 1 HOUR PRIOR TO SHOW – Please allow at least 45 minutes for parking and to pick up tickets at WILL CALL (at the BOX OFFICE) prior to the show.

SAVE TIME! Purchase your tickets ahead of time Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Circus Box Office, 2075 Bahia Vista St. 34239. Beginning Monday, January 22, Big Top Box Office hours: Monday – Friday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. – 140 University Town Center Dr. 34243 Beginning February 9 – March 4th, the Big Top Box Office will be open 7 days a week, from 10:00 a.m. until one half hour after last show begins.

PARKING AT THE BIG TOP: $5.00 per car, which benefits the following non-profit organizations Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates (SANCA) and Boy Scout Troop 10 – Disability parking available with permit.



If you have any questions please contact the Box Office at (941) 355-9805.

All sales are final, no refunds or exchanges.

All performances given, RAIN OR SHINE!

Two Cups of Coffee Can Reduce the Risk of Liver Disease, Study Finds

Here’s some good news for those who enjoy a coffee: scientists have managed to link regular consumption of it to a reduced risk of liver cirrhosis. Having two cups of coffee a day appears to reduce the chances of developing the disease by 44 percent, based on data from 430,000 individuals spread over nine studies.

“Cirrhosis is potentially fatal, and there is no cure as such,” lead researcher Oliver Kennedy from the University of Southampton in the UK told The Washington Post. “Therefore, it is significant that the risk of developing cirrhosis may be reduced by consumption of coffee, a cheap, ubiquitous, and well-tolerated beverage.”

The researchers analysed five cohort studies and four case-control studies involving 1,990 cases and 432,133 participants, and found that in eight of the nine studies, the risk of cirrhosis continued to decline as the number of cups consumed continued to rise, leading them to conclude that increasing coffee consumption may sub-stantially reduce the risk of cirrhosis. The team wasn’t able to distinguish between different types of coffee or brewing methods.

Cirrhosis is estimated to cause the death of around 1 million people every year, and can be caused by excessive alcohol consumption, hepatitis infections, immune disorders, and fatty liver disease (linked to obesity and diabetes).

Despite containing compounds that offer antioxidant effects and anti-inflammatory properties, coffee cannot reverse the “systematic damage” of lifestyle choices that tend to bring on cirrhosis, according to New York University senior clinical nutritionist Samantha Heller, who wasn’t involved in the study.

In other words, if you’re drinking too heavily, don’t expect a couple of cups of coffee to save your body from the punishing effects. However, it does appear that coffee offers some protection against the onset of the cirrhosis of the liver.

“This could be an important finding for patients at risk of cirrhosis to help to improve their health outcomes,” said Oliver Kennedy in a press release. “However, we now need robust clinical trials to investigate the wider benefits and harms of coffee so that doctors can make specific recommendations to patients.”

Few drinks attract as much attention as coffee from scientists. The hot beverage has previously been found to affect our circadian rhythms, lower the risk of skin cancer, and reduce the risk of developing diabetes. If you want to know all of the ways that the caffeine plays around with your body, consult this infographic.

The findings have been published in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

Sarasota County Sports Commission

Whatever your sport, play it here.

arasota County is a great place for sports – not only for our great year-round weather, but also for the numerous amenities our community has to offer. Some of our best sporting venues include our many Sarasota County Parks, Ed Smith Stadium, Sarasota Polo Grounds and Siesta Key Beach. While we’re renowned for our beaches, we also boast an active sports community.

Have questions? We can help.

Sarah Thomas | Sports Sales Manager
941-955-0991 ext. 116



From Visit Sarasota



While developing a video to tell the Key Chorale story Artistic Director Joseph Caulkins was asked, “What makes the Chorale unique?” His goal was to express, in just a few minutes, the various ways the Chorale impacts our community, the singers, youth and the larger community of choral music.

As Joseph considered Key Chorale’s programming that honors the history of great choral music, presents world premieres, includes guest artists, collaborates with other performing arts organizations and provides opportunities to area high school students, he found the answer in four words: innovation, community, collaboration and creativity.

We invite you to view this wonderful video produced by the HuB and learn more about Key Chorale.


Stop Eating These Foods Before Bed

There are plenty of things that you can snack on before bed to achieve a more restful sleep, but what about the things you’re munching on in the evening that are sabotaging your night? The fact is, just like there are foods that can help you sleep better, there are conversely those will throw off your sleep if you enjoy them a little too close to bedtime (ugh, as if we really needed one more potential sleep deterrent in our lives). Make sure that you’re not destroying your sleep with your right-before-bed diet by steering clear of these sleep-sabotaging eats before hitting the hay.

Fatty Foods

We’re as partial to the idea of late night fries or ice cream as the next person, but the unfortunate reality is that indulging in high-fat foods too close to bedtime can seriously wreak havoc on your sleep cycle. This is because your body isn’t particularly great at digesting fat quickly, and so you’ll likely suffer from wakefulness or, at the very least, poor quality rest as your body remains active in order to digest everything.

Sugary Cereal

Unlike fatty foods that take too long to digest, sugar-ridden cereal poses the opposite effect: it digests pretty quickly. Good, right? Not really. While your body might not be kept awake by the need to digest your food, you will experience a significant spike in your blood sugar, which in turn can seriously throw off your sleep hormones.

Spicy Foods

We’re not ones to turn down a little heat in our meals, but when it comes to picking things to snack on right before bed, you’ll want to avoid anything too spicy. This is because in addition to firing up your tastebuds, spicy foods can cause serious stomach irritation, which in turn makes it tougher for you to doze off. And this is especially true if you’re someone that’s already pretty prone to heartburn. Moral of the story: save the habaneros for lunch.

Fruit Juice

Obviously, drinking too much before bed – fruit juice or otherwise – isn’t the best idea since it will likely mean having to make a couple trips to the bathroom, all of which will disturb your sleep. But fruit juice specifically – especially varieties like orange juice or grapefruit juice – tend to be pretty acidic, which can lead to heartburn or disrupt your body if you suffer from reflux. Fruit juice is also high in sugar without the benefit of being rich in fiber, as is the case with a lot of fruits themselves. That means that while an apple, for example, gives you a lot of sugar, its fiber also helps you digest that sugar faster. Fruit juice, on the other hand, has no fiber to help control the release of insulin, which ultimately makes your blood sugar spike.


Everybody likes a little nightcap at the end of a long day, but knowing that your pre-bed booze could be throwing of your sleep might make you rethink the evening habit. The problem with sipping on something like red wine before bed is that many people make the mistake of thinking it’s a safe bet because it actually makes you a little bit sleepy. And sure, wine has the power to make you want to doze off in the short term. But alcohol can actually cause disturbances during the second half of sleep, meaning that it may cut into your deeper, REM rest, which your body needs to recover from the day.


11 Ways to Make Your Cruise Ship Cabin Feel Bigger

Who says interior designers are the only ones capable of making a small room feel bigger? With cruise ship cabins being significantly smaller than hotel rooms, avid cruisers have got making the most of the space they’re given down to a science. With a little ingenuity, anyone going on a cruise can work wonders in their own cabin.

To put cabin size into perspective, Carnival’s standard inside cabins start at 185 square feet, which is slightly higher than the industry standard. Meanwhile, the average U.S. hotel room is roughly 330 square feet. So cruisers who want to maximize space need to get creative.

From adding your own storage space to bringing in ocean views, we’ve compiled a list of ways to make your cruise ship cabin feel bigger that even the least crafty cruisers can accomplish. Eat your heart out, HGTV.

1. Don’t overpack.

How many times have you packed outfits, shoes or accessories only to realize at the end of your cruise that they were a waste of space, because you never used any of them? Nothing makes your cruise ship cabin feel smaller than unnecessary clutter that inevitably ends up scattered all over the place. Simplify your packing routine by avoiding an excessively large suitcase (less than 28 inches is ideal), and packing smarter — such as rolling your clothes and bringing one layer you can wear repeatedly.

Discover more tips on how not to overpack for your cruise.

The Interior Cabin on Celebrity Silhouette

2. Look for “hidden” storage space …

When it comes to cruise ship cabins, storage can be found where you least expect it. On Disney Cruise Line ships, for example, cabins feature ottomans that open to provide additional storage space. Some Royal Caribbean ship cabins have secret compartments behind the vanity mirrors. And don’t forget there’s always room underneath the bed. The more, loose items you can get out of the way, the bigger your cabin will feel.

Who knew? We reveal secrets the cruise lines don’t tell you.

3. … Or make your own.

Now that your overpacking days are over, you’ll have more room in your suitcase for items that help you eliminate clutter — ultimately making your cabin feel bigger. Seasoned cruisers swear by travel organizers like over-the-door shoe bags and hanging shower caddies. They’re foldable and lightweight (thus easy to pack) and keep all your shoes, accessories and toiletries in one place.

Unleash your inner interior designer with these seven cruise cabin hacks.

4. Remove small furniture.

While most cruise cabin furniture is either too large or too heavy to move or is bolted to the ground and thus can’t be removed, some smaller pieces can be taken out of your cabin to create more space. On embarkation day, ask your steward if it’s possible to take out a stool or even the throw pillows. Don’t try to move anything yourself.

Surprise! Here are nine things you don’t know about your cruise ship cabin.

5. Keep your cabin tidy.

By no means are you expected to clean on your vacation, but you also shouldn’t leave your cabin looking like a laundry bomb exploded. Hang clothes in the closet, and use your suitcase as a drawer for additional items — then slide it under your bed. This makes it easier for your cabin steward to clean and make everything look pristine.

6. Take advantage of the walls.

Don’t forget to pack those magnets! The majority of cruise ship cabins are metal, even though they might not look it. Instead of leaving your daily planners and cocktail party invites all over the desk and nightstands, consider hanging them up on the walls — perhaps near the door, so you can take a peek at the day’s activities on your way out.

7. Move the beds.

Cruise ship cabin layouts are already designed to maximize space and efficiency. But depending on your ship, you might be able to have the bed moved to create more room in a desired area — as long as it’s not blocking a door or walkway. Additionally, beds can be configured to two twins or one queen or king (depending on room category), to tailor the layout to your liking.

The Outside Cabin on Noordam

8. Utilize natural light.

Natural light is an interior designer’s best friend. It can make any small space feel bigger by brightening up dark corners and crevices. If you’re staying in an ocean-view or balcony cabin, keep the curtains open while you’re inside so the room doesn’t feel so dark and cocoonlike. Just remember to close them if you plan to hop in the shower — especially on port days. The last thing you want to do is moon someone on the ship docked next to you.

9. Turn on your TV.

Ocean views, whether from a balcony or through a window, can make any cruise ship cabin feel bigger. But not every cabin comes with a view. On the bright side (no pun intended), most cruise ship TV programming includes a bridge and/or bow cam station. If you’re staying in an inside cabin, set your TV to the captain’s view to give your cabin a roomier feel.

10. Choose the right cabin.

If not having enough space is a deal breaker for you, make sure to pick a cabin that suits your needs before booking. Cruise ship rooms vary in size, even within the same category. Check to see if there are special inside cabins with higher square footage, consider an accessible cabin (though be prepared to give it up if you’re not disabled but someone who is needs it) or look for a “hump” cabin, which offers significantly more balcony space thanks to its unique location. Check out our roundup of 14 unusual cruise ship balcony cabins to see if there’s a layout that piques your interest.

11. Book a guarantee cabin.

Another planning strategy to (potentially) land more space is to book a guarantee cabin. Contrary to traditional booking, in which you instantly receive a cabin number, a guarantee cabin is unassigned — it can be anywhere on the ship, in the category you choose, but you won’t know the exact room until closer to your sailing. The plus is that lines offer these cabins at a lower fare andthere’s also the tempting possibility of an upgrade at no extra charge. On the flip side, if the ship fills up, you could get stuck in a cabin that’s on the lower end of the category spectrum and thus smaller than you anticipated (since cabins within the same category tend to range in size).

5 Yoga Poses to Help You Sleep Better Tonight

While a busy day may likely have you dreaming of bedtime, you might find yourself struggling to actually doze off once you finally get in bed. Although it might seem counterintuitive to get out of bed and get moving, the perfect fix to unwanted restlessness could be a bit of restorative yoga.

Performing the following 5-pose yoga sequence before bed and holding each pose for about 2-5 minutes can help your body unwind, de-stress and ultimately achieve a restful sleep.

Standing Forward Bend Pose

To perform Standing Forward Bend pose, or Uttanasana, stand with your feet several inches apart and gently reach down towards your toes. If necessary, you can bend your knees while reaching down to make the pose more comfortable. The key here is to feel a release of tension in your back, legs and hips. Performed properly, this pose will have a calming effect on the brain, alleviating stress and helping you relax.

Child’s Pose

Moving onto Child’s Pose, or Balasana, gently kneel on the floor and sit on your heels. Keeping your feet together but spreading your knees hip width apart, slowly bend your torso forward to rest it along your thighs. Extend your arms forward as you rest your forehead on the ground and release tension throughout the body.

Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose

The Legs-Up-the-Wall pose, or Viparita Karani, is pretty much what it sounds like. With your back on the floor, slowly lift your legs and rest them vertically along the wall. The pose improves circulation by allowing the blood to travel down through your legs and make its way back to your heart. That, in turn, has an overall soothing effect on your body. 

Happy Baby Pose

Keeping your back on the floor, gently pull in your knees to transition into a Happy Baby Pose, or Ananda Balasana. Reach out your hands to grab the outside of your feet, and then gently open your knees wider than your torso while pushing feet towards the ceiling. As you push your feet upwards, create resistance by pulling back down on them with your hands. Breathe deeply while holding the pose to release tension and relax the body.

Corpse Pose

To complete the sequence, gently release your legs and extend them on the ground. Lying with your hands by your side and your body stretched out along the floor, hold the Corpse Pose, or Savasana, for several minutes as you clear your mind and focus your attention on breathing and overcome what’s left of your restlessness.


Properly Deal With Nervousness

Anxiety can be a really big nuisance, specially when you are already pressured with maintaining up with everything else you have to offer with in existence. If you feel your life could use some aid from nervousness then this article and the tips within can support. There is a way to get rid of anxiety, you just have to know how.

Appropriate respiration is crucial to reducing sudden feelings of anxiety. Employing a rely to manage your respiratory can be an effective way to decrease nervous inner thoughts. Choose a depend, this sort of as 3 in, and 3 out. Repeat this sample, right up until the thoughts of nervousness have fixed, and passed.

Anxiousness is detrimental to your well being and your normal overall health schedule need to usually contain methods to decrease your everyday dose of nervous feelings. Established aside a couple of minutes each day that can be used to consider care of your very own nicely-becoming. The emphasis of this time should be undertaking one thing that gives you joy.

Remove unfavorable vocabulary from your speech. Just making use of unfavorable words, can deliver you down and when you truly feel down, you are a lot more probably to have an anxiousness assault. Change individuals negative words with words of encouragement or simple constructive phrases. Use them in your conversations, as properly as, your inner chatter.

Being energetic with exercise of some sort will aid to melt away off energy that your physique would set to use to feed your stress. Get out for a walk, consider a swim or just take up aerobics or yoga for optimistic bodily exercise. Anything that will really feel very good as you do it and burn strength is heading to help alleviate your anxiety.

You want to locate someone you can speak to about every thing. You will be in a position to speak via your inner thoughts of anxiety with this man or woman. Obtaining a person you have confidence in to confide in can really make a large variation. When you lock these thoughts inside, you boost the possibilities of an stress attack.

Keep oneself as occupied as achievable at all instances. When you have down time, it will be less complicated for your head to emphasis on unfavorable things and will, as a result, gas anxiousness. Begin your working day out by cleaning the residence, working in the backyard, looking through a book or undertaking some other action that you appreciate.

Physical exercise is one of the very best factors that you can do to help eradicate any anxiety that you come to feel. When you exercising, your human body flushes out all of the toxic compounds from the within out, which can boost your physique functionality. Exercise at minimum a single hour for every working day to increase the way that you come to feel.

1 of the biggest triggers for anxiousness is caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant. Not only does it encourage your body, but it also stimulate pressure hormones as effectively. If you want to get rid of nervousness from your existence, you need to have to begin with the removal of all caffeine from your diet plan.

You need to try out to add some deep respiration strategies to your daily routine, if you are struggling from feelings of stress. If you breathe from the diaphragm, it brings oxygen to your blood and that will assist you to unwind appropriate absent. Any time that you come to feel overwhelmed, you must just take a moment to do this.

When you are obtaining an stress assault, it is a very good idea to splash your confront with chilly water. Many men and women have read this, but they may possibly not do it simply because they believe that it is not going to actually support them. Actually, it causes what is acknowledged as a dive reflex, and it sends a concept to your brain to explain to your physique to gradual down.

Physical exercise is a excellent way to decrease your anxiousness. When you function up a sweat at the health club or outdoors you just come to feel much better about oneself. The more you get in shape, the less stress you happen to be susceptible to have as well. Check with with a physician to see if your entire body can get some exercise, and then, get to it.

At instances you will find oneself in various positions for the duration of a stress attack. If you have an nervousness assault, do whatever you can do in buy to preserve you distracted. Rely down from 100, do math troubles in your head, talk about good occasions you’ve experienced lately, and anything at all else that you can believe of that could distract you in a positive method.

What is the 1 thing that will eventually preserve anxiousness absent from you for excellent? When you suffer from stress, laughter or a smile can make a big big difference in your working day. Get a search all around and locate all these things that you can be grateful and cheerful to have in your daily life. When you are in the midst of an anxiousness attack, feel of something funny, this kind of as a joke or circumstance.

Rite Pharmacy reviews Do not strategy life or problems as a black-or-white circumstance. The entire world is awash with shades of gray. When you comprehend that the worst-scenario situation is not the only end result for a problem, you can comprehend that you have options to resolve the problem. Management your contemplating by not working in absolutes.

A great deal of men and women that are shy deal with anxiousness. Standard bodily exertion and deep respiration tactics may possibly be effective in aiding men and women deal with stress in a healthier way.

Make positive to get eight hrs of rest every night time if you happen to be vulnerable to nervousness attacks. Lack of sleep is a massive trigger of generating people anxious, make confident you get ample rest every day. When you don’t get ample slumber, it is even possible for your anxieties to trigger actual physical discomfort. You need to purpose for at minimum 7 hours of slumber each night.

Anxiety isn’t going to have to bug you day and night anymore, you can be by yourself once again and target on a lot more important items in life rather then managing your anxiousness. You now have the knowledge to get rid of stress in your existence, just remain sturdy and apply what you’ve got discovered right now and the stress will depart, but only if you want it to.

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