Thursday, August 25, 2022
French universities allow any student who graduates from their equivalent of high school to pursue higher education, but only those who survive the exams will graduate. Legal studies commence during the equivalent of our undergraduate studies, and a very large proportion of law students fail or drop out within the first two years, steering them to other disciplines.
In contrast, law schools in the United States use the admission process as the main gatekeeper. Having worked assiduously to admit the best possible entering class, they seek to promote the success of every admitted student. Most students who initially struggle can succeed in the study and practice of law, but law schools can minimize attrition by investing in robust support services. Even those students who depart to pursue other studies and careers can do so knowing that their law school gave them every opportunity to succeed.
While presenting on panels at the January 2022 AALS Annual Meeting, I was impressed with the diversity in designs of several academic success programs. They all represented serious investment in academic success, but approached it in very different ways. It struck me that all those working in ASP would benefit if we shared program designs, perhaps leading to borrowing good ideas from othrs. To promote these goals, I join with several fellow ASP Directors to issue the following calls to action:
- To illustrate diversity in approaches to academic success programs, we call for descriptions of successful programs, all reflecting substantial investment in academic success, but employing resources in different ways, thus illustrating diversity in design.
- To start the ball rolling, Charles Calleros describes the ASP program at ASU, which he directed for four years, Spring 2019 through Summer 2022. His essay is posted on the ASU Dropbox here. In future weeks, look for descriptions of ASP programs at other schools from Jacquelyn Rogers (Southwestern), Dena Sonbol (Mitchell Hamline), and Louis Schulz (FIU). Please share descriptions of your programs, either in comments to one of these posts or in blog posts submitted to Scott Johns at firstname.lastname@example.org. Indeed, if your school falls short of adequate investment in ASP, feel free to share the obstacles you face and to elicit advice for overcoming those obstacles.
- Charles Calleros (ASU) - Guest Post