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Summary “Welcoming a New Generation” Essay

The article “Welcoming a New Generation to College: The Millennial Students,” by Elam, Stratton, and Gibson (2007) describes an overview of the current generation of pre-college and college age students, and furthermore provides their unique qualities and challenges to study. Beginning with a summary of the topic and then continuing about the history of the generations’ developments, including the G.I. generation, the Silent generation, the Boom generation, and the Generation X in the fields of behavior, focused on studying and learning, the article describes the positive and negative results of the Millennial Generation. It is stated that the most recent generation to enroll in colleges is the Millennial Generation. These youths and their process of growing up with a large focus on positive qualities are described, yet included are the challenges of the new generation on teachers, counselors, and administrators at high schools and colleges, also due to the effects of the students’ closeness to their parents. The Millennial Parents and their detailed active support to the students play an immense role in the children’s educational experience, according to the article.

The process of communicating with the parents is described, focused on admission strategies, which are considered important by the authors of the article. It is stated that parents expect to be involved in all administrative processes, including the rights to children’s education records. Furthermore, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a federal law, is described which transfers to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 years. The article then defines the actual term “Millennial Students” in order to describe positive and negative results of the generation. In the article, Millennial Students are then defined according to Howe and Strauss (2000) as (1) conventionally motivated, (2) structured rule followers, (3) protected and sheltered, (4) cooperative and team oriented, and (5) talented achievers (Elam, Stratton, and Gibson, 2007, p. 25). Following this, each definition is exactly and carefully described and finally, the students are characterized as confident and optimistic regarding their futures, still concluding that not all students are successful.

This last point is defined as being very relevant: Students, as well as parents, may be quick to claim unfairness especially when dealing with admission counselors. It is hence asked from counselors to “nurture their “can-do” attitudes, civic-minded proclivities and empathic concerns in hopes they may ultimately lead to large-scale societal improvements.” (Elam, Stratton, and Gibson, 2007, p. 25) The consequence is that universities and colleges reconsider strategies to enlist students from various qualifications. It is stated that further research in secondary and post-secondary education is required regarding goals of this generation. The authors conclude that the generation requires influence teaching, learning, and career guidance at high school and collegiate levels, which officers may wish to review and value efforts to support relationships with Millennial Students and their parents. Closing this article, it is suggested that all depends on those counseling and advising the students to ensure they fulfill their education toward their goal of self-fulfillment and as direct and accessible as possible.

Elam, C., Stratton, T., & Gibson, D. (2007, Spring). Welcoming a new generation to college: The Millennial students. Journal of College Admission,195, 20-25. Retrieved from http://www.nacac.com

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