Generating Educational Success
Pathways to Understanding Ones Educational Career And
Uncovering the Potentials That Will Get Students to Graduation And Beyond
By Dr. Robert J. Flower, Ph.D.

July 2015-
High School teachers tell us time and again that many of their graduating students are not ready for college work. Traditionally, this has meant that high school seniors lack the academic soundness and the college preparatory blueprint to succeed in an environment of higher learning.

Colleges today are forced to offer noncredit remedial courses, in subjects such as English and math to bring a student’s level of academic knowledge to where it must be in order to progress to higher level course work. This may not have been the case historically, since the rightful expectation of admissions directors was to enroll students who had met the standard for acceptance and were able to handle the necessary coursework and the adult responsibility.

The following data is reprinted from the ACT College Readiness Report, which demonstrates the need for colleges to address retention rates.

Retention Trends: Freshman to Sophomore Year, 1983 - 2014

Two-year public--Highest% 55.7(’10), Lowest% 51.3(’04), Current% 54.9
BA/BS public--Highest% 70.0(’04), Lowest% 64.2(’14), Current% 64.2
MA/MS public--Highest% 71.6(’06), Lowest% 68.1(’89), Current% 68.4
PhD public--Highest% 78.6(’10), Lowest% 72.9(’08), Current% 77.9
Two-year private--Highest% 72.6(’92), Lowest% 55.5(’08,’12), Current% 64.3
BA/BS private-- Highest 74.0(’89), Lowest% 67.3(’10,’12,’13), Current% 69.8
MA/MS private--Highest 78.0(’85), Lowest% 69.5(’13), Current% 73.2
PhD private--Highest 85.0(’85), Lowest% 80.2(’12), Current% 80.9
All---- Current% 67.6
(ACT, Inc. 2014)

Completion Trends: Four-year Colleges – Graduation in five years or less, 1983 - 2014

BA/BS public--Highest% 52.8(’86), Lowest% 36.0(’13), Current% 36.5
MA/MS public--Highest% 46.7(‘86), Lowest% 37.0(’00), Current% 38.8
PhD public--Highest% 50.6(’89,‘90), Lowest% 45.0(’01), Current% 49.7
BA/BS private--Highest% 58.5(’13), Lowest% 53.3(’01), Current% 56.7
MA/MS private--Highest% 58.5(’88), Lowest% 53.5(’01), Current% 54.5
PhD private--Highest% 68.8(’86), Lowest% 62.4(’14) Current% 62.4
(ACT, Inc. 2014)

Completion Trends: Two-year Colleges – Graduation in three years or less, 1983 - 2014

Public--Highest% 38.8(’89), Lowest% 21.9(’14), Current% 21.9
Private--Highest% 66.4(’90), Lowest% 43.7(’14), Current% 43.7
All --Highest% 44.0(’89), Lowest% 23.1(’14), Current% 23.1
(ACT, Inc. 2014)

The driving factors behind these trends can be easily detected, and they have their roots in high schools. However, there is little that teachers can do to address the issues. Since instructional time is used primarily for standardized test preparation, minimal efforts are made to address college preparatory work:

A. Reading and understanding the concrete character of a syllabus and its philosophical connection with the instructor.

B. Researching and developing writing skills that will allow a student to produce an original work of good quality.

C. Understanding and accepting an adult mindset.

D. Developing the organizational skills needed to handle course loads and course work.

E. Creating a working alliance between one’s off campus life and an academic career.

F. Cultivating a willingness to expose one’s weaknesses, accept constructive criticism, implement the necessary adjustments, and make a commitment to those adjustments.

G. Discovering dormant potentials, creating successful results, and being guided by success—not by failure.

Recently a new methodology arose which addresses the above issues and works to unlock the potentials that will help first year college students to navigate the transitional challenges at the end of their high school careers. The Exceptional Mind and Student Success programs course content progresses in three phases:

A. REDUCTION – The process of breaking down all of an individual’s thought components. Who are they…really? The thinking here is that we need to isolate elements that distinguish an individual, to identify the tiles of his or her personal mosaic and to shed layers of poor habits that have built up over the life of an elementary and secondary educational experience. In doing so, the program prepares a person to embrace a productive work ethic by identifying restrictors and replacing them with motivators, such as virtues, cultural considerations, and human dynamics.

B. RECONSTRUCTION – The process of bringing all of those components (pieces) back together that were identified through the reduction process, with a specific awareness of any modifications that were identified during the reduction phase. Has anything changed? Have there been enhancements or a new awareness generated through the elimination of restrictors and the incorporation of virtues, culture and human dynamics? This process includes a core instructional piece on CREATIVE INTELLIGENCE, ORGANIZATIONAL INTELLIGENCE, AND FUNCTIONAL INTELLIGENCE.

C. RESTORATION – The process of restoring the whole person, with a new awareness of natural intelligence and natural thinking. This phase merges the way things are (invariant principles) with the way we perceive them to be (variant principles). The goal is to reshape the individual’s approach to social realities through incorporation of a functional intelligence engine fueled by creative and organizational intelligences.

The program also proposes that:
A. The instructor implements a proactive holistic extension and observation component, with regular meetings, on campus office hours and e-mail access to monitor student progress.

B. Instructors network and communicate with guidance counselors, other instructors and professors for co-curricular and extra-curricular experiences promoting success.

C. Closer attention is paid to high-risk students so that instructors can respond accordingly within institutional guidelines and resources.

D. A system of student referrals be implemented, allowing access to resources such as campus libraries, career counseling, financial aid, health and disabilities services, and academic advisement.

There are several other areas of interest and concern for students which the curriculum engages. Chief among these are the Great Restrictors. The program identifies four powerful restrictors that cause us to lose focus, confuse our priorities and make our goals less attainable. The curriculum acknowledges these restrictors in the students’ lives and presents numerous ways to eliminate them.

From the above, the program advances to examination of “The Virtues.” There we emphasize the value of pursuing virtues such as patience, endurance, clarity, courage, strength, honesty, cooperation, determination, and more. Discussions are held concerning virtue and intelligence. Understanding the relationship between virtues and intelligence implies employing these virtues in all of our actions. The plan here is to minimize the students’ restrictive instincts, which are the feelings that keep them from learning, by relating their instincts to virtues.

Other factors such as Cultural and Human Dynamics are also addressed. Models of various positive and negative character traits are presented to students. Discussions are generated aligning students with these models, showing where they are now and where they will be—or may not be—in the future.

Through The Exceptional Mind and Student Success, students as well as educators and parents are presented with proven formats for advancing educational achievement, experientially as well as scientifically. A fundamental architecture of direction leads participants to discover concrete laws of control, power and action.

For additional information regarding The Exceptional Mind and Student Success program, please contact

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Robert J. Flower, Ph.D. is a successful entrepreneur, and Mensa scholar who has spent over 30 years analyzing human potential and developing an innovative methodology that allows people to reach the utmost levels of success in their personal and professional endeavors. Dr. Flower holds a Doctorate of Philosophy from Walden University in General Systems Sciences. He resides in New York with his wife Angela, enjoys free time on the golf course, trapshooting and with his three children and three grandchildren.