This is the VOA Special English Education Report.
Summer means the end of another school year in America. May and June are
Centuries of tradition explain the special caps and
gowns that students and professors wear at commencement ceremonies. Top members
of the class and invited guests offer speeches and advice. Finally the time
comes for what everyone has been waiting for: one by one, the names of the
students are called.
They go to the front and shake hands with school officials. They might
receive their official diploma that day or maybe a few weeks later.
Graduations are always emotional events. But in May, at Fort Hays State
University in Kansas, a graduate named Nola Ochs received special attention. Her
major area of study was history. Nothing unusual about that. But Nola Ochs is
ninety-five years old.
That made her the world's oldest graduate for the keepers of
the Guinness World Records. Until now they have recognized a
ninety-year-old journalism graduate from the University of Oklahoma in 2004.
Nola Ochs' granddaughter graduated with her. One of the commencement speakers
told the students to take a lesson from Nola Ochs and never stop trying.
That is good advice on which to end our Foreign Student Series on higher
education in the United States. We began in September with the process of
applying to an American college or university. We talked about admissions tests,
financial aid, online education, student exchange programs, programs for
disabled students and a lot more.
All forty-three reports can be found online at voaspecialenglish.com. Many
were based on questions from listeners. We invite you to continue writing us
with your questions about the American education system. Our Foreign Student
Series may be over for now, but we will still try to answer questions on future
reports. Our e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Population experts at the Census Bureau say American colleges and
universities will have an estimated eighteen million students this fall. Twenty
years ago, there were thirteen million. Today there are not only more
college-age Americans, but more going to college, including older people and
women. At last report from two years ago, fifty-six percent of undergraduates
were women. And women were fifty-nine percent of graduate students.
And that's the VOA Special English Education Report, written by Nancy
Steinbach. I'm Steve Ember.