Reference to a current Michigan bill or law that relates in some way to your proposal:
Why this proposal will make a difference in the lives of students of all ages across Michigan, or a significant subgroup (by age, background, economic status, and/or region, etc.) of students in Michigan:
How and where did you learn about the issues underlying your proposal?
How has your service activity influenced your thinking about this proposal?
Link to your media artifact(s) giving background on the issue:
Talk directly with at least 3 real live people who have special knowledge about this topic or the impact your proposal would have, and summarize their comments. These may include people appearing in your media artifact (video, podcast, etc.).
Describe the specific issue or problem, being sure to provide sufficient context so that someone less familiar with the issue has a sense of the bigger picture, but know that your focus here is on a more detailed spelling out of the specific problem or issue that you’ve identified. (250 words minimum)
Describe three reasonable, feasible potential solutions or approaches that would help address this problem.
SOLUTION 1: Peer-to-Peer Resources
To conclude our consultation with Vicky Hays from CAPS, we asked her if there were any resources that she wish had existed in order to improve mental health on campus. Without hesitation, she explained how many would benefit from better support from their peers. As such, many teenagers and young adults are not equipped with the proper education, resources and confidence to support their peers who are struggling with stress/anxiety and/or depression. Mental health conditions may go unnoticed and might be taboo to speak about, making peer-to-peer interaction even more important. All schools in Michigan should learn from Pioneer High School in Michigan, offering a Positive Peer Influence Class to help students cope with conflict and/or personal issues.
In addition to teaching friends how to support one another, this educational program (for both high school and college students) could focus on encouraging peers, who have struggled with or are currently struggling with a mental health disorder, to share their experiences and offer empathy for those in need of help and support. In fact, research shows that peer-run self-help groups improve psychiatric symptoms and thus, decrease hospitalization and enhance self-esteem and social functioning.
SOLUTION 2: College Resources at High School Level (Senior Year Class to Replicate College, CAPS, Weekend Field Trips to Prepare for Homesickness)
The transition from high school to college is quite abrupt. This idea was confirmed by an article written by a University of Michigan student just last week, titled “10 Ways High School Does NOT Prepare You For College”. A national survey found that 50% of freshman reported feeling stressed most or all of the time and 36% said they did not feel as if they were able to manage the stress involved with a day-to-day college life, often leading to cases of depression. Therefore, in order to ensure students are ready and able to begin this stage in their life, Michigan high schools should offer a senior-year class that resembles a university class (i.e. heavy readings, large lectures, teacher assistants), as well as regular weekend field trips, associated with the class, to prepare students for being away from home. In addition, if a program, similar to CAPS, existed in high-schools, and students were highly encouraged to talk to the counselors on a regular basis (or even required to throughout the class), they may be more likely to utilize CAPS (or a CAPS-like program once they get to college). To truly understand the nature of the problem, we have created a pole within the K-12 Educational Achievement Discussion Group to receive insight about whether the members of the caucus felt like their high schools prepared them well for the workload associated with college classes.
SOLUTION 3: High-School Education about Trade Schools in order to Decrease Pressure on High-School Students to Receive Admission to University
After reading and participating in Tomasso’s discussion about how many students feel pressured to attend universities, it became clear that a lack of knowledge exists about the benefits of trade school. Not only are they less expensive and you can obtain a degree much more quickly, some students would thrive to a greater degree in this setting. Trade schools may help significantly decrease stress, as college students are worried about debt, job prospects and financial pressures from their parents. The educational program for high school students could focus on the many complex opportunity costs involved with this decision. For example, students who attend university are foregoing years of salary from a full-time job that they could have gotten after just two years of trade school. From a financial cost perspective, the average trade school degree costs $33,000 compared to the national average of $127,000 for a four-year bachelor’s degree program. As such, trade school students are able to avoid significant amounts of debt; the average debt for University of Michigan students is $25,712.
To receive greater insight into what each of these educational programs should include, we plan to talk to representatives from the Michigan Department of Education and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Sources for Potential Solutions:
Hays, V. (2018, February 06). [Personal Interview].
Jesse, D., & Tanner, K. (2017, September 20). Average student loan debt for Michigan students still tops $30,000. Retrieved March 18, 2018, from https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2017/09/20/average-student-loan-debt-michigan/681697001/
Lewin, T. (2011, January 27). Record Level of Stress Found in College Freshmen. Retrieved March 18, 2018, from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/27/education/27colleges.html
Peer support. (2017, November 20). Retrieved March 18, 2018, from https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/p/peer-support
Positive Peer Influence class at Pioneer High helps students cope with conflict, personal issues. (n.d.). Retrieved March 18, 2018, from http://www.annarbor.com/neighborhoods/central-ann-arbor/positive-peer-influence-class-at-pioneer-high-helps-students-cope-with-conflict-personal-issues/
Survey Finds High Stress Levels of Freshmen. (n.d.). Retrieved March 18, 2018, from https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2015/10/14/survey-finds-high-stress-levels-freshmen
Why You Should Consider Trade School Instead of College. (2017, October 19). Retrieved March 18, 2018, from https://www.thesimpledollar.com/why-you-should-consider-trade-school-instead-of-college/
Reaction or advice from a Topic Coordinator:
You must solicit a critique from a topic coordinator, and explain the impact that advice has had on the final draft of this proposal.
Describe your research process — indicate who you talked to (including but not limited to consultants), what you read, what your thinking was, how it changed over time, and how your consultants changed your thinking. This description of your research process definitely could include “dead ends,” or ideas you had that didn’t ultimately bear fruit. In short, we want to know what you did and how it led to your legislation, and we also want you to give us a window into your thought process.
Please delineate--in detail--who made what contributions to the process and to the finished proposal? Who took on which responsibilities in researching ideas, drafting language, etc.?
The sections below should comprise your final proposal language, submitted for consideration by your peers and potential inclusion in the MSC Platform.Preambulatory clauses
These set up the PROBLEM, but not the solution.
(Add more "Whereas" clauses if necessary.)Operative clauses
These describe in detail, the solution you are proposing (not the problem itself; those should go in the "Whereas" clauses above).
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED....
(Add more "Resolved" clauses if necessary.)Counter-arguments:
What are three reasonable arguments against this proposal?
3.Costs and funding:
What will your proposal cost (in direct expenses, lost tax revenue, lost economic opportunity, and/or non-monetary costs)? How will you pay for your proposed legislation? Where will/could the funding for your proposal come from? Who might object to dedicating resources to your proposal (competing interests)?
These can include websites or other information you have found about the issue.