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Choosing a college, screening for substance abuse, and grandparenting today

Readers respond to recent Globe Magazine articles.

NEED-TO-KNOW BASIS

I read with interest Jon Marcus’s “Show Me the Money” (March 9) in the Learning & Earning issue. At Bentley University, we applaud those schools that publish placement results from graduating students. We also believe that “return on investment” is an important factor for students and families when selecting a college or university. Capturing and reporting salaries and other important metrics from graduating students has become a vital measure of the effectiveness of a career services office, particularly if noted by a high percentage of employed graduates. In 2013, Bentley reported placement results from an astounding 95 percent of its 900 May graduates — our highest response rate. Placement success, however, is often a result of the degree to which universities engage with corporate partners and invest in career education, career advising, and a robust on-campus recruiting program. The focus for all universities should be aligning programs and services with the skills that students need for the 21st-century workplace. Ensuring that students are fully prepared for a successful career and a rewarding life is the goal. A strong job-placement record is just one measure of success.

Leonard Morrison

Director of Undergraduate Career Services

Bentley University

AN IMPORTANT TEST

Kudos to the Globe Magazine for its article on pediatric medical screening in areas such as social media, sexuality, and cutting (“Don’t Miss These Medical Screenings,” March 2). But given the epidemic of heroin-overdose deaths, we believe you missed an important one: substance use. Pediatricians are viewed by adolescents as trustworthy and knowledgeable sources of health information, and we recently published a study showing that only two to three minutes of pediatrician counseling about substance use can reduce usage by 40 percent in the months following the visit. The American Academy of Pediatrics-recommended screening test is freely available online at ceasar.org/CRAFFT/index.php. Given that 90 percent of addiction begins in the teen years, such screening is a critical part of the strategy to stem the tragedies from substance use disorders, as we have been reading about in the Globe.

John R. Knight, MD

Sion Kim Harris, PhD

Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research

Boston Children’s Hospital

GRANDPARENTS KNOW BEST

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I just wanted to thank Nancy Schneider for her wonderful essay on grandparenting (Connections, March 2). With humor, perspective, and a refreshing lack of judgment so often central to articles on parenting, Schneider hits so many great points about the basic needs of young people, the core elements of healthy child development, and, on the flip side, our need for control as adults. Most poignantly, she hits on the way commercialism preys on our natural and well-intended need for perceived control over our children’s development — the quintessentially American notion that we can outwork or out-innovate anything, including our children’s upbringing. At the end of the day, there’s no getting around mindful presence, relationship, and unconditional love.

David Shapiro

President and CEO

Mentor: The National Mentoring Partnership

Schneider deserves a gold medal for this article. It should be a must-read for all parents and prospective parents. Let’s get back to the basics here: Nurture and love your children, and deal with their assets and liabilities as the need arises.

George McKenzie

Medford

COMMENTS? Write to magazine@globe.com or The Boston Globe Magazine/Comments, PO Box 55819, Boston, MA 02205-5819. Letters are subject to editing.

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