Act Maintain Succeed Contemplate Prepare Transtheoretical Model of the Stages of Change as a Progression for Students to Provide for Life After High School By: Christopher Harris April 20, 2012
Introduction and Problem Introduction • The end of high school represents a time of change for youth as their life goes from being a student in high school to being a college student, vocational student, or a full-time employee. • Youth need to be prepared for their academic or vocational life after high school and have a good understanding of their options, whether they plan to go to college or they choose vocational training. Problem • College success cycles through generations, therefore, developing programs that can assist students in their preparation and understanding of their choices after high school can lead to perpetual long-term educational benefits and success for a community. • It is a very dangerous assumption for youth development workers to suppose that any students – those who excel or those who struggle academically – “understand their options.”
Purpose and Research Questions • The purpose of this project is to evaluate the post-secondary preparatory efforts in a small private high school in the coastal area of South Carolina, utilizing the transtheoretical model stages of change. Research Questions • How do students see the nature of the role mentors play in assisting them in their preparation for life after high school? • How do students see extra-curricular activities helping them achieve their goals for life after high school? • How do these 10-11 graders seem to be progressing through the transtheoretical model of the stages of change? Mentor Pre-contemplation Contemplation Preparation Action Maintenance Extra-curricular activities
Limitations and Delimitations Limitations • Results are really only applicable for this high school. • Not every student was in a focus group. • There were only two focus groups Delimitations • This study is just to evaluate this particular high school’s efforts to prepare students for life after high school. • This study only looks at 10th and 11th graders and their progression. • This study is only measuring what is happening in the month of April in 10th and 11th graders progression through the stages of change.
Literature Review It is not enough for a student to say they are “sure” that they are going to college. Elliott, Sherraden, Johnson, and Guo (2010) found that 61% of second graders and 75% of fourth graders said that they were sure they were going to go to college. Some students do not reach their full potential in choosing and attending college even though they are academically qualified (Bedolla, 2010). The benchmark for these students should not be attending college, but whether or not they made a choice that was well informed (Roderick et al., 2009; as cited in Bedolla, 2010). The value of mentoring has been discussed and shown in various studies (Larson, 2006; Perkins and Caldwell, 2005). The people that a high school student surrounds himself or herself with (i.e. extra-curricular activities) can also have an impact in both positive and negative ways (Anderson, Sabateli, and Kosutic, 2007).
Key Definitions derived from: Norcross, Krebs, and Prochaska (2011) GOALS: Pre-contemplation: Before 9thgrade; Contemplation:9th to early 10thgrade; Preparation:mid10thgrade; Action: mid 10th grade to mid 12thgrade; Maintenance: 12th grade and future 1) Pre-contemplationis the stage in which there is no intention to change behavior in the foreseeable future. Most students in this stage are unaware or under aware that they should be preparing for life after high school. Teachers, guidance counselors, and mentors however, are often well aware that precontemplators need to begin their preparation for life after high school. 2) Contemplationis the stage in which students are aware that they need to begin to prepare for life after high school and are seriously thinking about beginning, but have not yet made a commitment to take action. Contemplators struggle with their positive evaluations of their daily behavior and the amount of effort, energy, and loss it will cost to overcome. 3) Preparationis the stage in which students are intending to take action in the next month and are beginning to investigate the process in small amounts. Although they have made some progress, students in the preparation stage have not reached a criterion for effective action. 4) Actionis the stage in which students modify their behavior, experiences, and/or environment to overcome and address their future. Action involves the most overt behavioral changes and requires considerable commitment of time and energy. This could include actively speaking with college admissions, guidance counselors, teachers, and/or mentors. Students are classified in the action stage if they have actively pursued their future plans within the last 30 days. 5) Maintenanceis the stage in which students work to have a successful experience after high school. This may be accepting entry into college, looking for a roommate, looking for an apartment, looking for jobs, looking into how to successfully navigate college, considering major of study, etc. This stage can begin with an acceptance letter from a college or even before and continues throughout the first year after high school.
Qualitative Study, Population, Sample, Interview Questions • This is a qualitative study that relies on focus groups to gather data as well as a demographic survey and researcher notes. • The focus groups were grouped by grade. • There were two focus groups. • The groups contained between 6-11 students and were composed of 10th graders in one group and 11th graders in the other group. • There were eleven 11th graders enrolled at the school. All eleven participated. • There were twenty-two 10thgraders enrolled at the school. Ten of them participated in the focus groups. Interview Questions: (Always remembering “Can you tell me more about that?”) 1). Tell me about the things you do after school. 2). Tell me about the plans that you have after high school. -What have you done to prepare? 3). What are you doing now to help you meet those goals? -What are some of the challenges you see in your way? 4). Tell me about the people that are helping achieve your goals. -What help do you need? 5). Tell me when you started to think about what you were going to do after high school. -Why did you begin to think about life after high school.
Study Design and Methodology • At the beginning of the focus group, all students were asked to complete a simple demographic survey. • On that survey, students were asked to choose a fake name that would be used throughout the focus groups. • It was stated by the researcher that no real names would be used to ensure anonymity. • After the surveys were collected, the researcher read an opening statement to explain the purpose of the focus group. • The data for this study comes from three sources. • The first is answers that are provided by the focus group participants. • Furthermore, any information gained from cross talk or elaboration on the subject matter by the study participants will also be viewed as data. • Secondly, the demographic survey provided to the participants will also be used as data. • Finally, the researcher’s field notes will also provide a source of data for this study. • The focus group of 11th graders lasted approximately sixty minutes and produced a number of interesting findings. • The focus group of 10th graders lasted approximately 55 minutes and also produced a number of interesting findings. Both focus groups were recorded using an audio recorder.
Proposed Data Analysis • Upon completion of the focus groups the researcher’s field notes were typed and the responses from the focus groups were transcribed. • This transcription was done utilizing Microsoft word as the word processing instrument and ITunes was used as the instrument to play back the audio recordings. • ITunes was used because of its ability to pause, rewind, and play easily and frequently allowing the researcher to effectively transcribe the focus groups. • Transcription will be read to ensure accuracy. • Transcription will be coded to themes. • Themes to identify stage of change, needs, mentors, extra-curricular activities etc. • Themes to be matched with demographic survey to investigate linkages. • Utilize data to provide recommendations to the school.
Implications of Findings Provide Recommendations to the School. More Effective Preparatory Programs. Provide a Framework for Progression to Life After High School. Provide a Basic Time Frame for Preparation. Provide a base for a possible Plan For Every Student (PFES).
Conclusion Problem Purpose Literature Review Goals Qualitative Study Implications
References Anderson, S. A., Sabateli, R. M., Kosutic, I. (2007). Families, urban neighborhood youth centers, and peers as contexts for development. Family Relations. 56, p. 346-357. Bedolla, L. G. (2010). Good ideas are not enough: considering the politics underlying students’ postsecondary transitions. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk. 15, p.9-26. Elliott, W., Sherraden, M., Johnson, L., & Guo, B. (2010). Young children’s perception of college and savings: potential role of child development accounts. Child and Youth Services Review, 32, p. 1577-1584. Larson, R. (2006). Positive youth development, willful adolescents, and mentoring. Journal of Community Psychology. 34 (6), p. 677-689. Larson, R. W. (2000). Toward a psychology of positive youth development. American Psychologist, 55 (1), 170-183. Norcross, J. C., Krebs, P. M., & Prochaska (2011). Stages of change. Journal of Clinical Psychology: In Session. 62(2), p. 143-154. Perkins, D.F., & Caldwell, L.L. (2005). Resiliency, protective processes, promotion, and community youth development. In P. Witt & L. Caldwell (Eds.). Recreation and Youth Development. State College, PA: Venture Publications.