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Developing a College Going Culture: What the Research Says and How to Apply It!. Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy, Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University Ileana Gonzalez, Doctoral Student University of Maryland. What was your educational journey?.
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Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy, Ph.D.
Johns Hopkins University
Ileana Gonzalez, Doctoral Student
University of Maryland
-Any surprises about your partner’s Ed Journey?-What messages do you think your students are getting? -Are they similar/different to the messages you received? -How many of you have children? -What messages are you giving your children? -How is that message similar of different than the ones we give to our students.
The environment, attitudes, and behaviors in schools and communities that support and encourage students and their families to obtain the information, tools, and perspective to ensure access to and success in post-secondary education.
Comprehensive Counseling Model
Testing & Curriculum
Information and Resources
Explicit goals of college preparation must be defined and communicated clearly, consistently, and in a variety of ways by families and all school personnel.
School mission statement
Four year plans for all students
Frequent communication with students about their college options
Ongoing opportunities to discuss college preparation, define goals
Have active links between K-12 schools and local colleges and universities that can lead to field trips, college fairs, and academic enrichment programs
Students at all grade levels have visited local college campuses
College dress days, door decoration contests, guest speakers
Pen Pal program with college students
Family members must have opportunities to gain college knowledge and understand their role.
College Fairs for students and their families
Evening/weekend parent workshops to learn about college preparation, financial planning
Parents supported in their belief that their children are “college material.”
All counselors serve as college counselors and all student interactions with counselors are college advising opportunities
All high school counselors attend state college conferences
Counselors at all grade levels have on-going collaboration
Counselors distribute college information to all students, faculty, and staff
Students must be informed about necessary tests, must be given the opportunity to prepare for these tests, and testing fees must be taken into account
PSAT given on school day to all 10th graders with fees waived
Master schedules changed to make more college prep classes available
Students learn organizational skills
Faculty must be active, informed partners with counselors, students, and families and professional development opportunities must be available.
Classroom decorations and “college corners”
College Talk in class time
Mathematics teachers work with PSAT-takers
Teachers understand their roles in college prep
Teachers visit counseling office
Students must have access to up-to-date, comprehensive college information and schools must build college knowledge infrastructure.
Financial aid materials
College choice guides
CD ROMS on college planning
Workshops on test prep, financial planning, and high school coursework planning
Students should have a seamless experience from kindergarten through high school graduation, with ongoing communication among all schools in a feeder group, and work at one school site should connect with activities at other levels.
Students hear a consistent message at all grade levels
As early as kindergarten, students are seeing themselves as college material
Middle schools connect with students as young as fifth grade
High school and middle school counselors are pooling resources and making connections
A College-Going Culture consists of….
Information and Resources
Testing and Curriculum
Leading Indicators of Increasing College Access:
Safe and Adequate School Facilities
A College-Going School Culture
Rigorous Academic Curriculum
Intensive Academic and Social Supports
Opportunities to Develop a Multicultural College Going Identity
Students must attend schools that are free of overcrowding, violence, unsafe and unsanitary conditions, and other features of school climates that diminish achievement and access to college.
Teachers, counselors, administrators, parents, and students expect students to have all the experiences they need for high achievement and college preparation. Adults encourage students to exert the necessary effort and persistence throughout their entire educational career and adults work diligently to eliminate school-sanctioned alternatives to hard work and high expectations! Students believe college is for them!
Students are prepared for and have access to algebra in middle school and college preparatory and AP courses in high school
Knowledgeable, experiences, and fully certified teachers provide instruction that engages students in work of high intellectual quality.
Teachers and counselors play a pivotal role in informing and preparing secondary students for college. Students need support networks of adults and peers who help access tutors, material resources, counseling services, summer academic programs, SAT prep, coaching about college admissions and financial aid, and other timely assistance.
Students see college going as integral to their identities; they have the confidence and skills to negotiate college without sacrificing their own identity and connections with their home communities. They recognize that college is a pathway to careers that are valued in their families, peer groups, and local communities.
Connections between families and schools build on parents’ strengths and consider them a valuable education resource for students. Educators and community groups work together to ensure that all families have access to essential knowledge of college preparation, admission, and financial aid.
Expect all underserved students are capable of being prepared to enroll and succeed in college
Provide a range of high quality, college prep tools for students and families
Embrace social, cultural and varied learning styles when developing the environment and activities at the school
Involve leaders at all levels in establishing policies, programs, and practices
Maintain sufficient financial and human resources for this mission
Assess policy, programs, and practices regularly to determine their effectiveness
College ready rates differ disproportionately by student/family income level and racial/ethnic groups.
All students should graduate from high school with a college preparatory curriculum that enables them to take advantage of all options in postsecondary education or in a career
No matter what their futures may bring, as adults these students will benefit from the academic rigor found in college preparatory work.
In this time of high stakes exams, economic hardship and changing demographics, it is important for students to understand how today’s challenging course work means a brighter future not only for themselves, but for their families and communities.
Meeting my high school graduation requirements will prepare me for college
It’s better to take easier classes and get better grades
My senior year in high school doesn’t matter
I don’t have to worry about my grades, or the kind of classes I take, until my sophomore year.
Tendency of counselors to do one-on-one work that doesn’t influence the “culture” of a school
Resistance from teachers (feeling like the have too many “external program” or some who do not think the college message is worthwhile.
What is our graduation rate?
What is our college application rate?
What is our college acceptance rate?
What are our school counselors’ top three priorities, and how is their year and days structured?
What percentage of our students take the SAT? ACT? PSAT? PLAN?
How many AP or college level classes does our school offer?
What is our faculty’s attitude toward the notion that every student at our school can succeed in college?
How often do our administrators, counselors, and teachers consult college professors and administration about curricular decisions regarding student preparation or ask for data on the performance of graduates?
What do we do to promote college information sessions?
Do we emphasize college advocacy during our hiring and evaluation practices?
Do all of our students have access to all teachers and classes?
Is one of our school improvement goals related to the issue of college?
Stop & Go
Foggy, but clearing
Rolling a Rock Uphill
Fly by Night