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POSTER TEMPLATE BY: www.PosterPresentations.com College Aspirations and College Knowledge: Students’ Preparation for Post-Secondary Aspirations Liz Gilkey.

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Presentation on theme: "POSTER TEMPLATE BY: www.PosterPresentations.com College Aspirations and College Knowledge: Students’ Preparation for Post-Secondary Aspirations Liz Gilkey."— Presentation transcript:

1 POSTER TEMPLATE BY: College Aspirations and College Knowledge: Students’ Preparation for Post-Secondary Aspirations Liz Gilkey University of Oregon Methods References Theory Introduction Key Transition Knowledge and Skills Data Sources and Sample University of Oregon This school improvement goal is explore eleventh and twelfth grade students’ aspirations and their understanding of the knowledge and skills required to enroll and succeed in college in order to better align students’ postsecondary aspirations with their preparation for achieving those aspirations through school-wide college preparation programs. As Cooper (2009) writes: “Educational aspirations are critical to educational attainment because people cannot achieve what they do not dream” (616). Students with postsecondary aspirations are more likely to apply to college and students who apply are more likely to attend. Seniors who aspire to earn a bachelor’s degree (BA) are 28% more likely to apply to a four-year institution than students with no aspirations to attend college, and seniors aspiring for an advanced degree are 34% more likely to apply (Cabrera & La Nasa, 2001). Even if students have post-secondary aspirations, they cannot attend if they are not prepared. Of students who had obtained college qualifications such as the requisite GPA, class rank, aptitude test scores, SAT and ACT scores, 69% enrolled in college whereas only 9% of unqualified students enrolled (Cabrera & La Nasa, 2001). In addition, many enrolled students are not college ready : 40% of students took at least one remedial course in college costing at least $1 billion a year (Adelman, 1999; Attewell, Lavin, Domina & Levey, 2006, Conley, 2010). College readiness is the level of preparation a student needs to enroll and succeed without remediation in a credit-bearing general education course at a postsecondary institution that offers a baccalaureate degree (Conley, 2005, 2007, 2010). Conley (2005, 2007, 2010) developed a model of college readiness through a study of the programs and practices at 38 high-performing high schools nationwide. Through this study, Conley (2005, 2007, 2010) identified four keys of college readiness: Key Cognitive Strategies, Key Content Knowledge, Key Learning Skills and Strategies, and Key Transition Knowledge and Skills (see Figure 1). The Key Transition Knowledge and Skills portion of the Conley model involves the information students need to successfully prepare for, apply to, and succeed in college and careers. Key Transition Knowledge and Skills includes four aspects: Academic Awareness, College Admissions Process, College and Career Culture, and Tuition and Financial Aid and these Aspects are further divided into Components (see Table 1). School Improvement Plan Contact Information and Acknowledgements The journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. Lao-Tzu Table 1: Key Transition Knowledge and Skills Note. Adapted from Conley (2005, 2007, 2010) Figure 1: The Four Keys of College Readiness Note. Adapted from Conley (2005, 2007, 2010) Data were collected through the Spring 2011 administration of The CollegeReady School Diagnostic (Diagnostic), an online, school- level measure that assesses the four-part model of college readiness (see Table 1 above). The Diagnostic enables schools to identify the areas in which they already excel and offers approaches for incorporating strategies not yet used through questions about the activities, policies, and programs at participating schools. Upon completion of the Diagnostic, each school receives a descriptive report outlining its results, allowing schools and districts to see how well their programs compare with best practices. The report provides individualized, actionable recommendations to help administrators and teachers see where instruction could be made more effective and how best to target limited resources. The sample of students in this study were 2327 eleventh (50%) and twelfth (50%) grade students in schools who had administered the School Diagnostic in the Spring of Students were 50% male. One third of students in the sample were potentially first- generation college attendees (with neither parent having attended any college) and 46% of students were eligible for Free or Reduced Price Lunch. Student ethnicity was as follows: 50% White 25% Latino 8% Asian/Pacific Islander 7% African American 7% Multiple Categories/Mixed Race This study analyzed the relationship between eleventh and twelfth grade students’ responses to items in the Key Transition Knowledge and Skills dimension (see Table 2 above) and their responses to the item, “What are your plans for the fall after you graduate from high school?” Students’ responses to this item are presented in Table 2. A one-way between subjects ANOVA was conducted to compare the effect of students’ aspirations for after high school on their Key Transition Knowledge and Skills for students aspiring to attend four- year college, attend two-year college, enter the workforce, and for students who do not know their aspirations for after high school. Table 2: Students’ Aspirations Some Results and Conclusions There was a significant effect of students’ aspirations on students’ mean Key Transition Knowledge and Skills score at the p <.05 level for the aspirations examined (F(3, 2038) = 43.55, p =.00). Post hoc comparisons using the Tukey HSD test indicated that the mean score for the group of students with four-year college aspirations (M = 3.81, SD = 0.93) was significantly different than the mean score for the students with two-year college aspirations (M = 3.50, SD = 0.97), the group of students with work aspirations (M = 3.10, SD = 1.12), and the group of students who did not know their plans for after high school (M = 3.21, SD = 1.00). The results of this study indicate that the development of students’ Key Transition Knowledge and Skills is related to their aspirations for after high school. Students who aspire to attend four-year college scored significantly higher than students with other aspirations in all components of Key Transition Knowledge and Skills. Students with other aspirations may not fully understand the steps required to attend college, follow up studies are required to determine if those students do not aspire to attend college because they are making informed choices or because they lack the Key Transition Knowledge and Skills to attend. More than half of the students in this study reported that they planned to attend four-year college after high school. With so many students aspiring to college, it is all the more crucial that educators develop school- and district-wide strategies to adequately prepare students for postsecondary success. In order to create a college-going culture, high schools can develop more systematic college preparation programs to gauge student understanding of Key Transition Knowledge and Skills. Schools can institute these programs beginning in ninth grade, cover topics systematically, and revisit topics in junior and senior year. As part of these programs, schools can do the following: Teach students about the types of careers available for individuals with just a high school education versus the opportunities available for individuals with a college degree. Teach students about the types of financial aid available, the college admissions process, and the differences between high school and college. Build student schedules with the assumption that all students will be attending a postsecondary institution. Encourage teachers to become aware generally of admission requirements for four-year state universities and the types of two- year certificate programs available at the local community college. Arrange visitation programs whereby students get a general introduction to the state university or local community college. Enlist college students to work with students in small groups to explain the challenges of college and how to prepare for them. Require that all students complete an application for a college or community college, first as juniors and again in their senior year. Students should be encouraged, but not required, to submit the application. Adelman, C. (1999). Answers in the toolbox: Academic intensity, attendance patterns, and bachelor’s degree attainment. Washington, D.C.: Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education. Attewell, P.A., Lavin, D.E., Domina, T., Levey, T. (2006). New evidence on college remediation. The Journal of Higher Education, 77 (5), Cabrera, A.F. & La Nasa, S.M. (2001). On the path to college: Three critical tasks facing America’s disadvantaged. Research in Higher Education, 42 (2), Conley, D.T. (2005). College Knowledge. San Francisco, CA: Jossey- Bass. Conley, D. T. (2007). Redefining college readiness, Volume 3. Eugene, OR: Educational Policy Improvement Center. Conley, D.T. (2010). College and Career Ready. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Gilkey, E.M, Seburn, M., Conley, D.T. (2012). College aspirations and college knowledge: Student preparation for post-secondary aspirations. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Drs David T. Conley and Mary Seburn of the Educational Policy Improvement Center also contributed to this work. For further information, please contact Liz Gilkey,


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