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In a previous post, Marlene Darwin of the Doing What Works (DWW) Initiative introduced their new online resource, Helping Students Navigate the Path to College. This is one in a series of follow up posts describing the content of that resource. In order for high school students to successfully transition to college, they need to be given support in preparing for and taking appropriate college entrance exams, finding the appropriate colleges to apply to, and completing college applications and financial aid forms. The Helping Students Navigate the Path to College resource provides information, resources, and tools for educators to support students through the process of getting into college. The multi-media section, Assist with College Entry, focuses on helping students and their parents complete all the steps necessary to successfully apply to and embark on their postsecondary journey. It outlines key concepts that schools can use to help their students undertake the postsecondary process, and provides examples of schools that have been successful. For example, Crossland High School, a comprehensive high school in Temple Hills, Maryland, requires all seniors to take a class to assist them in the application process. The school supports its students and their parents in the application process using a variety of resources, including the College Seminar Class Syllabus, Parent Flyers: College Application Process, and College Preparation Checklist. Schools also need to assist students in seeking financial aid and to reduce potentially preconceived ideas that postsecondary education is unaffordable. At the University Park Campus School in Worcester, Massachusetts, the alumni coordinator discusses strategies for helping students and their families prepare for the financial aspects of college in the audio interview, Overcoming Fears Around Paying for College. Additionally, districts can take an active role in supporting schools to improve postsecondary access. In the audio interview, A District-Level Mission to Improve College Access, you can listen to Chicago Public Schools district administrators discuss how they monitor schools, meet with school administrators on a regular basis, help schools use data more effectively and use the sample material, Data Collection and Goal-Setting Tool. If you are a guidance counselor or principal, consult the Ideas for Action under the Do What Works section to find the resources under this practice that are most relevant to your role. Doing What Works also provides a glossary of key terms and its criteria and methodology used across all topics featured on the site. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter to join the conversation and learn about DWW-related events. Guest Author: Marlene Darwin is a Senior Research Analyst at the American Institutes for Research. She is the co-project director for the Doing What Works Initiative. Note: This blog post was originally authored under the auspices of the National High School Center at the American Institutes for Research (AIR). The National High School Center’s blog, High School Matters, which ran until March 2013, provided an objective perspective on the latest research, issues, and events that affected high school improvement. The CCRS Center plans to continue relevant work originally developed under the National High School Center grant. National High School Center blog posts that pertain to CCRS Center issues are included on this website as a resource to our stakeholders.
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