A Comparison of College Performances of AP and Non-AP Student Groups in 10 Subject Areas

This study evaluates the performance of students enrolled in the College Board Advanced Placement Program (AP) compared to non-AP students on college outcome measures. Results revealed that AP students outperformed their non-AP counterparts with similar academic ability in all college outcome measures, and concurrent students typically earned more college credit hours in related subjects than other students, yet their GPAs were not higher.

The Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP) and Its Impact on High School Students’ Completion of the University of California’s Preparatory Coursework

This report describes the effects that Project Graduation Really Achieves Dreams (GRAD) had on academic progress in select high schools in three states. Findings indicated that Project GRAD had a statistically significant positive impact on the number of students completing core academic curriculum in one site, some sites did not show an improvement in student academic preparation, and there were improvements made in attendance and promotion to 10th grade in some sites.

A Comparison Study of AVID and GEAR UP 10th-grade Students in Two High Schools in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas

This 2-year study evaluates how Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEARUP) and Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) affected the college plans of 4 cohorts of high school students. Findings showed that there were higher aspirations and college knowledge for AVID and GEARUP students, and considerably higher academic preparation for AVID students.

Contextual Influences on Parental Involvement in College Going: Variations by Socioeconomic Class

This study uses descriptive case studies of 15 high schools in five states to determine the effects of parental involvement on school context and college opportunity. Three common themes were identified in the case studies analyzed: (a) parents shape college opportunity for their children, but involvement varies based on socioeconomic status; (b) parental involvement is shaped by, and also shapes, the school context for college opportunity; and (c) parental involvement is also shaped by their knowledge of the higher education opportunities in their state.

Helping Students Navigate the Path to College: What High Schools Can Do

This practice guide from the U.S. Department of Education examined studies of college access interventions. An expert panel recommended practices for promoting college access including use of college preparatory curriculum, assessment of the development of skills needed for college and surrounding students with adults and peers that reinforce college aspirations. Prepared by the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC), the guide notes the level of research evidence that demonstrates each recommendation’s effectiveness.

Levers for Change: Southeast Region State Initiatives to Improve High Schools

This report examined strategies used in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina to improve student achievement and, ultimately, high school graduation rates to ensure that students are equipped with 21st century skills and knowledge. Information on state-level high school reform initiatives in each state and state profiles were then analyzed to identify themes or “levers for change.” The report provides a detailed description of each lever and aims to give policymakers ideas about approaches to consider.

Course-taking Patterns and Preparation for Postsecondary Education in California’s Public University Systems Among Minority Youth

This report reviewed whether high school students are meeting the high school course requirements needed for admission to four-year public universities in California. Patterns of high school course-taking associated with preparation for college and entry into two-year California community colleges and four-year California State University (CSU) and University of California (UC) institutions are documented. It was determined that students who complete college preparatory courses starting in 9th grade are more likely to complete the CSU and UC course requirements.

High School Standards and Expectations for College and the Workplace

This study aimed to find out whether the expectations of the Central Region states match the expectations of colleges and the workplace, and if state standards for what students should know and be able to do in English language arts and mathematics are aligned with expectations common to two national studies on skills needed for entry to college and the workplace. Six states outside the region were selected as a comparison group. The report reveals specific findings on topics missing in the academic standards for the Central Region states.

Staying on Course: Three-Year Results of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Evaluation

This report from MDRC summarizes findings from a randomized controlled trial evaluating the long-term (three-year) effects of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe dropout recovery program. The sample included 1,200 young people in the intervention and control groups. Members of the program group were much more likely than those in the control group to have obtained a General Educational Development (GED) certificate or a high school diploma, to have earned college credits, and to be employed. Additionally, they were less likely to have crime, delinquency, and health problems.


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