College: 4-year

Determinants of Students’ Success: The Role of Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment Programs

This study examines whether Advance Placement (AP) and Dual Enrollment (DE) programs improve college access and success. Student records were obtained for two cohorts of all high school students in Florida. The study found that both AP and DE are associated with positive outcomes; however, DE students are more likely than AP students to attend college, but less likely to first enroll in a four-year college.

Maximizing the College Choice Process to Increase Fit & Match for Underserved Students

This brief from the National College Access Network and Pathways to College Network synthesizes research on the college choice process, more specifically for low-income, first-generation, and minority students. The brief focuses on two aspects of college choice: fit (whether an institution meets a student's needs) and match (how an institutional selectivity relates to a student's academic ability). The brief also includes implications for practitioners, key considerations, and an interview with a representative from the National College Advising Corps.

Defining the Intensity of High School Mathematics: Distinguishing Between College-Ready and College-Eligible Students

This study examines high school characteristics that influence high school graduates to be college-ready. The analysis used longitudinal data from a nationally representative sample of eighth grade students. Findings indicate that there should be an increase in academic rigor and higher expectations, greater emphasis on students being continuously enrolled in mathematics courses throughout high school, and completion of senior year mathematics homework out of school all contribute a college-ready graduate.

Early outcomes of the GEAR UP program

This study evaluates the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEARUP), which targets low-income students and their families in order to increase knowledge, preparation and expectations for postsecondary education. The researchers compared a sample of 18 middle schools and 18 comparison schools. Overall GEARUP had positive effects on parent and student knowledge of postsecondary education, higher parent involvement and expectations for their children.

The Quantum Opportunity Program Demonstration: Implementation and Short-Term Impacts

This study examines the impact of the Quantum Opportunity Program (QOP), which aims to help at-risk youth graduate and enroll in postsecondary education. Findings suggested that QOP increased high school completion rates and enrollment in postsecondary education. However, the program had no effects on achievement test scores, grades or participation in risky behaviors, and, overall, it had a positive impact on those enrolled in the middle third of the baseline (eighth grade) grade distribution more so than other enrollees.

Career and technical education pathway programs, academic performance and the transition to college and career

This study examines the effect of career and technical education (CTE) transition programs on secondary student matriculation to postsecondary education. The study has 2 components 1) comparing secondary CTE and non-CTE students on academic experiences, achievement and transition to college and 2) exploring the effect of CTE programs on postsecondary students’ transition experiences and outcomes. Results revealed that participation in CTE programs were linked to outcomes such as: increased academic achievement, enrollment in dual-credit courses and college readiness.

Making progress toward graduation: Evidence from the Talent Development High School model

This study evaluates Talent Development, a school reform model that seeks to raise expectations of teachers and students and prepare students for postsecondary education and employment. The researchers followed 20 cohorts of ninth-grade students from five high schools for four years . Results showed that Talent Development had a positive impact on academic course credits earned, attendance and promotion rates during students’ first year of high school.

Effectiveness of Summer Bridge Programs in Enhancing College Readiness

This study assesses the effectiveness of bridge programs, which aim to provide interventions for high schools students to successfully transition into college. Results showed that effective bridge programs have strong relationships with their partner school district, have orientations and closing ceremonies, involve parents, implement formative and summative evaluations, and provide transportation, academic advising, professional development opportunities, and support services and labs to support instruction.

Preparation of students completing a core-plus or commercially developed high school mathematics curriculum for intense college mathematics coursework

This study analyzes the impact of prior mathematics achievement on the relationship between high school mathematics curriculum and student’s postsecondary mathematics performance. The analysis used mathematics course-taking and achievement data from eight college semesters for 1,588 students. Findings revealed that students were equally prepared for intense college mathematics coursework, regardless of the high school mathematics curriculum they completed.

Pathways and Supports for College and Career Preparation: What Policies, Programs, and Structures Will Help High School Graduates Meet Expectations?

This brief, the third in the College and Career Development Organizer series, summarizes the pathways and supports of college and career preparation that have been collected and organizes this information into three key threads:  1) Personalized Learning Supports; 2) Rigorous Programs of Study; 3) Aligned Resources, Structures, and Supports.  Along with a brief description of each thread, key components are highlighted and examples of each type of pathway and support are provided.


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