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College Readiness Prescription List

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Based on the notion of promoting a college going culture in high school, • Holland, Farmer, &
small learning communities (SLC) help foster relationships between all Hinton, 2009
students, their parents, teachers, advisors, and mentors, and act as a form • Schneider, 2007
of academic socialization to equip them with the tools needed to succeed • Darling-Hammond,
in college. As SLC are used throughout high school, the social structure Ancess & Ort, 2002
allows students to play a more active role in their learning, thus helping
them grow to be independent learners. This active role involves the
creation of a support community and culture through the accessible social
networks SLC promote. Furthermore, an ‘ethic of knowledge and care’
through the intimacy of SLC produces a set of standards that encourage
Small High
positive academic outcomes, scaffolds difficult concepts, and addresses
1 School
challenges and ways to overcome those challenges within a group setting.
Whether developed as formal SLC in 9th grade, or informally as study
groups, SLC provide the social support to help students develop college
ready habits of the mind such as intellectual openness and inquisitiveness
as well as time-management and other general skills. Additionally, SLC
provide a social information network that informs student members on
developing college preparedness strategies by encouraging participation
and appropriate course enrollment. As part of the K-16 school system, SLC
are the individuals involved in what an education entails working together
within a congruent social community.

2 Provide High Every student has the right to learn about what college entails, but many • Conley, 2005
Schools are misinformed about the college culture. This misinformation can lead to • Kirst & Venezia, 2004
Students poor choices in high school and perpetuate the idea that access to college • Meeder, H., 2006
with is beyond reach. It is especially important for not only the college-bound
• Reid & Moore, 2008
Information students, but also first-generation and minority students. All high school
• Schramm & Sagawa,
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students should receive clear information on college knowledge: admission 2008
standards, college choice, cost, financial aid, academic culture, and self- • Venezia & Kirst, 2005
advocacy. When students and their parents are provided with proper
on the college cultural information, they are more likely to develop focus and
College direction to ultimately obtain post-secondary credentials. Knowledge such
Culture as how to create post-secondary plans, how to complete financial aid
forms, and how to apply to college encourage students to make clearer
choices while in high school. Unfortunately, students most often, consult
with their teachers on college information, but their teachers are not
always up to date on all postsecondary programs.

When students are provided with a strong signal on college academic • Adelman, 2006
performance expectations throughout high school, they may be able to • Duffett & Farkas, 2009
make better choices regarding their academic preparedness. For instance, • Roderick, Nagaoka &
college academic readiness information would encourage high school Coca, 2009
Develop students to take more challenging courses in high school, than to just
• Venezia & Kirst, 2005
College merely meet high school graduation requirements, or take courses that are
Outreach perceived to make college applications look good. Student academic
3 Initiatives emphasis, therefore, should be focused on becoming college ready (being
Communicati able to succeed in college) as opposed to being college eligible (able to be
ng accepted by a college as judged by course name, GPA, and standardized
Academics test scores). This change in students’ outlook would make enrollment in
courses such as AP classes become more focused on developing
intellectual curiosity and habits of the mind, and not just be a means to
the end of strengthening college applications.

4 Implement Psychologists affirm that high school seniors are in a profound stage of • Schramm & Sagawa,
Leadership differentiation as they prepare to make the transition from childhood to 2008
Training of adulthood, so it is important to give them the option to participate in the • Dreis & Rehage, 2008

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experiences to develop their leadership skills. While providing students
with clear information on college expectations and performance, it is also
crucial for preparing them to be college ready. Training influential seniors
Influential on leadership to build a college going culture is a good practice that
Seniors to combines leadership and college performance development. The well-
Help Build a trained influential seniors, who have experience with dual enrollment
College- coursework, could influence their peers, guide younger students in making
Going appropriate academic choices, build a college going culture, and
Culture additionally, function as academic leaders, tutors, facilitators, and at times
teachers. These seniors can also benefit from these activities by
developing their own leadership skills, and making their senior year more
productive based on the leadership program.

5 Adopt or College readiness curriculum standards are specifically defined knowledge • Adelman, 2006
Create and skills which can be used as a frame of reference for success in an • Conley, 2003, 2005,
College entry-level college courses and act as the foundation for college ready 2007
Readiness curriculum. The standards include specific knowledge and skills students • Meeder, 2006
Curriculum should at least be familiar with in order to succeed in college or a career.
• National Governors
Standards Standards help regulate grading by utilizing a set of criteria-based exit
Association, Council of
indicators to diagnostically inform students, parents, and teachers how
Chief State School
well prepared a student is for college coursework. School districts can
Officer, Achieve, 2008
adopt and adapt current standards into their curriculum, or work with
vertical teams consisting of secondary and post-secondary faculties to
create their own set of standards. Existing college readiness standards are
research based and arranged by discipline (see American Diploma Project
and Standards for Success). When high school curriculum is aligned with
the standards, students are most likely able to enter into a college without
having to take remedial coursework, thus passing college placement
exams and completing their degree in a timely manner. The pathway is

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clear: all students, when provided with a college readiness standards
based curriculum, are provided with coursework that is steeped in the
notion of being ‘college ready’. This singular pathway clearly signals to
students, parents, and teachers the knowledge and skills needed to
succeed in either college or a career helping integrate an educational

Summer Learning Camps offer students firsthand college learning • Adelman, 2006
experience acting as a good transition between high school graduation • Beer, 2008
and the first year of college. Overall, there are four main activities: • Compact for Success,
personalized academic tutoring and instruction in mathematics, science, 2009
and/or reading/language competencies; math and science exploration in a
Students in
number of different fields; leadership training, and college life experiences.
6 The camps provide students stimulating academic learning opportunity;
foster students’ leadership skills, responsible behaviors and social skills;
develop and promote students’ career and educational aspirations; and
help students develop early awareness about the need to plan for college
(e.g. academic requirement, admission standards, and financial aid

7 Encourage Dual enrollment programs provide high school students actual college • Adelman, 2006
Dual courses, and offer simultaneous high school and postsecondary credits. • Cunningham & Mathews,
Enrollment These challenging programs engage high school juniors and seniors in 2007
for Every more rigorous study while easing the transition from high school to the • Darling-Hammond,
High School next level. In particular, the programs give students from families without Ancess & Ort, 2002
Student a college-going history the confidence that they can do college work.
• Karp, 2007
Additionally, the advance credits students earn while in high school usually
• Learner & Brand, 2006
cost less than the same courses taken by college students and save
• McCauly, 2007
students additional money by shortening their time in reaching their
• Reid & Moore, 2008
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postsecondary goal. These programs are also a partial cure for what many • Taking Promising High
educators call the wasted senior year. A particular study indicates that School Practices to Scale:
when students enroll in college with accumulated credits, and Challenges for Oregon in
subsequently finish their first year with an accumulated 20 credit hours, Service delivery and
they have the highest chance of obtaining a bachelors degree in four years Governance, 2008
Today’s economic environment requires highly skilled workers. Students • Adelman, 2006
need strong skills to be ready for the postsecondary education and • Hyslop, 2006
entry into the high-skilled work place. A lot of researches indicate the • Rosenbaum, 2003
fact that enrollment in cooperative education classes and involvement
in internships improves student learning and skill development,
Students affective outcomes, and career prospects, and therefore prepares
Workplace students for both a postsecondary education and career. When
Learning students apply knowledge to the workplace, they can see firsthand the
Opportunitie academic relevance of the skills they need to develop for a career, and
s have a better understanding of what it means to be “career ready”. The
workplace learning opportunities can also help students develop their
soft skill, like good work habits and social competence, which in labor
market are as important as academic skills.

9 Utilize Early Most universities admit students first, and then test them to see if they • Adelman, 2004
Diagnostic have the reading, writing, and mathematics skills needed for placement in • Early Assessment-
College college-level study. Over one-half of the high school graduates entering Accuplacer, 2009
Readiness postsecondary institutions do not meet placement standards and need • Early Assessment
Assessment to take at least one remedial course. Enrolling in remedial work Program, 2008
in High increases the time and money spent toward earning a degree. • Kirst & Venezia, 2006
Schools According to the research and many states’ years’ long practice, most • MME, 2009
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students who improve their skills in the junior and senior year can pass the • NJ Steps Re-designing
college placement exams and thus bypass any remedial courses. Education in New Jersey
Early assessment can include college placement exams or minimum for the 21st century,
competency exams with specific information on how to develop the skills 2008
for missed questions. Math and English skills should be emphasized, and
the testing should be criteria based. Such tests can be given during junior
year of high school. Students are encouraged to take early assessment
program and practice placement exams. These tests inform students on
the importance of placement tests, notify students and parents on how
well prepared students are for college-level work, and provide students
with an early indication of college readiness proficiency from early in high
school. The tests are diagnostic, they offer data to address students
learning and performance gaps, assist educators in further decision-
making, and provide students opportunity for additional preparation in
higher grade.

10 Develop According to the research, the learning plan plays a key role in advising • Adelman, 2006
College components of a student education, and helps secondary students better • Early College High
Readiness focus their coursework on individual goals as they prepare for School, 2009
Learning postsecondary studies and careers. The learning plan can also be • Reid & Moore, 2008
Plans for implemented as a tool to monitor student progress, while informing
students, counselors, teachers and parents on progress towards college • Trusty, 2004
readiness. Students who receive the learning plan will have a customized
plan and support system to serve as a guide as they navigate through
their educational experience in the high schools and postsecondary
institutions. So, the school counselors should develop learning plan for
students that is designed to serve as a student’s personal guide to help
them set leaning goals based on academic and career interest and become
good students. This education-career learning planning should be started
early, at the middle-school level (8th and 9th grade) and act as a
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continuous diagnostic guide.
Senior Seminars bridge the gap between high school and college. • CEPR, 2007
Aligned to Knowledge and Skills for University Success Standards • Conley, 2005, 2007,
(licensed by the College Board), senior Seminars are designed for 2008
students who rank in the academic middle 50%, aiming at preparing • Darling-Hammand,
students for what they will be expected to know in college. Courses Ancess & Ort, 2002
Create begin in 9th grade or earlier, and are designed by a team of high school
Senior and higher education faculty. The courses offer those students who
Seminar for may not want to take AP or Honors, but plan to attend a community
11 High School college or university challenging curriculum learning opportunities in a
Students comfortable and supportive high school environment. Here are some
core components of Senior Seminars: a faster paced curriculum;
emphasis on writing, feedback, editing and rewriting; clear grading
expectations and detailed scoring rubrics; key outcomes that are
measurable; an emphasis on the development of habits of mind, such
as analytical thinking and intellectual curiosity; frequent evaluation and
feedback from external sources, the teacher and peers; financial aid
applications, encouragement, and support.
12 Provide Examples of college level work provide students a tool to compare their • Darling-Hammand,
Students knowledge and skill level against college level work. In essence, the work Ancess & Ort, 2002
with examples demonstrate the output of the college readiness system by • Holland & Farmer-Hinton,
Examples of showing examples of the types of challenges and intellectual rigor 2009
College Level students should expect to master before entering into a college classroom. • Schneider, 2007
Work Educators may also benefit from the examples as part of high school
curriculum guides. Acting as anchor assignments, the practical application
of example work may function as a scaffolding tool that teachers can use
to assist students in developing the capabilities to perform in a
postsecondary environment. Ideally, example assignments should include

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a rough grading spectrum, showing grading criteria of both high and low
quality student work.

Utilize key Working independently with the technology in research, Conley, 2007
technological tools for writing, preparing presentations, etc. equips students with the
academic tasks in capabilities to do college level assignments
middle and high school
Incorporate more non- Non-cognitive behaviors are soft skills such as work habits, Rosenbaum, 2003
cognitive self-advocacy, and social skills. These skills are needed for
competencies into high not only college level learning, but post high school careers Cunningham & Mathews,
school curriculum 2007
Help students develop Conley, 2007
time-management Schneider, 2007
skills within an
academic context
Incorporate cognitive Keystone skills such as problem solving and critical thinking, See Texas CCRS (Closing
cross-disciplinary skills when properly honed, can be transferred into the college the Gaps, 2008)
into all high school classroom, or into a career Based on Conley 2007
New Jersey Partnership for
21st Century Skills
Embed "keystone" According to the research, these knowledge and skills are (Closing the Gaps, 2008)
skills and knowledge needed for college and career success
and cognitive cross-
disciplinary skills in