Making College the New Purpose for the American High


Driving K-12 Reform through a

College-Access and Success Agenda

Call-in information: 1-650-479-3208

Access code: 660 257 707

The Work

 AASA and College Summit have partnered, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to help schools and districts prepare for the 21 st

Century accountability measure –



The New Success Measure for the American

High School:

 College Enrollment Rate of the 9 th Grade


 College Persistence Rate

So . . .

What’s Your High School’s College Enrollment


College = Any post-secondary educational experience with value in the marketplace

 College is a four-year college, a two-year community college, as well as vocational education and certification programs.

 College does not even necessarily refer to a campus or a physical site anymore. In 2007, 66% of all two and fouryear degree Title IV granting institutions offered distance education courses in virtual learning environments.

High schools must shift from being last-stop destinations for students on their education journey to being launching pads for further growth and lifelong learning...The mission of high schools can no longer be to simply get students to graduate.

Their expanded mission, as President Obama has said, must also be to ready students for careers and college--and without the need for remediation.”

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan,

(July 15, 2010 speech to the College Board AP Conference -

“Three Myths of High School Reform”)


 Given that post-secondary access and success will be measured for schools and districts –





 OWN IT –

Be proactive in collecting and publicizing data on postsecondary access and success in your district


Drill in to the numbers for deeper understanding of the barriers to and reasons for success


Devise interventions and systems that support student success.

Why is College So Urgent?




Academic performance increases when high schools set the goal of college success for all students.

College Graduates earn more, enjoy more job security, and longer, healthier, more professionally fulfilling lives.

The 21 st century global marketplace will demand more college-educated citizens with skill sets that can only be obtained through post-secondary education and training.

To create “Launchpad High Schools,” school districts must:

Empower school staff to be leaders and advocates for students preparing for college

Use data systems to track students' college enrollment and persistence rates

Support first-generation students in particular throughout the college application process

Create a "college-going culture" in our high schools to inspire students to meet higher standards

Research Headlines

Connecting the dots: High school persistence and postsecondary attainment are linked

Freshman year is crucial for staying on track

School ownership of implementation and results

College-going climate is the single most consistent predictor for college enrollment

Academic rigor is necessary but not sufficient

Effective peer leadership has the power to increase college enrollment rates

Implementation impacts results

AASA and College Summit

Working together to help schools and districts use post-secondary outcomes data to drive school improvement

For more information and our toolkit, visit:

or contact Bryan Joffe,

This effort is funded through generous support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

What Do Our Schools Need to Do to Re-Form

Themselves Into College Going Cultures?

What do Schools Need to Do to Ensure the Future of our Children?

Improving College Going


Four Obstacles to Improving College-Going

#1: Failure to Attach

Meaning and Importance to Data

#2: Failure to Align

Content and Roles

#3:Failure to Message for Impact

#4:Failure to Confront the Money Excuse

Obstacle #1: Failure to Attach

Meaning and Importance to Data

Are there meaningful college enrollment and/or persistence measurements for your schools and the district?

Do your higher education institutions in your immediate area provide the meaningful data needed to assess the success of your students in their first two years of higher education?

Is FERPA used as an excuse for avoiding meaningful data collection and exchange?

Is improvement of attendance an important objective for the school?

Obstacle #1: Failure to Attach Meaning and

Importance to Data (Continued)

Is there competition between neighboring schools on college-going?

Does your district subscribe to the NSC data? If so, how do they use it?

Is the college-going data disaggregated by course and teacher?

Do you have an individual accountable to this data collection – making them the go-to person?

Obstacle #2: Failure to Align

Content and Roles

Is credit recovery a proxy for low expectations and acceptance of an assumption that the student isn't


Are your school improvement plans tied to improving college-going?

Is your curriculum a college-ready curriculum for all students as a default?

Are pre-requisites an impediment to entrance into challenging high school coursework?

Is there a working relationship between the postsecondary institutions in your community and the K-12 school system?

Obstacle #2: Failure to Align

Content and Roles


Does your staff/district staff regularly align the high school course content with the gen-ed college expectations?

Is the typical school schedule in your district flexible enough to allow for regular (at least weekly) advisory sessions so that all students receive regular postsecondary planning and coaching services?

Is your counseling department organized to serve college-bound students differently than those anticipated not to be college-bound?

Is the counselor/student ratio prohibitive of meaningful post-secondary coaching?

Obstacle #3:

Failure to Message for Impact

Is the school organized and operated with real or assumed "tracks" for students?

Is there regular exposure of students to firstgeneration college-going graduates?

Does self-description of "I am not smart" go unchallenged?

Is there evidence of a gender or ethnic divide in college going?

Obstacle #3:

Failure to Message for Impact (Continued)

Are students frightened of the "unknowns" associated with college attendance?

Are students afraid to leave their hometown; have they ever ventured outside of the immediate vicinity; have you organized college tours?

Do college recruiters visit with other than juniors and seniors?

Are sibling/relative college-goers used as mentors? Are college-bound peers used as mentors?

Are the college-going aspirations of students who are parenting, ill, special education, or returning from incarceration diminished because of their circumstance?

Obstacle #3:

Failure to Message for Impact (Continued)

Do exit/proficiency exam failures label a student as

"not college material"?

Do students who come from out-of-state or who were subject to moves due to military deployment given any special attention to assist them in obtaining a collegegoing objective?

Is alien, non-resident, or undocumented status an impediment to college going in your school?

Are LEP/NEP students largely precluded from the college-going efforts by either their own actions or that of the school?

Are the academic teachers in your secondary schools willing to also serve as college coaches? Are they trained or prepared to serve as such?

Obstacle #4:Failure to Confront the

Money Excuse

Is the cost of entrance exams a convenient excuse for a student to avoid high expectations for their future?

Is there an "understanding" among some of the parents that because of financial hardship, their children do not have access to college; and have they in subtle or not-sosubtle ways brought their children to believe that?

Do all students and their parents understand financial aid options available to them?

Are there management services in place to help families navigate the financial aid application process?

Assess You High School’s College-Going Culture

– Dr. Keith Frome

Launchpad Campaign Celebration

Hegel Central High School


Steps Forward This Year

High School Planning Workshop

• Peer Leaders and educators participated in a workshop to develop strategies for decreasing drop out rate and increasing college enrollment

• Educators and Peer Leaders form innovative partnership to achieve common goals

9 th Grade “Clean Slate” Event

• 9 th graders are shown how high school is a “clean slate”

• Peer Leaders assist with school tours and facilitation of event activities

Steps Forward This Year

Peer Leadership

• Peer Leaders have mentored under class students and have invested in their success

• Peer Leaders have held after school tutoring sessions for under class students

• Peer Leaders created a website to support their mission

• Peer Leaders have served as hall monitors, and assisted freshman with lockers

• Peer Leaders have gone beyond expectations to increase collegegoing at Hegel, and thus have become true leaders for the school

Steps Forward This Year

Launch Curriculum

• All 9 th – 11 th graders receive Launch curriculum in advisory class

• Teachers and students report more college “chatter”, or awareness and discussion of postsecondary options

Data Check-ins with SLC Directors

• SLC Directors participated in four data check-ins to determine targeted strategies for supporting students

• Actionable data was used to determine the needs of students and spur discussion about how those needs might be met

Data Analysis

Percentage of Students Missing 7+ Days Per Semester





60 54%




At Risk Students



Entire Class

8th grade semester 2

9th grade semester 1

Data Analysis

Percentage of Students Failing English (2009)











At Risk Students Entire Class

8th grade semester 2

9th grade semester 1

Data Analysis






Percentage of Students Failing Math (2009)





16% 17%

At Risk Students Entire Class

8th grade semester 2

9th grade semester 1

Raw Data – 2009

9th grade semester 1

At Risk Students [N = 50]

Students Missing 7+ Days Per Semester

50 [100%] 27 [54%]

Entire Class [N = 455] 106 [23%]

At Risk Students [N = 45]

64 [14%]

Students Failing English

38 [84%] 18 [40%]

Entire Class [N = 455] 103 [23%] 83 [18%]

At Risk Students [N = 46]

Entire Class [N = 455]

Students Failing Math

24 [52%]

72 [16%]

14 [30%]

77 [17%]