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 Pub Number  Title  Date
NCEE 20194002 Study of Enhanced College Advising in Upward Bound: Impacts on Steps Toward College
The U.S. Department of Education tested a set of promising, low-cost advising strategies, called Find the Fit, designed to help low-income and "first generation" students enrolled in the Department's Upward Bound program choose more selective colleges and stay in until they complete a degree. About 200 Upward Bound projects with 4,500 seniors agreed to participate. The projects were randomly assigned to receive Find the Fit to supplement their regular college advising (treatment group) or to offer their regular advising (control group). This first of three reports looks at Find the Fit's effects on students' steps toward enrolling in a more selective college. The study found that the enhanced advising increased the number and selectivity of colleges to which students applied.
10/18/2018
NCES 2017013 College Applications by 2009 High School Freshmen: Differences by Race/Ethnicity
This report uses data from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:09) 2013 Update collection to look at college applications by high school freshmen four years later.
8/31/2017
REL 2017242 Stated Briefly: Impacts of Ramp-Up to Readiness™ after one year of implementation
This "Stated Briefly" report is a companion piece that summarizes the findings from another report (REL 2017-241). This study examined whether the Ramp-Up to Readiness program (Ramp-Up) produced impacts on high school students' college enrollment actions and personal college readiness following one year of program implementation. The study also looked at Ramp-Up’s impact on more immediate outcomes, such as the emphasis placed on college readiness and the amount of college-related teacher-student interactions taking place in high schools. The impacts were studied in context by assessing the degree to which schools were implementing Ramp-Up to the developer's satisfaction. Forty-nine Minnesota and Wisconsin high schools were randomly assigned to one of two groups: (1) the Ramp-Up group that would implement the program during the 2014-15 school year (25 schools), or (2) the comparison group that would implement Ramp-Up the following school year, 2015-16 (24 schools). The researchers collected data from students and school staff during the fall of 2014, before program implementation and during the spring of 2015 after one year of implementation. The study team administered surveys to staff, surveys to students in grades 10-12, and the commitment to college and goal striving scales from ACT's ENGAGE instrument. Researchers also obtained extant student-level data from the high schools and school-level data from their respective state education agencies. The outcomes of most interest were students' submission of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and their scores on the two ENGAGE scales. Data indicated that following a single year of implementation, Ramp-Up had no impact on grade 12 students' submission rates for the FAFSA or on the commitment to college and goal striving of students in grades 10-12. However, the program did produce greater emphasis on college-readiness and more student-teacher interactions related to college. Implementation data showed mixed results: on average, Ramp-Up schools implemented the program with adequate fidelity, but some schools struggled with implementation and 88 percent of schools did not adequately implement the planning tools component of the program. Schools implementing Ramp-Up demonstrated a greater emphasis on college-readiness than comparison schools, but a single year of program exposure is insufficient to produce greater college readiness among students or FAFSA submissions among grade 12 students. Schools that adopt Ramp-Up can implement the program as intended by the program developer, but some program components are more challenging to implement than others.
3/7/2017
REL 2017241 Impacts of Ramp-Up to Readiness™ after one year of implementation
This study examined whether the Ramp-Up to Readiness program (Ramp-Up) produced impacts on high school students' college enrollment actions and personal college readiness following one year of program implementation. The study also looked at Ramp-Up's impact on more immediate outcomes, such as the emphasis placed on college readiness and the amount of college-related teacher-student interactions taking place in high schools. The impacts were studied in context by assessing the degree to which schools were implementing Ramp-Up to the developer's satisfaction. Forty-nine Minnesota and Wisconsin high schools were randomly assigned to one of two groups: (1) the Ramp-Up group that would implement the program during the 2014–15 school year (25 schools), or (2) the comparison group that would implement Ramp-Up the following school year, 2015–16 (24 schools). The researchers collected data from students and school staff during the fall of 2014, before program implementation and during the spring of 2015 after one year of implementation. The study team administered surveys to staff, surveys to students in grades 10–12, and the commitment to college and goal striving scales from ACT's ENGAGE instrument. Researchers also obtained extant student-level data from the high schools and school-level data from their respective state education agencies. The outcomes of most interest were students' submission of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and their scores on the two ENGAGE scales. Data indicated that following a single year of implementation, Ramp-Up had no impact on grade 12 students' submission rates for the FAFSA or on the commitment to college and goal striving of students in grades 10–12. However, the program did produce greater emphasis on college-readiness and more student-teacher interactions related to college. Implementation data showed mixed results: on average, Ramp-Up schools implemented the program with adequate fidelity, but some schools struggled with implementation and 88 percent of schools did not adequately implement the planning tools component of the program. Schools implementing Ramp-Up demonstrated a greater emphasis on college-readiness than comparison schools, but a single year of program exposure is insufficient to produce greater college readiness among students or FAFSA submissions among grade 12 students. Schools that adopt Ramp-Up can implement the program as intended by the program developer, but some program components are more challenging to implement than others. Additional studies need to examine Ramp-Up's impact on students' college enrollment actions, their college admission rates, and their success in college following multiple years of program exposure. Studies also should investigate whether implementation gets stronger in subsequent years as schools gain more experience with Ramp-Up's curriculum and processes.
3/2/2017
REL 2017229 College and career readiness profiles of high school graduates in American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
Stakeholders in American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands have identified the college and career readiness of high school graduates as a key concern; however, it has been unclear what data were available to determine student readiness for college and careers. This report examines the availability of college and career readiness indicators; how many of the Data Quality Campaign's 10 Essential Elements of high quality data systems were in place; and the college and career readiness of a graduating class within each jurisdiction. In American Samoa, the study found that data were available to construct five college and career readiness indicators and that six of the Data Quality Campaign's 10 Essential Elements were in place. In addition, the study found that, among the 843 high school completers in the American Samoa sample, students’ mean grade point average was 2.84, fewer than 50 percent took a math class beyond Algebra II, and most students scored at the below basic proficiency level on the SAT-10 reading and math exams. In the Northern Mariana Islands, data were available to construct six college and career readiness indicators, and three of the Data Quality Campaign's 10 Essential Elements were in place. Among the 587 high school completers in the Northern Mariana Islands sample, students' mean grade point average was 2.81, few students completed pre-calculus or calculus, and most students scored at the average proficiency level on the SAT-10 reading and math exams.
2/28/2017
REL 2017231 What are the college outcomes after six years for Tennessee's high school class of 2007?
Regional Educational Laboratory Appalachia and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) collaborated to conduct this study, which examines college enrollment, persistence, and performance for Tennessee's public high school class of 2007 six years after high school graduation. The study used student-level data from the Tennessee Department of Education to define the graduating cohort of 2007 and to describe students' demographic characteristics. These data were linked with postsecondary data from THEC and the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC). The NSC provided enrollment and degree-completion data for students enrolled in a public postsecondary institution, and THEC provided data on credits earned and grade point averages (GPA) for students enrolled in a Tennessee public postsecondary institution. Neither source provided data on private institutions, and NSC does not collect credit or GPA data. The study found that just over half of Tennessee's public high school class of 2007 enrolled in a public postsecondary institution within six years. Enrollment rates were highest for Asian or Pacific Islander students (62 percent), followed by White students (57 percent), Black students (52 percent) and Hispanic students (37 percent). Female students also enrolled at higher rates (60 percent) than male students (50 percent). Enrollment rates were highest in the fall immediately after high school (69 percent of those who enrolled within six years). About 16 percent of all graduates completed a four-year degree within six years. The completion rate was higher (37 percent) for students who enrolled immediately after high school. After one year, students enrolled full-time in a four-year institution earned more credits and had higher grade point averages than those in a two-year institution. Results highlight the higher success rates for students who enroll in postsecondary education full-time immediately after high school. The study also points to important subgroup differences—for example, low enrollment and completion rates among Black and Hispanic students. Additional study may reveal both why these differences exist and how they can be mitigated. Policymakers may consider replicating this approach for future cohorts of high school graduates reporting long-term outcomes back to individual districts and schools where local decision-makers can take action.
2/8/2017
REL 2017211 Participation in Kentucky's college preparatory transition courses: An update
Kentucky offers college preparatory transition courses in mathematics, reading, and English to grade 12 students. These courses are designed as one possible intervention for students who have not met Kentucky's college readiness benchmarks on the ACT in grade 11. This study uses descriptive statistics to update previous REL Appalachia research about participation in these courses for the 2014/15 school year. Data are disaggregated by student and school characteristics. In 2014/15, the approximately half of grade 12 students needed an intervention to prepare them for college in mathematics (53 percent), reading (50 percent), or English (40 percent). Nearly two-thirds of Kentucky high schools offered transition courses as an intervention option, and such courses were more common in small, rural, and low-performing high schools. Statewide, more than twice as many students enrolled in mathematics transition courses than in English language arts transition courses (22 and 10 percent, respectively). Of students who had not met college readiness benchmarks, approximately 40 percent participated in mathematics transition courses and approximately 20 percent participated in English language arts transition courses. Some additional students who had already met state benchmarks also participated in the courses.
1/4/2017
WWC PQ1123 Strategies for Postsecondary Students in Developmental Education-A Practice Guide for College and University Administrators, Advisors, and Faculty
Students academically underprepared for college need comprehensive, integrated, and long-lasting supports to be successful in persisting and completing their college degrees. This What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) practice guide, Strategies for Postsecondary Students in Developmental Education – A Practice Guide for College and University Administrators, Advisors, and Faculty, includes evidence-based recommendations that college and university administrators, advisors, and faculty can use to improve the success of students placed into, or at-risk of placement into developmental education. Developed by a panel of experts, the strategies in this guide focus on ways to improve students' progress through developmental education, credit accumulation and persistence, academic achievement, and degree attainment. The practice guide offers specific examples and suggestions for implementing the recommendations in colleges and universities, highlights obstacles to implementation that educators might face, and identifies suggested implementation approaches.
11/29/2016
REL 2017203 Investigating Developmental and college-level course enrollment and passing before and after Florida's developmental education reform
Beginning with 2014 fall semester, developmental education in Florida was made optional for most students. This report compares enrollment and passing rates in developmental reading, writing, and mathematics courses as well as gateway English and mathematics courses for a cohort of first-time-in-college students in fall 2014 to three cohorts of students in the fall semesters prior to 2014. Compared to prior semesters, once developmental education became optional fewer students enrolled in developmental education courses. Passing rates for developmental education courses in reading, writing, and math increased an average of 2.0 percentage points over fall 2013. More students enrolled in gateway (entry-level, college-credit bearing) courses. Gateway course passing rates declined compared to previous years, with the largest declines occurring in intermediate algebra. The proportion of the first-time-in-college fall cohort students passing a gateway course increased compared to previous years.
10/26/2016
WWC IRTP664 ACT/SAT Test Preparation and Coaching Programs Transition to College
ACT and SAT test preparation and coaching programs are designed to increase students' scores on college entrance exams. These programs familiarize students with the format of the test, introduce test-taking strategies, and provide practice with the types of problems that may be included on the tests. The WWC reviewed the research on ACT and SAT test preparation and coaching programs and found that they have positive effects on general academic achievement for high school students.
10/4/2016
REL 2016169 A guide to developing and evaluating a college readiness screener
This guide describes core ideas for colleges to consider when developing a screening tool for estimating college readiness. A key focal point within the guide is a discussion of ways to improve how well a screening tool can identify individuals needing remedial or developmental education along with key considerations that a user or developer of such a tool must address. Specifically, the following steps are discussed:
1.Creating an operational definition of success and college readiness
2.Selecting potential predictors of college readiness
3.Prioritizing types of classification error
4.Collecting and organizing the necessary data
5.Developing predictive models
6.Evaluating the screening results and selecting the final model
9/7/2016
REL 2016184 Stated Briefly: Ramping up to college readiness in Minnesota high schools: Implementation of a schoolwide program
This "Stated Briefly" report is a companion piece that summarizes the results of another report of the same name. This study examined whether the Ramp-Up to Readiness program (Ramp-Up) differs from college readiness supports that are typically offered by high schools, whether high schools were able to implement Ramp-Up to Readiness to the developer's satisfaction, and how staff in schools implementing Ramp-Up to Readiness perceive the program. The researchers conducted interviews and focus groups with staff in two groups of schools: (1) a group of 10 schools that were in the first year of implementation of Ramp-Up to Readiness, and (2) a group of 10 other schools that were not implementing the program. The researchers also administered surveys to staff employed by these 20 schools as well as to students in grades 10-12 in these schools. Through these data collection efforts, the researchers obtained information on the types of college readiness programming and supports in the two types of schools, students' perceptions of college-focused staff-student interactions, schools' success at implementing Ramp-Up to Readiness’ core components and sub-components, and the opinions of staff in implementing schools about the program. Compared with non-Ramp-Up schools, those implementing Ramp-Up offered more college-oriented structural supports, professional development, and student-staff interactions. Ramp-Up schools also made greater use of postsecondary planning tools. Students in Ramp-Up schools perceived more emphasis on four of five dimensions of college readiness than students in comparison schools. Ramp-Up schools met the program developer’s threshold for adequate implementation on four of five program components (structural supports, professional development, curriculum delivery, and curriculum content). However only 2 of the 10 schools met the developer’s adequacy threshold for the other component (use of postsecondary planning tools). Staff at Ramp-Up schools generally had favorable perceptions of the program. Schools that implement Ramp-Up were able to offer deeper college readiness support to more students than comparison schools. Schools that adopt Ramp-Up can implement the program as intended by the program developer, but some program components are more challenging to implement than others. Additional studies should be performed to examine whether implementation improves after a second year of implementation and whether Ramp-Up improves the likelihood that students will enroll and succeed in college.
9/6/2016
REL 2016146 Ramping up for college readiness in Minnesota high schools: Implementation of a schoolwide program
This study examined whether the Ramp-Up to Readiness program (Ramp-Up) differs from college readiness supports that are typically offered by high schools, whether high schools were able to implement Ramp-Up to Readiness to the developer's satisfaction, and how staff in schools implementing Ramp-Up to Readiness perceive the program. The researchers conducted interviews and focus groups with staff in two groups of schools: (1) a group of 10 schools that were in the first year of implementation of Ramp-Up to Readiness, and (2) a group of 10 other schools that were not implementing the program. The researchers also administered surveys to staff employed by these 20 schools as well as to students in grades 10–12 in these schools. Through these data collection efforts, the researchers obtained information on the types of college readiness programming and supports in the two types of schools, students' perceptions of college-focused staff-student interactions, schools' success at implementing Ramp-Up to Readiness' core components and sub-components, and the opinions of staff in implementing schools about the program. Compared with non-Ramp-Up schools, those implementing Ramp-Up offered more college-oriented structural supports, professional development, and student-staff interactions. Ramp-Up schools also made greater use of postsecondary planning tools. Students in Ramp-Up schools perceived more emphasis on four of five dimensions of college readiness than students in comparison schools. Ramp-Up schools met the program developer's threshold for adequate implementation on four of five program components (structural supports, professional development, curriculum delivery, and curriculum content). However only 2 of the 10 schools met the developer's adequacy threshold for the other component (use of postsecondary planning tools). Staff at Ramp-Up schools generally had favorable perceptions of the program. Schools that implement Ramp-Up were able to offer deeper college readiness support to more students than comparison schools. Schools that adopt Ramp-Up can implement the program as intended by the program developer, but some program components are more challenging to implement than others. Additional studies should be performed to examine whether implementation improves after a second year of implementation and whether Ramp-Up improves the likelihood that students will enroll and succeed in college.
6/28/2016
NCES 2016144 The Condition of Education 2016
NCES has a mandate to report to Congress on the condition of education by June 1 of each year. The Condition of Education 2016 summarizes important developments and trends in education using the latest available data. The 2016 report presents 43 key indicators on the status and condition of education and are grouped under four main areas: (1) population characteristics, (2) participation in education, (3) elementary and secondary education, and (4) postsecondary education. Also included in the report are 3 Spotlight indicators that provide a more in-depth look at some of the data.
5/26/2016
REL 2016123 Developmental education and college readiness at the University of Alaska
This study examines the postsecondary readiness of first-time students who enrolled in the University of Alaska system over a four-year period. The study calculates the proportion of students considered academically underprepared for college and how placement rates for developmental education (that is, non–credit-bearing courses) vary for different groups of students. The study also determines the proportion of students placed in developmental education who eventually enrolled in and passed college English and math. Finally, the analysis looks at whether high school grades, rather than exam performance, are a better predictor of success in college-level courses.

Results show that developmental education rates were higher in math than English for students pursuing any degree type and increased as the gap between high school exit and college entry grew. Among students pursuing a bachelor's degree, developmental placement rates were highest for Black students from urban areas of the state (in math) and Alaska Native students from rural areas (in English) compared to all other student groups. Almost half (47 percent) of students placed in developmental courses eventually passed college English and almost a quarter (23 percent) passed college math. For students who enrolled directly in college, high school grade point average was a stronger predictor of college-level English and math performance than were SAT, ACT, and ACCUPLACER scores. Secondary and postsecondary stakeholders can use the findings to help identify students in need of support to be college-ready and to consider further conversation and additional research regarding whether and how to use high school grade point average as part of the placement process.
5/17/2016
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