Graduating Each Student Prepared for College: What Does It Mean and What Does It Take?
How does a school know its practices will graduate EACH student ready for college? How does a teacher design equitable and rigorous instruction to prepare each student for college? Many people talk about college readiness as the next civil rights movement. Each student deserves to graduate from our schools ready for college. But what does that really look like and how do we get there?
First, let’s look at what our organization believes to be the definition of college preparedness.The BERC Group uses the following equation to define college readiness.
By and large, educators and schools would agree that they’re doing a good job of helping their students understand the first two parts of the equation: college awareness and college eligibility. Many practices are in place in schools to help students know about post-secondary options and the steps to get there. Where schools often fall short on the college ready promise is in preparing students to enter college and remain in college without the need for remediation – that’s really where the rubber meets the road. So how’s that work done?
The What & How of College Preparedness
With the work of researchers like David Conley, our relationships with higher ed partners, and action research from teachers whom we support, the what of college readiness is becoming clearer. College readiness standards, college level assignments and student work provide clear benchmarks and indicators for college preparedness. Comparing these standards to those of K-12 helps teachers clearly see that there is a serious gap in what students are asked to know and do to be prepared for the rigors of college – without remediation. Identifying the what of college readiness is a great first step but still only gets us so far. It’s helpful to know what is expected of incoming college freshman but how do we prepare them to be successful once they’re there?
Using Fred Newmann’s research on Authentic Intellectual Work, we’ve discovered that this framework aligns well with college standards. The AIW framework provides a lens for educators to determine how students are asked to construct knowledge and use disciplined inquiry to produce products or performances that have value beyond school. The three criteria—construction of knowledge, through disciplined inquiry, to produce discourse, products, and performances that have meaning beyond success in school—provide a foundation for the more complex intellectual work necessary for success in contemporary society and college level studies.
So what does it take to prepare students for college without remediation?
At GEAR UP West’s 2011 Conference “Innovation for Academic Excellence”, Chris Hoyos and Joe Hall from Abeo School Change will work with Educators will work together to address questions around post-secondary success.
- What does student work look like at the college level?
- What are students asked to do at the college level?
- What does college-prepared work look like?
- What kind of assignments do students need to graduate college-prepared?
- What teaching practices help students do this kind and level of student work?
From Abeo Partner Chris Hoyos