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College and Career Readiness
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Many policymakers and educators are focused on ensuring that students are ready for college and careers when they graduate from high school. RELs work in partnership with states and districts to 1) conduct original high quality research, 2) provide training, coaching, and technical support, and 3) disseminate high quality research findings on the topic of college and career readiness. A selected list of resources developed by the REL Program appears below.

Partnerships

Publications

  • Self-study Guide for Career Readiness in Secondary Schools (REL Southeast, August 2020). This Self-study Guide for Career Readiness in Secondary Schools was developed to help educators plan and implement district and school career readiness practices. It is intended to promote reflection about current strengths and challenges in planning for implementation of career readiness practices, spark conversations among staff, and identify areas for improvement. The guide provides a template for data collection and guiding questions for discussion that may improve the implementation of career readiness practices and increase the number of students earning high school diplomas and successfully transition to postsecondary training and careers.
  • How Legacy High School Students Use Their Flexible Time (REL Central, July 2020). Legacy High School in Bismarck Public Schools, North Dakota, personalizes education through flexible time, which allows students to choose how they spend a portion of the school day, outside of their regularly scheduled classes. This report describes how students at Legacy High School used their flexible time and whether their use of flexible time varied by demographic characteristics and academic achievement level.
  • Implementation of Career- and College-Ready Requirements for High School Graduation in Washington (REL Northwest, July 2020). The Washington State Board of Education recently developed career- and college-ready (CCR) graduation credit requirements that are more aligned with career pathways and with admissions standards at the state's universities. Local and state education leaders in Washington state asked REL Northwest to conduct a study of districts' progress toward implementing the CCR graduation credit requirements from 2018 to 2019. The study found that about 27 percent of all 2018 graduates met the CCR graduation credit requirements. Gaps in credit attainment suggest additional barriers exist for students of color, students eligible for the national school lunch program, current English learner students, and students who have low scores on grade 8 state assessments.
  • Assessing the Alignment between West Virginia's High School Career and Technical Education Programs and the Labor Market (REL Appalachia, May 2020). Strong alignment between high school Career Technical Education (CTE) programs and labor market demands is critical for positioning CTE students on a successful postsecondary path. To support these efforts, this report quantitatively assesses the alignment between West Virginia's high school CTE programs and the labor market, focusing on regional high-demand occupations.
  • Adoption of, enrollment in, and teacher workload for the Expository Reading and Writing Curriculum in California high schools (REL West, October 2019). The Expository Reading and Writing Curriculum (ERWC) is a college preparatory English language arts course designed to enhance the abilities of students through rhetorical analyses of compelling issues and interesting texts. This study was designed to explore the characteristics of schools that have adopted the ERWC, the characteristics of students enrolled in the course, and the teacher workloads for the course. The study was also intended to inform a wider audience of policymakers and educators who are interested in strengthening postsecondary readiness by expanding opportunities for high school students to take courses similar to the ERWC.
  • Associations between the Qualifications of Middle School Algebra I Teachers and Student Math Achievement (REL Central, October 2019). This report describes the associations between middle school teacher qualifications and student achievement in Algebra I. Results suggest that the teacher qualification most strongly associated with middle school student achievement in Algebra I was performance on mathematics certification exams, followed by years of experience teaching mathematics. Teacher performance on mathematics certification exams and years of experience teaching mathematics were also strongly associated with achievement in Algebra I for under-represented and disadvantaged student subgroups.
  • The Postsecondary Pathways of Minnesota Public High School Graduates: Investigating Opportunity Gaps (REL Midwest, September 2019). The Midwest Career Readiness Research Alliance investigated the postsecondary pathways of Minnesota public high school graduates, focusing on opportunity gaps by high school locale and student characteristics, including gender, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, English proficiency, and disability status. Drawing on data from Minnesota's Statewide Longitudinal Education Data System, this study examined the postsecondary pathways taken by the state's public high school graduates immediately following high school graduation and their postsecondary and labor market outcomes six years later.
  • A Descriptive Analysis of Expanded Pathways to Graduation in New York State (REL Northeast and Islands, January 2019). REL Northeast and Islands partnered with the New York State Education Department (NYSED) to examine the pathways used by students to attain a Regents diploma at the outset of a new policy expanding those pathways in June 2015. Under the new 4+1 pathways policy, students could replace one of the two required social studies Regents exams with another approved assessment in one of several subjects to earn a NYSED-recognized Regents diploma.
  • Supporting the transition to college: Accelerated learning access, outcomes, and credit transfer in Oregon (REL Northwest, November 2018). Conducted in partnership with practitioners from secondary and postsecondary systems and institutions, this REL Northwest study is intended to guide policy and practice focused on improving accelerated learning programs in Oregon.
  • Impact of Providing Information to Parents in Texas About the Role of Algebra II in College Admission (REL Southwest, March 2018). This study examined whether providing parents in Texas with an informational brochure about the role of Algebra II in college admission had an impact on students' Algebra II completion rates in grade 11. The study related to the passage of Texas House Bill 5, which made Algebra II optional to graduate high school.
  • Trends in Algebra II Completion and Failure Rates for Students Entering Texas Public High Schools (REL Southwest, February 2018). This study examined trends in the percentage of students who enrolled in Algebra II, completed Algebra II, and passed/failed their first advanced mathematics course (any mathematics course above geometry) by the end of their junior year for students who entered grade 9 during the 2004–05 through 2014–15 school years. The findings include the first class to graduate under new state requirements that made Algebra II optional to graduate.
  • Understanding the Role of Noncognitive Skills and School Environments in Students' Transitions to High School (REL Southwest, December 2017). At the request of the New Mexico Achievement Gap Research Alliance, REL Southwest conducted a study examining grade 9 students' perceptions of their noncognitive skills and high school environments and how those perceptions relate to students' academic success in grade 9. The goal was to improve grade 9 transitions for American Indian and Hispanic students in New Mexico.
  • Associations Between Predictive Indicators and Postsecondary Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Success Among Hispanic Students in Texas (REL Southwest, November 2017). Hispanics remain underrepresented in the fast growing fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) as well as among those earning STEM degrees. This study identified factors that predict whether Hispanic and non-Hispanic high school students in Texas will go on to pursue or earn a postsecondary STEM degree.
  • Advanced Course Offerings and Completion in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math in Texas Public High Schools (REL Southwest, October 2017). In Texas, where about half of K–12 students are Hispanic, educators are working to increase the number of Hispanic students earning postsecondary degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). This study examined Texas high school students' access to and completion of advanced STEM courses, with a focus on Hispanic students.
  • Advanced Course Completion Rates among New Mexico High School Students following Changes in Graduation Requirements (REL Southwest, October 2017). In an effort to promote college and career readiness, the state of New Mexico passed a law in 2008 requiring high school students to complete at least one unit of advanced coursework to graduate. The purpose of this was to study examine the completion of advanced coursework during the period following the legislative change for all high school students in New Mexico who were freshmen in 2009/10, 2010/11, and 2011/12 and were in a New Mexico high school for four years.
  • Graduation Exam Participation and Performance, Graduation Rates, and Advanced Course-taking following Changes in New Mexico Graduation Requirements, 2011–15 (REL Southwest, October 2017). New Mexico students who were in grade 9 in 2009/10 and were expected to graduate in 2013 were the first cohort to be required to meet increased math and science course requirements and to take a new graduation exam. The purpose of this study was to describe graduation exam performance of the 2011–2015 cohorts, enrollment in Algebra II and lab science for the 2014–2015 cohorts, and the relationship of exam performance and enrollment with graduation outcomes.
  • Puerto Rico school characteristics and student graduation: Implications for research and policy (REL Northeast and Islands, April 2017) This study examined correlational relationships between graduation rates and two types of variables: student composition characteristics and high school characteristics. Using data provided by the Puerto Rico Department of Education as well as publicly available data, the study found that the percentage of students proficient in Spanish language arts was associated with higher graduation rates whereas the percentage of students proficient in mathematics was not associated with graduation rates. See the full report for additional findings.
  • Using high school data to understand college readiness in the Northern Mariana Islands (REL Pacific, April 2017). Educators in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands have expressed concern about high rates of student assignment to non-credit bearing remedial education courses at the local college, Northern Marianas College, which may indicate that many students are not ready to succeed in college.
  • Comparing enrollment, characteristics, and academic outcomes of students in developmental courses and those in credit-bearing courses at Northern Marianas College (REL Pacific, April 2017). Increasing students' college and career readiness and success is a priority throughout the United States and across the Pacific Region. This study will examine the characteristics and college trajectories of students who are placed into remedial English or math classes as compared to students who are placed into credit-bearing courses in order to provide the alliance with a clearer understanding of the impact of assignment to remedial courses on student success.
  • Growth mindset, performance avoidance, and academic behaviors in Clark County School District (REL West, April 2017). This study examined the distribution of reported academic mindsets and behaviors in Nevada's Clark County School District. The analysis revealed that most students reported beliefs that are largely consistent with a growth mindset. However, reported beliefs and behaviors differed significantly depending on students' English learner status, race/ethnicity, grade level and prior achievement.
  • Is High School Grade Point Average a Consistent Predictor of College Readiness? (REL Northwest, March 2017). 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.
  • Immediate Impacts of Ramp-Up to Readiness™ After One Year of Implementation (REL Midwest, March 2017). This study will build on an implementation study of Ramp-Up currently under way by examining the impact of Ramp-Up on student outcomes. This evaluation seeks to produce estimates of the program's impact on short-term outcomes, explore the relationship between attending a Ramp-Up high school and longer term outcomes, and understand schools' experiences with program implementation.
  • Earning college credits in high school: Options, participation, and outcomes for Oregon students (REL Northwest, March 2017). Members of the College and Career Success Research Alliance are working in partnership with REL Northwest to identify state-specific information about the accessibility of acceleration programs across secondary and postsecondary education for Indiana and Minnesota students. They want to better understand the accessibility of such programs and the characteristics of program participants.
  • How well does high school grade point average predict college performance by student urbanicity and timing of college entry? (REL Northwest, February 2017). This report examined how well high school GPA and college entrance exams predict college grades for particular subgroups of students who enrolled directly in college math and English in the University of Alaska system over a four-year period.
  • Measuring Student Progress and Teachers' Assessment of Student Knowledge in a Competency-Based Education System (REL Central, February 2017). This report describes how long students took to complete a competency-based class. The report also examines the relationship between teachers' judgments of student competency and student performance on a state achievement test. The study found that the majority of students took four academic quarters to complete a class. On average, students who were below grade level took less time to complete their classes than students who were in a class that corresponded to their traditional grade level. Teacher ratings of student competency had a small but positive association with student academic achievement.
  • Overview of Selected State Policies and Supports Related to K-12 Competency-Based Education (REL Central, February 2017). Policies associated with competency-based education are summarized for the seven states in the Regional Educational Laboratory Central region, as well as five states identified as being proactive in aligning their policies to support competency-based education. This study also categorizes the different types of assistance and resources these states have provided to intentionally support competency-based education.
  • College and career readiness profiles of high school graduates in American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (REL Pacific, February 2017). Many students entering college in the Pacific region are required to enroll in developmental or remedial education programs, which can increase the time required to achieve a degree and are associated with less successful college outcomes. This study responds to requests from education leaders to examine the condition of college readiness in these entities and to identify opportunities to strengthen and improve students' college and career readiness.
  • Characteristics and postsecondary pathways of students who participate in acceleration programs in Minnesota (REL Midwest, February 2017). Members of the College and Career Success Research Alliance are seeking state-specific information about the accessibility of acceleration programs across secondary and postsecondary education for Indiana and Minnesota students. They want to better understand the accessibility of such programs and the characteristics of program participants.
  • Advanced course enrollment and performance in Washington state: Comparing Spanish-speaking students with other language minority students and English-only speakers (REL Northwest, January 2017). This study examined differences in advanced course enrollment and performance for groups of language minority students and native English speakers in Washington state high schools.
  • Advanced course enrollment and performance among English learner students in Washington state (REL Northwest, November 2016). This descriptive study examines patterns in advanced coursetaking among current and former English learner students and never-English learner students in Washington state.
  • A Guide to Developing and Evaluating a College Readiness Screener (REL Southeast, September 2016). 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.
  • Online credit recovery: Enrollment and passing patterns in Montana Digital Academy courses (REL Northwest, June 2016). Examining 2013/14 data from the Montana Digital Academy, this report provides a descriptive analysis of course-enrollment and course-completion patterns and draws on interviews with education leaders across Montana to provide context and to describe other credit recovery strategies in the state.
  • Dual Enrollment Courses in Kentucky: High School Students' Participation and Completion Rates (REL Appalachia, June 2016). REL Appalachia undertook a descriptive study of participation in and completion of dual enrollment courses for Kentucky students in grades 11 and 12 from 2009/10 through 2012/13.
  • Ramping up for College Readiness in Minnesota High Schools: Implementation of a Schoolwide Program (REL Midwest, June 2016). 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.
  • Developmental education and college readiness at the University of Alaska (REL Northwest, May 2016). 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.
  • Can scores on an interim high school reading assessment accurately predict low performance on college readiness exams? (REL Southeast, April 2016). The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between measures of reading comprehension, decoding, and language with college-ready performance. This research was motivated by leaders in two Florida school districts interested in the extent to which performance on Florida's interim reading assessment could be used to identify students who may not perform well on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) and ACT Plan.
  • College Enrollment Patterns for Rural Indiana High School Graduates (REL Midwest, June 2015). This study examined 1) average distances traveled to attend college, (2) presumptive college eligibility, (3) differences between two-year and four-year college enrollment, (4) differences in enrollment related to differences in colleges' selectivity, and (5) degree of "undermatching" (i.e., enrolling in a college less selective than one's presumptive eligibility suggested) for rural and nonrural graduates among Indiana's 2010 high school graduates.
  • What predicts participation in developmental education among recent high school graduates at community college? Lessons from Oregon (REL Northwest, May 2015). This study examines the extent of developmental education participation among Oregon high school graduates students who attend community college and the relationship between high school experiences and subsequent developmental education course-taking.
  • Who will succeed and who will struggle? Predicting early college success with Indiana's Student Information System (REL Midwest, March 2015). This study examined whether data on Indiana high school students, their high schools, and the Indiana public colleges and universities in which they enroll predict their academic success during the first two years in college.
  • Participation and Pass Rates for College Preparatory Transition Courses in Kentucky (REL Appalachia, January 2015). The purpose of this study was to examine Kentucky high school students' participation and pass rates in college preparatory transition courses, which are voluntary remedial courses in math and reading offered to grade 12 students in the state.
  • College Enrollment and Persistence in Rural Pennsylvania Schools (REL Mid-Atlantic, October 2014). The purpose of this study was to examine the college enrollment and persistence rates of rural high schools in Pennsylvania; the types of postsecondary institutions in which students from such schools enroll; and the student, school, and college characteristics associated with enrollment and persistence outcomes.
  • The College Readiness Data Catalog Tool: User Guide (REL Northeast and Islands, September 2014). The College Readiness Data Catalog Tool and User Guide enable states, districts and other educational entities to assess the presence of college readiness indicators in extant data sets and identify gaps that may present challenges in developing future indicator systems.
  • The implementation of dual credit programs in six nonurban Kentucky school districts (REL Appalachia, June 2016). REL Appalachia researchers identified six districts in consultation with Kentucky College and Career Readiness Alliance representatives. Profiles describing each district's dual credit programming were created using data from 45 individual interviews conducted with seven distinct stakeholder groups.
  • High School Dropout and Graduation Rates in the Central Region (REL Central, July 2008). This report presents comprehensive and detailed information on grades 7-12 dropout rates and on high school graduation rates in the Central Region. The rates provide a comprehensive reference for state and local educators and policymakers on the student subgroups most at risk of not completing high school.
  • High School Standards and Expectations for College and the Workplace (REL Central, June 2008). State standards for high schools in a majority of Central Region states cover 82 percent of the language arts topics but just 57 percent of the mathematics topics identified by both of two national studies as important for success in college and the workplace.

Works in Progress

  • Assessing the Implementation of the Minnesota Alternative Learning Center Networked Improvement Community (REL Midwest). The purpose of the project is to evaluate the Minnesota Alternative Learning Center Networked Improvement Community (Minnesota ALC NIC) and share, through an applied research methods report, a methodology for evaluating the implementation of networked improvement communities (NICs). The first part of this two-part project is a formative evaluation that will assess the functioning of the NIC. The second part of the project is an applied research methods report that describes a methodology for conducting a formative evaluation of the implementation of NICs. Because the evaluation addresses research questions that are applicable to a general model of NICs, they will frame the approach to evaluating the implementation of NICs that will be the focus of the applied research methods report. An appendix to the report will include the findings from the evaluation of the Minnesota ALC NIC, which would serve as an example of how the research methods will be applied in practice.
  • Dual Enrollment in Rural Areas: Understanding Access and Participation (REL Central). One well-established strategy for improving college readiness and success is dual enrollment, which allows secondary students to take college courses and earn college credits. This study is designed to address regional needs by providing detailed information about dual enrollment access and participation within and across REL Central states.
  • Education and Career Planning in High School: A Longitudinal Study of School and Student Characteristics and College-Going Behaviors (REL West). Arizona is one of many states that require high school students to develop education and career plans, also known as individualized learning plans. However, policymakers and practitioners alike lack knowledge about how these practices are implemented in schools nationwide. This study is examining the landscape of implementation and exploring the possible links between planning and student outcomes—such as the relationship between developing a plan in 9th grade and the likelihood of filling out the FAFSA.
  • Examining the Impact of Career and Technical Education Course-Taking in Two States (REL Central). This impact study will examine the short- and long-term impacts associated with CTE course-taking in high school in Nebraska and North Dakota. Specifically, the study will compare the college and career outcomes of CTE and non-CTE students two and five years after high school.
  • Factors Predicting College Readiness and Early College Success: An Exploratory Study of High School Students' Demographic and Academic Characteristics In the Republic of Marshall Islands (REL Pacific). More than 75% of recent incoming students at College of the Marshall Islands (CMI) are initially placed in non-credit developmental courses rather than credit-bearing courses. Using existing data, this study will examine various demographic and academic preparation characteristics of three cohorts of recent graduates from the RMI public school system who enrolled in CMI from 2013 through 2015. The study will also examine which demographic and academic preparation characteristics predict college readiness and early college success among these students.
  • Identifying Indicators of Postsecondary Readiness in Arkansas (REL Southwest) The Arkansas Department of Education has as a goal that all students will attain postsecondary success after high school, defined as enrollment in postsecondary education or training or at least part-time employment with a living wage. To support this vision, the Department's plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) specifies a set of college and career readiness indicators to measure and track. These indicators include measures of student success and school quality, such as achievement and growth, graduation rates, attendance, grade point average, and credits in college preparatory and advanced courses. This study will examine the extent to which these indicators accurately predict college and career readiness and postsecondary success outcomes among Arkansas students and subgroups.
  • Immigrant and refugee secondary school student intake policies, processes, and supports resources toolkit (REL Northwest). REL Northwest is creating a toolkit of evidence-based policies and procedures for welcoming, orienting, and guiding immigrant and refugee secondary school students who are new to the United States. Specifically, the toolkit will help district and school staff members use data to guide student intake, course placement, and credit decisions and to implement best practices to support newcomers and their families in the classroom and school community.
  • Measuring Civic Readiness: A Review of Instruments (REL Central). The study will identify and review instruments measuring civic readiness. The study report will summarize the content and format of the instruments as well as the associated evidence of the reliability and validity of the instruments.
  • The Postsecondary Pathways of Minnesota Public High School Graduates: Investigating Opportunity Gaps (REL Midwest). The Midwest Career Readiness Research Alliance is investigating the postsecondary pathways of Minnesota public high school graduates, focusing on opportunity gaps by high school locale and student characteristics, including gender, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, English proficiency, and disability status. Drawing on data from Minnesota's Statewide Longitudinal Education Data System, this study is examining the postsecondary pathways taken by the state's public high school graduates immediately following high school graduation and their postsecondary and labor market outcomes six years later.
  • Predicting Early College Success in the CNMI: Academic Preparation, Academic Achievement, and Intrapersonal Competencies (REL Pacific). This study will examine the relationships between high school academic preparation, high school academic achievement, intrapersonal competencies, and the outcome of interest: early college success. Early college success in this study is defined as placement in credit-bearing courses in the first semester, earning all attempted credits in the first semester, first-year grade point average (GPA), and persistence to the second semester of college.
  • Relationship Between Dual and Concurrent Enrollment Program Participation and Secondary and Postsecondary Academic Outcomes (REL Northeast & Islands). Given the fast growth and high interest in dual and concurrent enrollment, and the large and persistent gaps in postsecondary outcomes among different student groups, stakeholders in Rhode Island would like to understand the relationship between student participation in such programs and postsecondary outcomes for students who graduate from high school and enroll in college. This study will examine the effect of participation in Rhode Island's accelerated college credit programs on students' secondary and postsecondary academic outcomes. Researchers will also explore the relationship between the type of accelerated college credit program—such as dual versus concurrent enrollment—and student outcomes.
  • Self-study guide for implementing career counseling in secondary schools (REL Southeast). The goal of this project is to create and provide State Education Agencies and Local Education Agencies with a self-study guide template for a team of educators to assess their implementation of career counseling practices across a district or school and discuss potential improvements. The template will be arranged by areas found to be important to career counseling efforts through a review of the literature and discussions with stakeholders.
  • Trends in Virginia High School CTE Credential Attainment and Postsecondary Enrollment Outcomes (REL Appalachia). REL Appalachia is partnering with Virginia state education agencies to conduct a study describing CTE credential attainment and postsecondary enrollment outcomes. The study examines the period leading up to and after a new statewide policy that requires students who earn Virginia's Standard Diploma to earn a CTE credential as well.
  • Using College Data to Better Understand Teachers' Performance on the National Standardized Test for Teachers (NSTT) in the Federated States of Micronesia (REL Pacific). One pressing challenge in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is a shortage of qualified teachers. Using existing data, this study will examine variability in the demographic characteristics and the college academic preparation variables of teacher candidates who graduated from the College of Micronesia-FSM from 2012 through 2016 and who passed or failed the National Standardized Test for Teachers (NSTT). In addition, this study will examine what demographic and college academic preparation factors predict NSTT performance in this context.
  • Using High School and College Data to Predict Teacher Candidates' Performance on the Praxis Core® Exam at the Unibetsedåt Guåhan (University of Guam) (REL Pacific). Most teachers hired by the Guam Department of Education (GDOE) are graduates of the University of Guam School of Education (UOGSOE). Potential teacher candidates must pass the Praxis Core exam prior to being accepted into UOGSOE, but to date, the percentage of teachers who pass the Praxis Core exam is low. This study will examine factors that predict whether teacher candidates pass the Praxis Core and continue with their teacher candidacy studies.
  • Using High School Data to Predict Early College Success in Guam (REL Pacific). Many Guam public high school graduates who enroll as first-time freshmen at the University of Guam and Guam Community College are placed into non-credit developmental courses instead of credit-bearing courses. Because early college success has important implications for students and educational institutions, stakeholders in Guam have expressed a need to learn more about early college success and its predictors in this population. This study will use existing data to examine early college success, as well as demographic and academic preparation characteristics, of recent graduates from Guam public high schools who enrolled at the University of Guam or Guam Community College from 2012 through 2015.
  • Using High School Data to Predict Early College Success in Palau (REL Pacific). As part of its Education Master Plan 2026, the Palau Ministry of Education (MOE) and Palau Community College (PCC)—the island's lone public postsecondary education institution—are working to align their education systems to better prepare Palau students for the rigors of college-level coursework. This study will identify (a) the specific student characteristics and aspects of students' high school preparation that predict early success in college and college completion, and (b) the percentage of Palau High School students who participated in the types academic preparation found to predict college success.
  • Using High School Data to Predict Early College Success in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) (REL Pacific). This study will identify the specific student characteristics and aspects of students' high school preparation that predict early success in college and college persistence, and the percentage of Pohnpei high school students who participated in the types of academic preparation found to predict college success.
  • What Becomes of Indiana and Minnesota High School Students Who Take Career and Technical Education Courses? (REL Midwest). Many states, including all seven in the Midwest, face the challenge of helping students gain the skills necessary to succeed in college and the workplace. One way states are addressing this challenge is by developing career pathways and career and technical education opportunities aligned with those pathways. Policymakers with the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and the Minnesota-based Midwest Career Readiness Research Alliance want to know whether certain types of students or schools have higher enrollment and completion rates for career and technical education. They also want to know if participation in career and technical education courses affects high school graduates' college and workforce outcomes. Researchers with REL Midwest are assisting these stakeholder groups by examining high school graduates' course-taking patterns, their enrollment in and completion of college, and their employment and earnings history.
  • What Foundational Skills Matter for Algebra I Success? (REL Central). To inform strategies that address these concerns, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education educators expressed a need for information about the particular foundational knowledge and skills associated with success in Algebra I. This information will help Missouri educators identify students who are ready for Algebra I and those who need more support prior to enrolling.

Videos

  • Achieving Graduation Equity (REL Northwest). North Clackamas School District is one of several in Oregon that has made considerable progress in the area of graduation equity. The district's overall graduation rates have increased—and most notably, it has closed the graduation gap for Latino students. In this REL Northwest video, you will learn about the policy and program changes behind this achievement and how North Clackamas School District was able to implement the changes, sustain the strategy, and overcome barriers thanks to a laser-like focus on equity.
  • Adding it up: The value of education and work experience in Alaska (REL Northwest). This short animated video explains how education and work experience affected the employment and wages of 40,000 young Alaskans who left school between 2005 and 2008. The video focuses on the findings in the study, Alaska students' pathways from high school to postsecondary education and employment.
  • Behind the Findings: Dual Credit Programs in Kentucky (REL Appalachia). In this video, Dr. Patricia Kannapel dives deeper into the findings and implications of REL Appalachia's study on the implementation of dual credit programs in Kentucky. The study found that although Kentucky's districts are keenly promoting dual credit programs to further college and career readiness, program implementation varied widely among the six districts in the study. Dr. Kannapel discusses these findings and possible solutions to ensure equitable access to dual credit programs across school districts.
  • Bridging Research and Practice: Competency-Based Learning Research Symposium (REL Northeast and Islands) The Northeast College and Career Readiness Research Alliance hosted a daylong symposium that brought together researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to discuss new research and practice in competency-based learning in New England and beyond.
  • Collaborative Research and the College and Career Success Research Alliance (REL Midwest). Alliance lead Matt Soldner discusses the work of REL Midwest's College and Career Success Research Alliance.
  • Collaborative Survey Design: Focus on Competency-Based Learning (REL Northeast and Islands) With support from the Northeast College and Career Readiness Research Alliance, REL Northeast & Islands worked with educators and students across the region to design a survey to understand students' experiences with key elements of competency-based learning and their understanding of districts' competency-based learning policies.
  • Competency-Based Learning: Definitions, Policies, and Implementation (REL Northeast and Islands) A brief overview of findings from a REL Northeast & Islands study of proficiency- or competency-based learning in the Northeast, drawing on twenty interviews in Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.
  • Fostering College Readiness Through Transition Course Development (REL Pacific). This video focuses on transition courses that can help prepare students for the rigors of college-level academics and examines REL Pacific's transition course development work.
  • The Power of High School GPA to Predict College Readiness (REL Northwest). This short animated video shares the findings of two REL Northwest studies that found high school GPA was better than college placement test scores at predicting college course grades for recent high school graduates in Alaska. The findings suggest high school GPA should be considered as part of the college placement process.
  • Making It: Latino Students' Pathways to College (REL Midwest). The Latino student population has risen from 8.8 million to 17.9 million and now makes up almost a quarter of students in U.S. schools. Educators are working to tailor Latino students' education to reflect their cultural needs and prepare them for college and career readiness. This documentary highlights the predominantly Latino Cesar Chavez Academy High School in Detroit and the College Assistance Migrant Program at Michigan State University and reveals best practices for educating Latino students and preparing students for college.
  • Measuring Student Progress and Knowledge in CBE (REL Central). This video describes the REL Central report Measuring student progress and knowledge in a competency-based education system. The results of the study suggested that competency-based education in Westminster Public Schools provides students who are behind academically an opportunity to complete performance levels in less time than in a traditional education system.
  • Perspectives on the Current Landscape of Competency-Based Learning Research (REL Northeast and Islands) Paul Leather, deputy commissioner of education for New Hampshire, discussed competency-based learning reform in his state and presented a case study on the PACE pilot accountability program, which provides alternate routes for students to demonstrate measurable progress.
  • Preparing Alaska Students for Postsecondary Success Diane Hirshberg (REL Northwest). Diane Hirshberg, Director, UAA Center for Alaska Education, talks about the need for Alaska to focus on helping at-risk students prepare for postsecondary success. She outlines a few indicators that a student is underperforming, including ninth-grade mathematics and college entrance exam scores.
  • Preparing Alaska Students for Postsecondary Success Lindsay Daugherty (REL Northwest). Lindsay Daugherty of the Rand Corporation discusses obstacles in the long road to postsecondary achievement, as well as potential intervention strategies to make sure students who apply for college attend and graduate.
  • Preparing Alaska Students for Postsecondary Success Terri Akey (REL Northwest). Terri Akey outlines the alliance's major objectives and addresses the task of defining college and career readiness for Alaska students.
  • Preparing a Career-Ready Student (REL Southeast). Career development research and theory suggest that growth in distinct areas is required to help adolescents develop strategically planned, adaptive, and proactive approaches to their post-high school transitions. This video shares important aspects of preparing a career-ready student including an explanation as to the critical nature of career readiness practices and testimonials of practical applications.
  • Postsecondary Education and Employment Pathways of Minnesota Public High School Graduates (REL Midwest). This video provides an overview of the study design and findings from REL Midwest's study of the college and career pathways that Minnesota students took within one year and six years of high school graduation.
  • Ready for the Future: Career Preparation in Rural Communities (REL Midwest). In partnership with Twin Cities Public Television, REL Midwest created a documentary about the unique challenges facing rural communities in Minnesota as students explore and prepare for careers. The documentary features two evidence-based career readiness programs in rural Minnesota: Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities in Wadena and Scrubs Camp in Mankato. The program emphasizes the research that reveals best practices in the field and highlights factors that contribute to success for students as they create their future plans. The documentary also includes Paula Palmer, director of career and college success at the Minnesota Department of Education; Susan Therriault, a researcher from the American Institutes for Research; and John Sipple, a researcher from Cornell University.
  • Supporting Students with Disabilities to Become College- and Career-Ready: Lessons Learned (REL Midwest). In November 2019, Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest and the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) hosted an in-person event on effective strategies to help students with disabilities become college- and career-ready. The event covered existing research on effective strategies to support students with disabilities as they prepare for college and/or a career; evidence-based practices, tools, and resources; and examples of practice from special education administrators in districts across Minnesota.
  • The Northeast College and Career Readiness Research Alliance Examines Proficiency-Based Learning (REL Northeast and Islands). The video examines the Northeast College and Career Readiness Research Alliance's preliminary research agenda and the opportunity for collaborative research on college and career readiness across the region.
  • Teaching strategies for improving Algebra knowledge: A practice guide (REL Central). This video describes the What Works Clearinghouse practice guide, Teaching Strategies for Improving Algebra Knowledge in Middle School and High School Students. The video briefly provides an overview of the guide's three evidence-based recommendations for teaching algebra to students in middle school and high school.

Archived Webinars

  • Paving the Pathway to College and Careers: Building a Postsecondary Mindset (REL Appalachia, October 13, 2020). This virtual training webinar is the third of a three-part series on supports for strengthening the transition from high school to postsecondary education and training. Presenters share strategies for promoting social emotional preparedness for transitions to postsecondary.
  • Personalizing Instruction to Address COVID-19 Learning Gaps (REL Central, July 2020). This virtual quick chat shares options and supports for personalizing instruction to meet the needs of students who have had their learning disrupted. Presenters discuss topics including installing building supports, analyzing data, and defining student expectations, as well as actionable personalized instructional strategies for teachers.
  • Using Assessments to Identify and Address COVID-19 Learning Gaps (REL Central, June 2020). This webinar presentation shares methods and strategies for using assessments to identify the needs of students following social distancing measures taken to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The presentation shares strategies to support state and local education agency participants in developing a back-to-school assessment plan.
  • Supporting Postsecondary Transitions During COVID-19 (REL Appalachia, May 14, 2020). School closures due to the COVID-19 crisis present a hurdle for students who are preparing to transition from high school to postsecondary education and training. In this virtual chat, REL Appalachia and our partners discuss logistical and nonacademic supports for keeping students on the path to postsecondary, such as supporting families in completing and making updates to FAFSA applications and understanding financial award letters and comparing costs, as well as addressing summer melt and providing students with social-emotional supports.
  • Rural Data Use Webinar Series Rural Data Use Webinar Series (REL West, 2017-2020). Starting in Fall 2017, the REL West California Rural Partnerships Alliance hosted a series of webinars focused on supporting rural cross-sector career pathways partnerships to improve their data-based decisionmaking.
  • Teacher Qualifications Associated with Success in Algebra I (REL Central, March 2020). This REL Central webinar discusses new research on teacher qualifications associated with student success in Algebra I. Presenters provide an overview of the REL Central report Associations Between the Qualifications of Middle School Algebra I Teachers and Student Math Achievement. Additionally, they cover background on the design and constructs involved in math teacher certification exams.
  • Paving the Pathway to College and Careers: The Nuts and Bolts of Postsecondary Transition (REL Appalachia, February 27, 2020). This virtual training webinar is the second of a three-part series on strengthening the transition from high school to postsecondary education and training. Presenters share strategies that can help students and families complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and college application requirements.
  • Delivering Work-Based Learning in Rural Schools (REL Central, December 2019). This REL Central webinar provides an overview of research on work-based learning (WBL), challenges to WBL implementation, and research-based frameworks for WBL development and implementation. Representatives from two rural districts, identified as successfully implementing WBL programs, describe the components of their programs and the opportunities they provide to students.
  • Paving the Pathway to College and Careers: Laying the Foundation for Postsecondary Success (REL Appalachia, November 7, 2019). This virtual training webinar is the first of a three-part series on strengthening the transition from high school to postsecondary education and careers. This webinar focuses on postsecondary knowledge including strategies that support student and family understanding of the expectations and norms of postsecondary education and training, and exposes students and families to career paths.
  • District Plans to Address Educational Equity: Findings from World's Best Workforce Summary Scan (REL Midwest, July 2019). In this training webinar, presenters from Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest and the Minnesota Department of Education provided district staff with information about emerging practices that have supported progress on Minnesota World's Best Workforce (WBWF) goals related to equity, and successes and challenges in implementing these WBWF processes at the local level. The presenters shared highlights from a review of 2017-2018 WBWF district summaries related to equity and provided attendees the opportunity to learn more about the local efforts to advance equitable access and outcomes across the state.
  • World's Best Workforce: Making Meaning and Moving Forward (REL Midwest, June 2019). In this training webinar, presenters from Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest and the Minnesota Department of Education shared information with school district staff to ensure a common understanding of the Minnesota World's Best Workforce (WBWF) legislation and requirements for districts. The presenters shared highlights from a review of WBWF district summaries and set the stage for upcoming regional trainings.
  • Transition Course Development in the Pacific Region (REL Pacific, June 12, 2019). The goal of this webinar was to inform stakeholders about research-based promising practices for effective transition course development to improve college and career readiness for high school graduates and ease the transition from high school to college. The presentation also discussed REL Pacific's work in support of transition course development in the Pacific Region.
  • Statewide Support for Individual Learning Plans: Research, Successes, and Challenges (REL Southwest, April 30, 2019). This webinar provides an overview of the research base for individual learning plans and how they support college and career readiness. A state panel of presenters from Wisconsin and Colorado share their individual learning plan implementation successes and challenges.
  • Setting Up for Success: Preparing High School Students for College-level Math (REL Northeast & Islands, February 14, 2019). This webinar presented research on efforts to reduce rates of student placement in college remedial mathematics. Researcher Dr. Angela Boatman shared findings from a recent impact evaluation of a pre-college remediation intervention—the Seamless Alignment and Integrated Learning Support (SAILS) program in Tennessee. Dr. Marla Davis from the Mississippi Department of Education discussed her state's experience implementing a pre-college math readiness program, including challenges, successes, and lessons learned.
  • Language, Discussion, and Questions in Early Math (REL Central, May 2018). This recorded webinar presents research-based strategies that support early childhood language development and mathematical thinking through posing rich mathematical questions. It reviews strategies to implement Recommendation 4, "Teach children to view and describe their world mathematically," from the WWC practice guide Teaching Math to Young Children (Frye et al., 2013).
  • Using Questioning Strategies to Support Struggling Math Students (REL Central, December 2017). This webinar is designed to improve mathematics outcomes in the middle grades by introducing the use of questioning strategies to educators. Questioning strategies are explicit instruction discussed in the practice guide Assisting Students Struggling with Mathematics: Response to Intervention for Elementary and Middle Schools (Gersten et al., 2009).
  • Assisting Struggling Students with Mathematics (REL Central, November 2017). This webinar presents research-based approaches to assisting students who are struggling in math. It focuses on recommendations from the What Works Clearinghouse practice guide Assisting Students Struggling with Mathematics: Response to Intervention for Elementary and Middle Schools (Gersten et al., 2009). The webinar includes examples of instructional strategies related to those recommendations and resources and actionable knowledge that educators can implement to meet the needs of students.
  • Closing the Achievement Gap: Research from New Mexico (REL Southwest, November 8, 2017). In 2009, New Mexico adopted more rigorous high school graduation requirements. This November 2017 webinar recording presents the findings from two REL Southwest studies that examined changes in New Mexico high school students' advanced course completion and graduation rates under the new requirements. The studies were conducted in partnership with our New Mexico Achievement Gap Research Alliance.
  • Increasing First-Generation Students' College Success Through Individualized Advising (REL Northwest, October 4, 2017). This REL Northwest webinar, Increasing First-Generation Students' College Success Through Virtual and In-Person Individualized Advising and Support, explores two comprehensive financial and advising programs that have made substantial gains in helping underrepresented students earn a degree. The webinar begins with a brief overview of the research evidence on such programs. Next, learn how Portland Community College's Future Connect in-person coaching services and the Dell Scholars Program's virtual support model have contributed to rising rates of college completion for many low-income and first-generation students. Discover practical strategies you can use with high school and postsecondary students.
  • Leveraging Postsecondary Data to Increase College Access (REL Northeast and Islands, September 20, 2017) This webinar explores recent research on the ways states and districts are using administrative postsecondary data, including to track graduates' postsecondary enrollment, persistence, and success. Included in the presentation are remarks from Dr. Benjamin Castleman, who discusses a low-cost, short-cycle randomized controlled trial that used postsecondary data to assess the effectiveness of an inexpensive, text message-based college-access program that aims to reduce "summer melt."
  • Preparing American Indian Students for College and Careers (REL Midwest, August 2017). In this webinar, Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest hosted a webinar on culturally responsive strategies to promote college and career readiness for American Indian students. During the webinar, presenters discussed the importance of providing culturally responsive education, drawing on experience working in middle and high school settings. Presenters also shared different types of supports available to foster college and career readiness, specifically focusing on supports that are responsive to American Indian students' cultural contexts, communities, and lived experiences.
  • Strategies to Increase Access and Success for Underrepresented Students in CTE and STEM (REL Northwest, June 15, 2017). This webinar ofers tools and strategies you can use to promote the participation, persistence, and completion of underrepresented students (by gender, race and ethnicity, and special population status) in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and career and technical education (CTE) programs. Dr. Ben Williams from the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity introduces a practical framework for collecting and using data to identify equity gaps and root causes, as well as implementing strategies to address these gaps.
  • Predictors and Indicators of College Readiness and Success (REL Midwest, REL Southeast, REL Southwest, REL Pacific, and REL West, November, 29, 2016). In this webinar, REL researchers discuss recent research and publications which address indicators identifiable in high school and early college of students' likelihood to meet with success in postsecondary academics.
  • Bridge Event: Developing Culturally Responsive College and Career Readiness Literacy Skills (REL Northeast and Islands, May 10, 2016). The USVI College and Career Readiness Research Alliance at REL Northeast & Islands and Dr. Helen Duffy discuss the link between literacy and success in higher education and the workforce, with a focus on the US Virgin Islands.
  • Supporting Hispanic Students Preparing for STEM Careers (REL Southwest, September 24, 2015). This bridge event webinar presents evidence-based strategies to support Hispanic students preparing for careers in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM). The presenters examine factors that influence Hispanic students' success in STEM degrees as well as strategies to support this success as students prepare for college. The webinar is in four parts:
  • Coaching to Assist Teachers of Students Struggling in Mathematics (REL Central, September 2015). This webinar provided participants with a deeper understanding of how mathematics coaching can support teachers with students who are struggling to learn mathematics. This coaching increases teacher knowledge about intervention instruction in mathematics and the impact of monitoring students' progress through available resources, and warns against content and instructional practices that actually interfere with struggling students learning mathematics.
  • A Northeast Region View of Competency-Based Learning (REL Northeast and Islands, August 17, 2015) REL Northeast & Islands researchers present a study on definitions and policies related to competency-based learning and implementation across the northeast region, and a representative from the New Hampshire Department of Education discusses the implementation of a competency-based program in several pilot districts.
  • Implementing College Readiness Indicator Systems: A REL Northwest Webinar (REL Northwest, April 30, 2015). This webinar introduces a leading framework for understanding college readiness and for guiding system development. Also presented are findings from two case studies emerging from the College Readiness Indicator System Initiative that describe and analyze how college readiness indicator systems are being "brought off the page."
  • Summer Advantage: Counseling within a Collaborative Model for College Readiness (REL West, April 23, 2015). Norco College counselor Marissa Iliscupidez presents the Summer Advantage Program, a summer enrichment and orientation program for students transitioning from high school to community college. The program is designed to accurately place students in English and math courses at their ability level and help incoming students create education plans.
  • Making Good on the Promise of College Readiness for All by Dr. Robert Balfanz (REL Mid-Atlantic, March 2015): This presentation by Dr. Robert Balfanz, Research Professor, Johns Hopkins University School of Education, examines what it takes, starting in the middle grades, to ensure that all students graduate from high school prepared to succeed in college and career.
  • Proficiency- and Competency-Based Learning: Emerging Research on Implementation Outcomes (REL Northeast and Islands, May 6, 2014). The Northeast College and Career Readiness Research Alliance at REL Northeast & Islands hosted a Bridge Event Webinar to explore emerging research on proficiency- and competency-based learning and its implications for practice in states, districts, and schools.
  • Successful College Transition: Research, Policy, and Practice Perspectives from the USVI (REL Northeast and Islands, November 6, 2013). In support of the Virgin Islands Department of Education efforts to increase high school graduation rates and better prepare students for postsecondary success, the US Virgin Islands College and Career Readiness Research Alliance hosted this Bridge Event focused on successful college transition.
  • Aspirations of Rural Youth (REL Southwest, October 3, 2013). This bridge event webinar examines rural schools' challenges and successes in supporting students in the transition to college and careers. Award-winning professor Dr. Judith L. Meece presents findings from the Rural High School Aspirations Study, after which two assistant superintendents share their successes and challenges. The webinar is in four parts:
  • Connecting Adolescent Development to College Readiness A REL Northwest Event (REL Northwest, September, 2013). This event by Dr. Mandy Savitz Romer shared ways to engage students in planning for their own college success, generate meaningful support from families, and use data to track the success of college access programs.
  • College and Career Readiness in Alaska A REL Northwest Event (REL Northwest, June 2013). Alaska education policymakers and other stakeholders concerned about preparing Alaska students for postsecondary success attended this REL Northwest-sponsored event. This video shows the presentation of Dr. Manuelito Biag, a nationally known expert on college readiness indicator systems
  • Staying on Track for College Readiness A REL Northwest Webinar (REL Northwest, June 6, 2013). This webinar provides an overview of college indicator research and implementation across the country. Presenters Jenny Nagaoka of the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research and Dr. Susan Fairchild of New Visions for Public Schools discuss how educators and educational systems use indicator tools grounded in a routine process for accessing and interpreting data.
  • Standards-Based Grading and Assessing Student Mastery of Content (REL Northeast and Islands, May 30, 2013). The Northeast College and Career Readiness Research Alliance at REL Northeast & Islands explored the research on grading and new approaches to making grading policies more effective and reflective of student mastery of learning.
  • Increasing Access to College Preparatory Courses in Rural Communities Through Dual Enrollment (REL Appalachia, September 24, 2012). REL Appalachia hosted an informative presentation on the latest research pertaining to dual enrollment programs and their relationship to high school graduation, college enrollment, and college retention.
  • College and Career Readiness: Secondary and Postsecondary Perspectives (REL Northeast and Islands, August 30, 2012). The Northeast College and Career Readiness Research Alliance at REL Northeast & Islands hosted this Bridge Event as part of their research agenda to support several Northeast states in their efforts to increase graduation rates and ensure students' readiness for college-level work and the work force.

Infographics

For more resources in ERIC on the topic of College and Career Readiness, click here.

For more resources in the What Works Clearinghouse on the topic of College and Career Readiness, click here.