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November 2009

What's New

What Works Clearinghouse Practice Guides Webinars

The National Center for Evaluation and Regional Assistance's What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) recently launched a new outreach tool for its well-received practice guides. One of the latest guides, Helping Students Navigate the Path to College: What High Schools Can Do, was discussed in detail in an hour-long interactive webinar. WWC representative Jill Constantine and a panel of college readiness experts discussed the guide's recommendations and fielded questions from an audience of some 180 practitioners and policy experts. NCEE plans to host webinars for future practice guide releases.

To date, 12 practice guides have been published on topics such as helping students struggling with math and reading, dropout prevention, girls in math and science, organizing instruction, and improving adolescent literacy. Practice guides provide practical recommendations for educators to help them address the everyday challenges present in the classroom environment. Developed by a panel of nationally recognized experts and rigorously peer reviewed, practice guides include practical recommendations, strategies for overcoming roadblocks to implementation, and an indication of the strength of evidence supporting each recommendation.

The Path to College practice guide also was presented during an October Regional Educational Laboratory Program meeting on the topic "Increasing Access to Higher Education," convened by REL Midwest and REL Northeast and Islands and earlier at the IES-funded Scientific Evidence in Education Forums, both held in Washington, DC. Materials from the SEE Forum are online at

For more information about the practice guides, go to Guides can be downloaded in their entirety, and you can even suggest a topic for consideration as new practice guides are developed.

Financial Aid Calculator Template Now Available — What it Means for Students and Institutions

Now students can estimate their out-of-pocket expenses at college by using the net price calculator template. Released on November 4 by the Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics and the Office of Postsecondary Education, the calculator template uses both student-entered and institution-provided data and allows prospective students to calculate an estimated net price at an institution by calculating price of attendance minus grant aid. Based on the information entered, an average net price of attendance is generated based on what similar students paid in the previous year. The template-generated estimates are not binding and do not represent the actual award of financial assistance or a final net price. To use or review the template, go to (see What's New) or (see bottom of page). For help using the template, contact Ruba Nuwayhid of IT Innovative Solutions, Corp. at (240) 252-1707 or