A new practice guide released on Sept. 15 by the Institute of Education Sciences recommends five steps that educators, administrators and policy makers can take to increase access to higher education for students, starting in the 9th grade.
“Helping Students Navigate the Path to College: What High Schools Can Do” was authored by a U.S. Department of Education panel focused on college access and chaired by USC Rossier School of Education University Professor William G. Tierney, director of the Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis.
Tierney and a group of other higher education experts spent the last year examining the most important research available on the topic in order to present the five recommendations and how to implement them in detail.
“President Obama has said it is a national imperative to increase access to college. This guide shows how high schools can do just that,” Tierney said. “The recommendations are sensible, achievable and able to implement even in today’s difficult economic climate.”
The recommendations include two steps regarding academic preparation. First, schools should offer courses and curricula that prepare students for college-level work and ensure that students understand what constitutes a college-ready curriculum by the 9th grade.
Second, schools should utilize assessment measures throughout the high school so that students are aware of how prepared they are college, and the schools should assist them in overcoming deficiencies.
The panel also recommended surrounding students with adults and peers who support their collegiate aspirations.
Two final steps noted in the practice guide were to assist students in the completion of their college entry and help them apply for financial aid.
To download the guide, visit http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/publications/practiceguides/#hed_pg