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Tierney publishes findings from 10 years of college prep program

In 2007, William Tierney accepted a check supporting the SummerTIME program from California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer. (Photo/courtesy of USC Rossier)

William Tierney has assembled a new monograph based on findings from 10 years of a writing program for college-bound youth offered by the Pullias Center for Higher Education at the USC Rossier School of Education.

Unlike a textbook, which surveys the state of knowledge in a field, the main purpose of a monograph is to present primary research and original scholarship, usually by a single author.

SummerTIME (Tools, Information, Motivation, Education) serves low-income, underrepresented college-bound students representing Los Angeles high schools where more than 90 percent of attendees are eligible for the federal school lunch program. Most participants live in homes where English is a second language and are the first in their families to graduate high school and continue on to college.

The most recent SummerTime study found that 60 percent of the students who were classified as remedial at the start of the program, according to a writing pretest, were classified as college-ready on the writing post-test. In addition, 80 percent of the students improved by one score or more on a writing test from pretest to post-test.

Tierney also revealed findings about elements that worked during the program’s past decade, and he noted obstacles to sustainability and scaling up, most notably, unreliable funding.

After serving more than 1,000 college-bound students, SummerTIME concluded its final year last summer due to its funding challenges. However, Tierney concluded that comparable programs need to be increased and expanded in order to impact college readiness. He hopes the program model can be replicated and implemented in other cities.

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Tierney publishes findings from 10 years of college prep program

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