College Completion

2016 Annotated Bibliograpy of Postsecondary Peer Cooperative Learning Programs Updated

For many years I have maintained an annotated bibliography of publications about peer learning programs at the postsecondary level. I wanted to share it more widely with others so it is provided in several forms:  PDF, Word, and EndNote database.  Please observe the license under which it is made available for your personal and scholarly use.  The unabridged version of the bibliography is now 399 pages.  [Click this link to reach the annonated bibliography page, http://z.umn.edu/peerbib ]  If you download the EndNote database, be sure to also download the keyword guide which I created to code each entry to make searching easier.

This annotated bibliography does not attempt to be inclusive of this broad field of literature concerning peer collaborative learning.  Instead, it is focused intentionally on a subset of the educational practice that shares a common focus with increasing student academic achievement and persistence towards graduation.

The seven student peer learning programs included in this bibliography meet the following characteristics: (a) the program must have been implemented at the postsecondary or tertiary level; (b) the program has a clear set of systematic procedures for its implementation that could be replicated by another institution; (c) program evaluation studies have been conducted and are available for review; (d) the program intentionally embeds learning strategy practice along with review of the academic content material; (e) the program outcomes include increased content knowledge, higher final course grades, higher pass rates, and higher college persistence rates; and (f) the program has been replicated at another institution with similar positive student outcomes. From a review of the professional literature, six programs emerged: (a) Accelerated Learning Groups (ALGs), (b) Emerging Scholars Program (ESP), (c) Peer Assisted Learning (PAL), (d) Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL), (e) Structured Learning Assistance (SLA), (f) Supplemental Instruction (SI), and (g) Video-based Supplemental Instruction (VSI).  As will be described in the following narrative, some of the programs share common history and seek to improve upon previous practices.Other programs were developed independently.

Regrets for scholarship I have overlooked.  Please send me items you think should be included in the next edition.  Happy reading.

MAEOPP Center 2015 Best Education Practices Directory

MAEOPP Center 2015 Best Education Practices Directory

<Click here to download PDF>

Copyright ©2015 by Mid-America Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel (MAEOPP) and the University of Minnesota by its College of Education and Human Development, Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning, Minneapolis, MN.

MAEOPP is pleased to release the 2015 directory of peer-reviewed education practices approved by the MAEOPP Center for Best Education Practices.  Each practice has undergone a rigorous external review process.  This directory contains those approved at the promising and validated levels.  Readers can use this publication as a guide for implementing the evidence-based education strategies contained within it.  Detailed information about the education practice purposes, educational theories that guide the practice, curriculum outlines, resources needed for implementation, evaluation process, and contact information are  provided by the submitters of the practice who have practical experience implementing it. Consider using them with current programs and in grant submissions that require evidence-based practices to improve student success.

The thirteen practices approved thus far by the MAEOPP Center represent each of the five major TRIO grant programs: Educational Talent Search, Upward Bound, Educational Opportunity Centers, Student Support Services, and Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Programs.  One practice is from a GEAR UP program.  For readers unfamiliar with TRIO programs, a short history is provided.  While the education practices come from TRIO and GEAR UP programs, they could be adapted for use with nearly any student academic support and student development program.  These programs are incubators of best practices to serve the needs of historically underrepresented students and the general student population as well.

Updated Postsecondary Peer Cooperative Learning Groups Annotated Bibliography(Updated 1/1/2015)

Postsecondary Peer Cooperative Learning Programs: Annotated Bibliography by David R. Arendale is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.  Based on a work at http://z.umn.edu/peerbib

Background on the Bibliography

For many years I have maintained an annotated bibliography of publications about peer learning programs at the postsecondary level. I wanted to share it more widely with others so it is provided in several forms:  PDF, Word, and EndNote database.  Please observe the license under which it is made available for your use.  Links to versions of the bibliography are at the bottom of this page.

This annotated bibliography does not attempt to be inclusive of this broad field of literature concerning peer collaborative learning.  Instead, it is focused intentionally on a subset of the educational practice that shares a common focus with increasing student persistence towards graduation.  At the end of this overview, several suggestions are made for differentiating the models from each other and the level of institutional resources and resolve with implementing them.

The six student peer learning programs included in this bibliography meet the following characteristics: (a) the program must have been implemented at the postsecondary or tertiary level; (b) the program has a clear set of systematic procedures for its implementation that could be replicated by another institution; (c) program evaluation studies have been conducted and are available for review; (d) the program intentionally embeds learning strategy practice along with review of the academic content material; (e) the program outcomes include increased content knowledge, higher final course grades, higher pass rates, and higher college persistence rates; and (f) the program has been replicated at another institution with similar positive student outcomes. From a review of the professional literature, six programs emerged: (a) Accelerated Learning Groups (ALGs), (b) Emerging Scholars Program (ESP), (c) Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL), (d) Structured Learning Assistance (SLA), (e) Supplemental Instruction (SI), and (f) Video-based Supplemental Instruction (VSI).  As will be described in the following narrative, some of the programs share common history and seek to improve upon previous practices.Other programs were developed independently.

Versions of the Bibliography for Downloading

Click on this link to download the bibliography as a PDF format document (Updated 1/1/2015). This version will always be months behind the current database.  If you want the most recent database, download the EndNote database file below and you can create your own custom print version of the latest citations.

Click on this link to download the bibliography as a Word document which you can easily edit (Updated 1/1/2015).  Using Microsoft Word software makes it easy to edit the bibliography as you like and use the search engine to find key words of your own choice.

Click on this link to download the actual database file of the bibliography in the EndNote format (Updated 1/1/2015). This file has been "compressed" and will require "unzipping" to open and use it with EndNote.  Click on the above web link and "save" the file to your computer (I recommend saving it to the desktop to make it easy to find.)  If you are unsure how to import into your own copy of EndNote, talk with someone who knows or search for the answer through Google and YouTube.  Use of this database requires purchase of the EndNote software or importing into another citation reference manager.  There are other free citation management systems such as Zotario.  It is possible to import this database into these other software systems.  However, I can not provide technical information how to do so.

Click on one of the two links below to download the Directory of Keywords I created to code the database entries and make it easier to search through EndNote: [Word document version]  [PDF format version]  (Updated 5/8/14) While you can search the bibliography by keywords within the titles or abstract, many of my additional keywords added to the database entry will not appear within the text.  Using EndNote's search function along with this list of the keywords I used to index it will allow more productive searchers.  It would be easy to create custom bibliographies as needed.  For example, "SI" plus "science" plus "academic achievement" would create a custom bibliography of every SI research document that included data for improved academic achievement of participating students.

Integrated Learning Course for Entering TRIO College Students: Outcomes of Higher Grades and Persistence Rates

Integrated Learning Course for Entering SSS College Students.  University of Minnesota (approved Validated Practice 8/10/14)  Taken from the abstract:  In 1972, the TRIO program leaders at the University of Minnesota developed the Integrated Learning (IL) course to meet academic and transition needs of their Upward Bound (UB) students.  These courses were offered during the UB summer bridge program for its students who were concurrently enrolled in academically-challenging college courses following graduation from high school.  Later, use of IL courses shifted from the UB program to the college-level TRIO Student Support Services program.  Long before the widespread use of learning communities within higher education, the IL course is an example of a linked-course learning community.  A historically-challenging course like an introductory psychology is linked with an IL course.  The IL course is customized to use content of its companion class as context for mastering learning strategies and orienting students to the rigor of the college learning environment.  For the past four decades, the IL course approach has assisted TRIO students improve their academic success in the rigorous academic environment as well as acclimate to the social climate of the University of Minnesota (UMN), one of the largest universities in the United States.  UMN is a Research I Intensive public university with highly selective admissions and high expectations for students by the course professors.  Two quasi-experimental studies examined the possible benefits of the IL course.  One was in connection with a General Psychology course. The IL course students earned statistically significantly higher final course grades than nonparticipants.  Another study with a General Biology course replicated the results of higher final course grades for the IL course students.  The IL courses fostered not only higher final course grades, but also expanded positive study behaviors and their metacognitive skills necessary for academic success.  [Click on this link to download this best education practice.]

Validated SSS Practice Added: Integrated Learning Course for Entering SSS College Students

Integrated Learning Course for Entering SSS College Students.  University of Minnesota (approved Validated Practice 8/10/14)  In 1972, the TRIO program leaders at the University of Minnesota developed the Integrated Learning (IL) course to meet academic and transition needs of their Upward Bound (UB) students.  These courses were offered during the UB summer bridge program for its students who were concurrently enrolled in academically-challenging college courses following graduation from high school.  Later, use of IL courses shifted from the UB program to the college-level TRIO Student Support Services program.  Long before the widespread use of learning communities within higher education, the IL course is an example of a linked-course learning community.  A historically-challenging course like an introductory psychology is linked with an IL course.  The IL course is customized to use content of its companion class as context for mastering learning strategies and orienting students to the rigor of the college learning environment.  For the past four decades, the IL course approach has assisted TRIO students improve their academic success in the rigorous academic environment as well as acclimate to the social climate of the University of Minnesota (UMN), one of the largest universities in the United States.  UMN is a Research I Intensive public university with highly selective admissions and high expectations for students by the course professors.  Two quasi-experimental studies examined the possible benefits of the IL course.  One was in connection with a General Psychology course. The IL course students earned statistically significantly higher final course grades than nonparticipants.  Another study with a General Biology course replicated the results of higher final course grades for the IL course students.  The IL courses fostered not only higher final course grades, but also expanded positive study behaviors and their metacognitive skills necessary for academic success.  [Click on this link to download this best education practice.]

2013 Report: Pathways to Postsecondary Success Maximizing Opportunities for Youth in Poverty

<Click on this link to download the complete report.>

By Daniel Solórzano, Amanda Datnow, Vicki Park, and Tara Watford with Lluliana Alonso, Virginia Bartz, Christine Cerven, Nichole Garcia, Karen Jarsky, Nickie Johnson-Ahorlu, Makeba Jones, Maria Malagon, Jennifer Nations, Kelly Nielsen, Mike Rose, Yen Ling Shek, and Susan Yonezawa.

Within the context of the country’s economic downturn and its need for greater postsecondary participation, Pathways to Postsecondary Success: Maximizing Opportunities for Youth in Poverty was designed to provide scholarship and policy recommendations to help improve educational outcomes for youth in low-income communities. This final report of the five-year Pathways project provides findings from a mixed-methods set of studies that included national and state analyses of opportunities and obstacles in postsecondary education (PSE) for low-income youth, detailed case studies of approximately 300 low-income young adults preparing for or pursuing PSE in three California counties, and the development of a set of indicators to monitor the conditions in community colleges. This project was supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Key Findings: What Matters Most?
Our study revealed five key things that matter most for understanding and improving low-income students’ success in postsecondary education.

1. Student Voices Matter.  Having numbers that show how many students enroll and persist in postsecondary education is important, but unless we understand from students why these outcomes occur, we run the risk of misunderstanding patterns and implementing ineffective interventions. Hearing student voices is essential to understanding their pathways to and through postsecondary education.

2. Diversity Matters.   Low-income youth are a diverse group with a wide range of experiences. Paying
attention to the similarities and differences in this population of students can help us better plan college success initiatives.

3. Assets Matter.  Deficit approaches blame low-income students for their lack of success, or they blame educational institutions for failing students, often without recognizing the challenging fiscal, policy, and practical constraints they operate within. In work designed to improve student success, it is essential to focus on both student and institutional assets. Our research uncovers the remarkable strengths students bring and the many positive programs that exist in educational institutions. This asset-based approach helps us understand how to design programs that better tap into and foster students’ strengths in order to support college success.

4. Connections Between K–12 and Higher Educat ion Matter.  Postsecondary success is not a story that begins once a student sets foot on a college campus. High quality K–12 schooling and a host of college preparatory resources and activities must be provided in order to ensure college-going success for all students.

5. Institutional Supports and Conditions Matter.  To ensure that low-income students’ college aspirations are affirmed and their academic needs are met, institutional supports are essential. As students persist to and through college, they face critical transitions along the way, and certain conditions function as a “guard rail” for keeping them on the path towards college completion.

In sum, low-income students are a diverse group who bring many assets to the educational enterprise. Their talents need to be fostered in order for them to realize the gains that education can bring to them, to their families, and to society as a whole. Supporting low-income students in postsecondary education requires an institutional commitment to their success, high quality curricula and instruction, ongoing advising and mentoring, integration of support services and resources, and streamlined pathways to completion (West, Shulock, & Moore, 2012). To support student success, four provisions—maps, compass, fuel, and tools—are necessary to help students understand their pathways and stay on track as they navigate their college experience. We observed many positive examples of these elements in our research. The challenge is to make these conditions a reality for more students.

<Click on this link to download the complete report.>

‘I Need More Information’ How College Advising is Still Absent from College Preparation in High Schools

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By Makeba Jones.  In the wake of the Great Recession, unemployment and poverty rates among young adults have dramatically increased, especially for those who have not earned bachelor’s degrees (Aud, KewalRamani, & Frohlich, 2011). College attendance and completion are critical for individuals seeking stable employment and economic mobility out of poverty. We know that the institutions at the end of the pipeline—colleges and universities—need to improve graduation rates for students who have grown up in poverty (Johnson & Rochkind, 2010a). As important, students who are earlier in the pipeline—i.e., in high school—need to be prepared for college-level work and expectations (Lee & Smith, 2001). For low-income youth, the transition from high school to college is a pivotal juncture; clearing the college-going hurdle immediately, without delay, increases the likelihood that they will earn four-year degrees (Ashtiani & Feliciano, 2012; Bozick & DeLuca, 2005). One of the most important components of preparation for a smooth transition is college advising. High school counselors are arguably as important as teachers in preparing low-income high school students for college. Nationwide, high school counseling is fragmented. Absurdly high student to counselor ratios, counselor knowledge gaps about college requirements, and increasing pulls on counselor time that have nothing to do with advising students have cracked counseling systems in many public schools (Adams, 2010; McDonough, 2005). And, in recent years, slashed education budgets have pushed already fragmented counseling systems to the breaking point. Our nation’s students are painfully aware of how their school counseling programs are failing them. In 2010, Public Agenda publicized troubling survey results from over 600 individuals between the ages of 22 and 30 about their high school guidance systems (Johnson & Rochkind, 2010b). Results showed an overwhelming failing grade; even young adults who had earned four-year degrees rated their school counseling as poor. The fact that the report presented a national portrait of dismal counseling for students from all socioeconomic backgrounds does not diminish the urgency to improve counseling for low-income students in particular.

<Click on this link to download the complete report.>