Underrepresented

MAEOPP Center 2015 Best Education Practices Directory

MAEOPP Center 2015 Best Education Practices Directory

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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.

Promising GEAR-UP Practice Added: High School Financial Literacy

High School Financial Literacy GEAR-UP Students.  Wichita State University (approved Promising Practice October 31, 2014).  Strong financial knowledge is important to people of all ages.  Finance makes a difference in our lives both on a short and long term basis. It effects how we interpret everyday life and analyze information.  Improved financial literacy, particularly early in life, results in a higher standard of living over the long term, aids in career choices and helps determine retirement savings.  Providing young people with the knowledge, skills, and opportunity to establish healthy financial futures is far preferable to having to provide credit repair or debt management services later on in their lives (M.S. Sherraden, 2013).   Kansas Kids @ GEAR UP (KKGU) designed an online high school financial literacy program based on the National Standards for K-12 Personal Finance Education created by Jump$tart.    The high school program consists of six components that teach students financial knowledge in financial responsibility, income and careers, planning and money, credit and debt, risk management and insurance, and saving and investing.

The goal is to ensure seniors do not graduate without a basic knowledge of finance.  The design of the program begins with an introduction to financial literacy, which includes a pre-test to assess the students’ knowledge of financial literacy.  After completing each module students must be pass a multiple choice test with a score 80% or better before advancing to the next module.  The program randomly selects questions and their multiple-choice answers so that students cannot copy down answers to pass each test without reviewing the modules again.  Instead of a posttest, the questions that are asked throughout the six module tests serve as comparison questions for the pre test instead of students taking a separate posttest.  <Click on this link to downlad the best education practice.>

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.>

California’s College Stopouts: The Significance of Financial Barriers to Continous School Enrollment

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By Veronica Terriquez, Oded Gurantz, and Ana Gomez.  In California, the majority of four-year and community college students do not complete their intended degrees and certificates on time (Chronicle of Higher Education, 2013; Fain, 2013). Many of these students “stop out”—that is, they leave college with the intention of returning later. Discontinuous enrollment is highest for students with lower academic preparation and lower socioeconomic status (Ewert, 2010; Goldrick-Rab, 2006). This is particularly troubling in light of the recent economic recession and the rising cost of higher education, which have both made paying for college more difficult. Students from lowincome backgrounds in particular may find they need to take time off from school to save money or to help their families pay their bills. Unfortunately, college students with discontinuous enrollment have significantly reduced likelihood of ever completing their degrees (Cabrera, Burkum, La Nasa, & Bibo, 2012), making this an urgent problem for higher education researchers and policymakers. In this policy brief, we describe the range of influences on the attendance patterns of California’s college students, focusing in particular on economic factors. Drawing from the mixed-methods California Young Adult Study (CYAS), we classify stopouts as students who enrolled in public or private community or four-year colleges and took a break from school for a term (quarter or semester) or more, not including summer, with the intention of returning. We include individuals who were on break from school but still planned to pursue postsecondary degrees, as well as those who had previously taken time off and successfully re-enrolled in postsecondary institutions. Who stops out of higher education? Over one third of students—and more men than women—stopped out of college. Overall, 37% of CYAS survey respondents who attended college reported stopping out at some point (Figure 1). Male students were more likely to stop out than female students (42% compared to 31%, respectively). Some students of color and those from low-income backgrounds were more likely than others to stop out. For example, 44% of Latino youth stopped out, compared to 34% of white youth. Results further suggest that African Americans exhibited high stopout rates, while Asian Americans exhibited comparatively low stopout rates.

<Click on this link to download the report.>

Failure by Colleges and Government to Bridge Inequality

<Click here to download entire commentary from NY Times.>

Sobering commentary in NY Times on the initial promise of college as levelor of inequality through GI Bill and early years of federal financial aid programs and subsequent failure to keep up the financial commitment to the majority in society without the social capital of the priveledged classes.  Following is a short excerpt from the commentary.  Be sure to read some of the comments to the article (as of the moment, they number more than 250).

"When the G.I. Bill of Rights of 1944 made colleges accessible to veterans regardless of socioeconomic background, Robert Maynard Hutchins, the president of the University of Chicago, worried that it would transform elite institutions into “educational hobo jungles.” But the G.I. Bill was only the first of several federal student aid laws that, along with increasing state investment in public universities and colleges, transformed American higher education over the course of three decades from a bastion of privilege into a path toward the American dream.

Something else began to happen around 1980. College graduation rates kept soaring for the affluent, but for those in the bottom half, a four-year degree is scarcely more attainable today than it was in the 1970s. And because some colleges actually hinder social mobility, what increasingly matters is not just whether you go to college but where.  The demise of opportunity through higher education is, fundamentally, a political failure. Our landmark higher education policies have ceased to function effectively, and lawmakers — consumed by partisan polarization and plutocracy — have neglected to maintain and update them. . . ." <Click here to continue reading.>