The resources here offer an evidence and research base which identify core principles to consider when redesigning the high school experience to enable all students to graduate with a strong and supported pathway to postsecondary success. As you design pathways they should reflect high school as a beginning and not an ending.
The evidence indicates that the core principals are:
- Provide universal access and use of postsecondary preparations and guidance supports
- Keep students’ options open
- Keep the choice of which pathway with students and their families
- Collaborate beyond the school walls with families, employers, community partners and postsecondary education providers
This free, eight-part series and materials provide an in-depth look at the benefits and steps to implement an effective Early Warning Indicator program.
The free video series and materials go far beyond how to collect and interpret EWI data. It also examines building a data culture, linking indicators to a tiered inteventions system, planning EWS for schools and districts, how to get an EWS started including, how to introduce school staff and faculty to the system, intervention review and data gap analysis and much more.
Postsecondary Planning Resources
WWC Intervention Report: Career Academies this report by the Institute of Education Sciences focuses on Career Academies with a school-within-a-school structure. Each academy has a career theme, such as health care, finance, technology, communications, and public service.
WWC Intervention Report: Dual Enrollment in the five studies that meet WWC group design standards, students were able to accumulate college credits either through a dual enrollment program or an early college high school program. Report issued by the Institute of Education Sciences.
New Pathways to Careers and College Examples, Evidence, and Prospects is an April, 2015 report MDRC which describes some of the most prominent CTE (career-technical education) “pathway” models.
Dual-Credit Courses and the Road to College: Experimental Evidence from Tennessee Dual-credit courses expose high school students to college-level content and provide the opportunity to earn college credits. The Tennessee Department of Education conducted its first randomized controlled trial of the effects of dual-credit math coursework on a range of high school and college outcomes.
Apprenticeships & Internships
Pathways After High School the Urban Alliance commissioned the Urban Institute to conduct a six-year, randomized controlled trial impact and process evaluation of its High School Internship Program. A first report (Theodos et al. 2014) provided a process analysis of the program and baseline information about Urban Alliance and the youth participating in its High School Internship Program in Washington, DC, and Baltimore in the 2011–12 and 2012–13 program years. A second report (Theodos, Pergamit, Hanson, et al. 2016) shared interim impact findings. This report describes final impact findings.
Linking the Timing of Career and Technical Education Coursetaking With High School Dropout and College-Going Behavior from the American Educational Research Journal reports that CTE course taking in high school was linked to lower chances of dropout and increased chances of on-time graduation, especially when these courses were taken later in high school.
As you design pathways that see high school as a beginning and not an end, keep students’ options open, keep the choice of which pathway with students and their families, and collaborate beyond the school walls with families, employers, community partners and post-secondary education providers there are many implementation decisions to address.
In order to support the “know how” of school leaders, teachers, staff, and community we have compiled a variety of reports and guides. Each of these reports offer models and often share district and school sites where the approach has had a successful impact.
Voices from the Field Engaging Employers to Connect Young Adults to Good Fit Employment This report provides information about workforce development practice based on responses to a survey conducted in fall 2019 and winter 2020 in three Generation Work communities: Cleveland, Indianapolis and Philadelphia. Responses from 210 professionals, who shared information about the questions they ask business representatives, help us understand the types of conversations about job opportunities and workforce management practices that are taking place. Download the PDF
Rethinking How to Support Males of Color for Postsecondary Success This paper is to examines the programmatic and systemic initiatives that district leaders are implementing to increase postsecondary success for males of color and to summarize and provide insights to district leaders who are engaging in this work. Download the PDF
The Dual Enrollment Playbook: A Guide to Equitable Acceleration for Students Five design principles for equitable dual enrollment programs. Download the PDF
Beyond Academic Readiness – Building a Broader Range of Skills for Success in College The journey from high school to higher education is much more complicated than policymakers tend to imagine. For most students, it is a major life transition—one requiring them to take risks that are not just academic and financial, but deeply personal, raising difficult questions about identity, belonging, purpose, and more. This report, part of a series, that encourages high schools and higher education to share responsibility for increasing the number of students who are prepared to enter college and earn a postsecondary credential. Read overview of the series.
Community colleges in 25 states offer bachelor’s degrees, and more states are considering allowing community colleges to do so. The practice is not very common, however, as just 10 percent of community college presidents report that their institution is offering bachelor’s degrees, with most of these saying their college offers “a few bachelor’s degree programs.” Only 1 percent say their college offers “a wide range of bachelor’s degree programs.”
For nearly a decade, ACT has measured student progress in the context of college readiness. The Condition of College & Career Readiness is ACT’s annual report on the college readiness of the most recent high school graduating class. The data herein provide insights to catalyze and guide efforts to improve college and career readiness for the next generation of young people now making their way through the US education system.
Since 1968, the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), formerly the Elementary and Secondary School Survey, has collected data on key education and civil rights issues in our nation’s public schools for use by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in its enforcement and monitoring efforts regarding schools’ and districts’ obligation to provide equal educational opportunity. The data collected in Issue Brief No. 3 (March, 2014) highlighted college & career readiness.
More than an Application from the Research Alliance for New York City Schools examines how New York City Schools offer a comprehensive college and career planning program to students and families beginning in the freshman year. It also provides an example of how to provide all students support to complete a comprehensive plan for success after high school.
Connecting Secondary Career and Technical Education and Registered Apprenticeship: A Profile of Six State Systems Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Washington states were profiled in this report are using a range of approaches to align secondary Career Technical Education with Registered Apprenticeships. Produced by the US Department of Education.
Work-Based Learning Tool Kit This tool kit will provide state and local program administrators with information regarding the key components of work-based learning (WBL), an instructional strategy that enhances classroom learning by connecting it to the workplace. It offers guidelines and resources related to creating a state WBL strategy, engaging employers, collecting data, and scaling effective programs.
Earn While You Learn: Switzerland’s Vocational Education and Training System In countries such as Switzerland, Germany, and Austria, apprenticeships are an integral part of the educational system. Recently, the United States has shown increasing interest in learning more about the Swiss model and other European models. This brochure explains the key characteristics of the Swiss model, highlights Swiss-U.S. cooperation, and discusses current initiatives in the field.
Degrees of Opportunity from AEI provides lessons learned from state-level data on post-secondary earnings outcomes and shows if we move beyond our current on the bachelor’s degree and widen the aperture to include all the post-secondary pathways at our disposal, far more educational options emerge that can lead students to economic success.
ISA Outcome Evaluation This report summarizes key findings from Academy for Educational Development’s external evaluation of the Institute for Student Achievement (ISA). The six-year evaluation investigated the following key questions: 1) What are the outcomes for ISA students in terms of high school and college achievement?, and 2), How do outcomes for ISA students compare with those of similar students in non-ISA schools?
Iowa BIG is a public school with no admissions requirements. Each partnering district has slots proportional to their financial commitment to the program. We currently serve an accurate cross section of our partner districts’ demographics.
This four-minute video tells the story of Iowa Big.
New Pathways to Careers and College: Examples, Evidence, and Prospects from MDRC describes some of the most prominent of these “pathway” models, identifies localities where the approach has gained the most traction, discusses the underlying principles that characterize the most promising programs, and briefly presents the evidence of their potential to make a difference. The report concludes with a set of recommendations for future investment to strengthen and scale such programs.
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See it in Action!
Nuvu, in Cambridge Massachusetts, is an innovative school based on a project-based studio model lead by coaches who are leaders in their industry, experts in diverse fields, and passionate thought leaders.
Click to visit Nuvu’s website.
The Tacoma School of the Arts began as an idea in 1998 and with the help of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Model Schools Program, the Tacoma Public Schools, and a variety of partners in the local arts and business community, the Tacoma School of the Arts (TSOTA) opened in the Fall of 2001. The school’s proximity to cultural organizations was intentional in order to provide opportunities for students to engage in the community.
Click to visit TSOA’s website.
Checkout a day in the Life of several Albemarle County High School students as they have a variety of experiences to support post-secondary pathways.
Video: High School 2022 A Day in the Life
High School 2022 is a district-wide initiative to design, refine and deliver the future of high school for graduates in the class of 2022 and beyond. The Virginia Department of Education is currently developing the Profile of a Virginia Graduate, a framework that will be used for the State Board’s revision of high school graduation requirements for students graduating in the class of 2022. High School 2022 in Albemarle County, Virginia will be influenced and responsive to the Profile of a Virginia Graduate.
See it in Action!
Carl Wunsche Senior High School in Spring, TX’s mission statement is, “To prepare students for lifelong learning and achievement by focusing on student career interests.” They place students on one of three industry career paths—technology, health and professions—and supplements their curriculum with real-world experience.
Click to visit CWSHS’s website.
Iowa Big is a program that attracts students from across Cedar Rapids, Iowa, because it provides the opportunity to earn high school credit by working on real-world projects designed by students, businesses, non-profits and government agencies. While working alongside local businesses and experts, Iowa BIG provides students a canvas to develop and engage with projects that have a profound impact on their own community. For this, they received the XQ award for turning the community into a hub of learning.
Click to visit Iowa Big’s website.
Tiger Ventures is a high school fully integrated with a new venture incubator. Created by the school district, it will serve as a site to assist in the economic growth and sustainability of the community and as an educational partner – providing both internships for students as part of their school day and professional development for teachers and staff.
Click to visit Tiger Ventures’ website.
Video: XQ Super School: PSI High
PSI High is an immersive, full-time program located within Seminole High School where students work in an environment that looks like a high-tech office instead of a classroom. Rather than learn through traditional instruction, our students join teams with their peers and teachers to solve real community, business, and social problems.
Video: Vicksburg Warren School District, MS
“Mississippi Today’s” Gabriel Austin examines Vicksburg Warren School District’s efforts of a new pilot program that exempts it and two other school districts from some state laws to allow schools to be more innovative in tackling the challenge of achievement gaps, particularly between white and minority and low socioeconomic status students and their peers.
Measuring Progress Toward College & Career Readiness
Michele Cahill hosts a conversation with three experts on how to measure and evaluate performance in schools. Featuring: Andy Calkins Deputy Director of Next Generation Learning Challenges Karen Pittman CEO of Forum for Youth Investment Antonia Rudenstine Co-Director of reDesign.
Pathways to Adult Success
The vision of Pathways to Adult Success is for schools, their systems and communities to enable all youth, regardless of their needs, circumstances, place of residence, and prior experiences, to obtain the competencies needed to persist and complete secondary schooling and a post-secondary pathway that leads to a family-supporting wage and adult success. Visit their website.