Dazzling website, engaging social media presence, glossy brochures, beautiful fall campus tours — what more do students need to get to know a prospective university? Hiding in plain sight, a school’s Common Data Set can help determine the likelihood that a student will succeed in its classrooms.

Using a Common Data Set

Watch “Using a Common Data Set To Choose the Right School”: https://youtu.be/gdkZgIGzLoU

What I Am Doing To Prepare Students For College

  • Teaching study skills and accountability: In my classroom, small group, and private test preparation, everyone has regular homework assignments. When students don’t complete their work, I contact their parents. During one course, I sent progress reports to parents and students each Friday. Let me tell you, those missing assignments definitely changed some of my students’ weekend plans.
  • Uncovering gaps: For some students, expressing that they need help is difficult. They may pretend that they understand the material, mentally check out, or completely shut down. Even in an online environment, I have students “go to the board” and explain how they approached a question. This exercise usually reveals any gaps in knowledge that I need to reteach. This practice also builds confidence.

What You Can Do To Prepare Your Student For College

Encourage your student to apply to colleges that help students to hold on until they catch up.

Your student’s name — and not the college’s name — will be the most important name on the degree. Parents get so caught up in the prestige of the institution, forgetting to ask, “Can my child be successful here?” If your student’s test scores do not meet college readiness benchmarks, he or she will need significant academic support to succeed. Consider how Xavier University, the University of Central Arkansas, and the University of Texas at Austin boost their struggling students.

Xavier University

Read “A Prescription for More Black Doctors” by Nikole Hannah-Jones

“…The small number of black students entering medical school was not a reflection of their capabilities. It was a reflection of the shoddy schooling so many of them received before they ever arrived at the college gate. If Xavier was going [to] build a program to turn large numbers of its students into doctors, Francis knew the college was going to have to do more than just teach science. It was going to have to figure out how to overcome years of educational gaps.”

University of Central Arkansas

Read “UCA’s Co-requisite Course Success Highlighted in Dana Center Publication”

“Students who earned a ACT subscore of 16 [out of 36], for example, had a 90% completion rate in Foundations of Quantitative Literacy and an 85% completion rate in Foundations of College Algebra.”

University of Texas at Austin

Read “Who Gets to Graduate” by Paul Tough

“So he supplemented his lectures with a variety of strategies: He offered TIP students two hours each week of extra instruction; he assigned them advisers who kept in close contact with them and intervened if the students ran into trouble or fell behind; he found upperclassmen to work with the TIP students one on one, as peer mentors…’And when the course was over, this group of students who were 200 points lower on the SAT had exactly the same grades as students in the larger section.’…three years later they had graduation rates that were also above the U.T. average.”

Article by Scholar Ready


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