Entries tagged with “study”.

With ThroughCollege, BrainReactions conducted a study with the purpose to identify ways to innovate the way college guidance can happen for high school students. Currently the ratio of over 400 high school students for every one school counselor leaves much opportunity for innovation of college guidance: both incremental improvements to the way it is currently done and more innovative solutions which represent significant changes. With advancements in technology and knowledge, there should be opportunities to improve college guidance for students, and this exploratory study sought those ideas.

In the spring of 2008 a second focus group and brainstorm were conducted on the topic of innovating college guidance counseling for high school students. This brainstorm included 7 different idea generators who shared their experiences, their ideas, and their own individual analysis with a survey after the session. The lead researcher and an analyst made meaning of the ideas and individual analysis to identify best ideas for future practice and themes that were important based on the perspectives of the idea generator participants.

This study was conducted as a result of findings from the first study, namely that the opportunity for innovating college guidance involved  helping students to a) discover themselves and what they wanted to do and become, b) utilize the internet (especially Facebook, YouTube, etc.) and resources for college guidance activities, and c) to better engage in the process of college planning with stronger relationships.

The topic areas this second study focused on included more specific idea generating questions. Significant focus group and brainstorming questions posed were:

1. What was your own college guidance experience like?

2. What are the problems with existing college & career guidance for High School students?

3. What could a better and amazing college guidance system feature?

4. How can you help High School students figure out who they are: what their strengths, interests, values, etc. are so that they can make better college and life choices?

5. If there were a new system for college guidance, how could you use the especially the internet to increase awareness about it and get people to use it?

6. How would you increase the amount of high school and college students using a Facebook application and get educators to use this with students?

7. What are ideas for new activities that would help students with their self learning, and preparing for a peak college experience?

This report can be downloaded from the ThroughCollege Educator Resources page.

Author: Darin Eich, Ph.D.

If you are interested in the research on college guidance and the future implications of helping students achieve college, access this article in the 2008 Review of Higher Education Journal on the role of college counseling in shaping college opportunity. I was most surprised to find that at over half of the schools they studied, the number of students per counselor was greater than 400 to 1! Even 3 of the 5 high resource schools they studied had greater than 400 students for every one counselor. This is well above the 100:1 recommended ratio from the American School Counselor Association and a problem that needs to be addressed in innovative ways.

The abstract for this article is: “This study draws on data from descriptive case studies of 15 high schools, three in each of five states. The findings highlight constraints in the availability of college counseling, differences in the availability of college counseling across schools, and the influence of schools, districts, higher education institutions, and states on the availability and nature of college counseling. The study suggests that, in the context of limited fiscal and other resources, changes in federal and state financial aid policies, district policies pertaining to counseling, and relationships with higher education institutions will help ensure that all students receive sufficient college counseling.”

The citation is: Perna, L. W., Rowan-Kenyon, H., Thomas, S. L., Bell, A., Anderson, R., & Li, C. (2008). The role of college counseling in shaping college opportunity: Variations across high schools. Review of Higher Education. 31(2), 131-159.

A recent study by Helen Janc Malone examined the relationship between parental involvement and students’ plans to attend four-year college. The research question asked: What is the probability—controlling for parents’ income, level of education, and race/ethnicity—that a high school student whose parents are involved in his/her postsecondary preparation would plan to go to a four-year college? Using the Educational Longitudinal Study dataset (ELS:2002), a nationally representative sample of 9,121 students and parents from 752 schools across the country was analyzed. Applying a binary logistic regression analysis, the findings show the fitted odds that a student would plan to go to a four-year college (vs. not go) among students who planned to take the SAT/ACT were 4.42 times higher when parents were involved in a student’s academics and college preparation vs. when parents were not involved, on average, in the population. Further, the fitted odds a student would plan to go to a four-year college (vs. not go) among students who did not plan to take the SAT/ACT were 6.59 times higher when parents were involved in a student’s academics and college preparation vs. when the parents were not involved, on average, in the population. These findings support the current literature on the continued importance of parental involvement in their adolescents’ postsecondary preparation.

A research report on the role of parents in students’ college choice can be found on the ThroughCollege Educator Resources page.

Author: Helen Janc Malone

Phi Delta Kappa International, a 100 year old professional association for educators, has awarded Harvard University ThroughCollege Fellow Helen Janc Malone with an Innovation in Education Grant Award. The grant will assist in the ThroughCollege grounded theory research focusing on how low-income juniors and senior in urban public schools make meaning of their college information gathering experience? The study intends to shed light to the common themes and experiences youth might experience in their college application process that could open a dialogue about ways guidance counselors can modify their college guidance techniques to better assist students in the ever-changing and dynamic world of higher education. Results from this study will be made available on the ThroughCollege website resources section.