ERIC Number: ED483849
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005
College Readiness Begins in Middle School. ACT Policy Report.
Wimberly, George L.; Noeth, Richard J.
American College Testing ACT Inc
Middle school and high school are important times for early postsecondary planning, and many educational organizations and the U.S. Department of Education recommend that students begin planning for college as early as sixth grade. Schools can play a key role in guiding early preparation for postsecondary education through fostering academic preparation and achievement, supporting parent involvement, providing college and career planning information, and helping students through the many steps in postsecondary planning. The purpose of this study is to: (1) Examine the extent of early exploration and planning in certain college readiness areas; and (2) Explore how parents, school staff, and school experiences help students with their early educational planning. This study reports findings from a survey and focus group discussions with middle and early high school students that demonstrate how people and school-based factors helped shape students' educational and postsecondary planning. Students in this study were from 15 schools in 6 school districts (Chicago; Charleston, West Virginia; Denver; Los Angeles; New Orleans; and Oklahoma City)--a broad array of urban and suburban schools with students from diverse social and economic backgrounds. Although most students planned to pursue postsecondary education, fewer described their high school program of study as college preparatory. Furthermore, among the students who aspired to attend a two- or four-year college, only two-thirds described their high school program as college preparatory. These findings suggest that there may be a misalignment between postsecondary plans and high school program of study. Many middle and early high school students are failing to take a college preparatory curriculum that is designed to help them develop the skills necessary for college and for their intended careers. Virtually all students surveyed indicated that their mother or female guardian was very helpful (67%) or a little he in their high school class selection. Fewer students indicated that their father or male guardian was helpful.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Cited: ED506465