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ERIC Number: ED514440
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 52
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
A Shared Agenda: A Leadership Challenge to Improve College Access and Success
Pathways to College Network
The goal of the Pathways to College Network is to advance college access and success for underserved students, including those who are the first in their families to go to college, low-income students, underrepresented minorities, and students with disabilities. All of the Pathways work is grounded in data and research. Through a synthesis of research evidence from hundreds of studies, the Pathways to College Network has established six principles to guide the actions of leaders in education and in all sectors of society. These principles are: (1) Expect that all underserved students are capable of being prepared to enroll and succeed in college; (2) Provide a range of high-quality college-preparatory tools for underserved students and their families; (3) Embrace social, cultural, and learning-style differences in developing learning environments and activities for underserved students; (4) Involve leaders at all levels in establishing policies, programs, and practices that facilitate student transitions toward postsecondary attainment; (5) Maintain sufficient financial and human resources to enable underserved students to prepare for, enroll, and succeed in college; and (6) Assess policy, program, practice, and institutional effectiveness regularly. These principles underpin a series of recommended actions for leaders, including elected officials, superintendents, principals, college presidents, outreach program directors, and community leaders. Only through strong leadership and concerted, continued effort by stakeholders and advocates will the impetus for change be created. Some of the actions that this report recommends are: (1) State and federal officials must mandate rigorous, aligned curricula for schools and provide sufficient funding for programs, teachers, and students; (2) School leaders should require a college-preparatory curriculum for all students, provide academic and social support for underserved students, and ensure that teachers are well prepared to address different learning styles and cultural backgrounds; (3) College and university leaders need to be clear about the skills and knowledge they expect incoming freshmen to have. They should build partnerships with schools, provide teacher training that focuses on the needs of underserved students, and target robust need-based aid and support programs to underserved students; (4) Outreach program leaders must provide academic and social support for underserved students and their families, including tutoring, parent involvement, and partnership initiatives; and (5) Community leaders and family support groups should work with students and families to instill and reinforce beliefs that all students must prepare for postsecondary education. In turn, communities and families must push schools and government to adopt a goal of universal college-readiness and achievement. Appendices include: (1) Selecting Research-Based Strategies; and (2) Annotated List of Pathways Research Papers, Reports, and Other Publications by Focus Area. (Contains 83 endnotes.) [Funding for this paper was provided by the Lucent Technologies Foundation.]
Pathways to College Network. Available from: Institute for Higher Education Policy. 1320 19th Street NW Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-861-8223; Fax: 202-861-9307; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: Administrators; Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: Daniels Fund; Ford Foundation; Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; GE Foundation; James Irvine Foundation; Kellogg Foundation; KnowledgeWorks Foundation; Lumina Foundation for Education; Nellie Mae Education Foundation; Sallie Mae Fund; Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (ED); Office of Vocational and Adult Education (ED); Lucent Technologies Foundation
Authoring Institution: Education Resources Institute, Pathways to College Network
IES Cited: ED506465