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ERIC Number: ED524049
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Self-Assessment Guide for Small Learning Communities and Career Academies
Dayton, Charles; Stern, David
Career Academy Support Network
In order to assess how completely a Small Learning Community (SLC) and/or Career Academy is implemented in any given site, and to connect the degree of implementation with the amount of improvement in student performance, two kinds of information are needed. The first is information on the quality of implementation, which can be collected by academy staff or outside observers, to assess how well the SLC/academy features have been established. The second is data on student performance, the kind normally kept by schools and districts, which can give a picture of who is enrolled in academies, whether their course-taking experience is consistent with the academy model, and how their performance is affected as a result. To assist in collecting implementation information, this "Guide" begins with a "Self-Assessment Checklist and Scoring Guide". The three sections of this--Small Learning Communities, Curriculum and Instruction, and Partnerships with Employers, Community, and Higher Education--derive from the definition of Career Academies agreed to by the organizations working to support them nationally, supplemented by more recent guidelines for evaluating SLCs. The requirements of California's Partnership Academies are also considered. The purpose of the "Checklist" is twofold. One is to obtain an indication of how well the SLC/Academy stacks up against national and state criteria for quality implementation. A second and perhaps more important purpose of the "Checklist" is to identify each SLC's/Academy's relative strengths and weaknesses and initiate a process of reflection and improvement. There is a second brief section on "Analyzing Student Data" that includes suggestions for compiling and analyzing commonly available data for measuring SLC/Academy effectiveness. This can answer three kinds of questions: (1) Demographics--Do SLC/Academy students represent a cross section of the school?; (2) Program experience--Does student co taking reflect the SLC/Academy design?; and (3) Student outcomes--Are SLC/Academy students showing improved attendance, retention, credits, grades, test scores, graduation rates, and college entrance rates? As explained in this section, these questions can be addressed by: (1) Comparing snapshots over time for an individual SLC/ Academy; (2) Analyzing year-to-year changes for individual students; and (3) Relating program characteristics to student performance.
Career Academy Support Network. Graduate School of Education University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720. Tel: 510-643-5748; Fax: 510-642-2124; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: James Irvine Foundation
Authoring Institution: University of California, Berkeley. Career Academy Support Network (CASN)
Identifiers - Location: California