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ERIC Number: ED529949
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Nov
Pages: 19
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Missouri Students and the Pathways to College
Swail, Watson Scott; Hosford, Sarah
Educational Policy Institute (NJ1)
In spring 2005, the Educational Policy Institute was contracted by an anonymous, non-profit, Missouri-based organization to conduct analysis of data from a series of focus groups of 7th, 9th, and 11th grade students. The purpose of the focus groups, conducted by the Change and Innovation Agency in Jefferson City, was to examine the postsecondary aspirations and the perceived barriers faced by students in achieving their career and postsecondary goals. In short, students were asked what they wanted to be when they grew up and why. Students were then questioned about their plans immediately after high school, including whether they were planning on attending a postsecondary institution, why, and what general impressions they had of college. Probing deeper, the students were subsequently asked to identify who and/or what influenced their postsecondary plans, as well as the potential barriers they saw to achieving their goals. Students also offered suggestions about how to break down the barriers they saw to postsecondary education. For this study, 11 schools from 3 areas in Missouri were selected to participate. Four schools were located in or near St. Louis, four in Kansas City, and three in the Southeast region of the state. Six of the schools were high school, one was a junior high school, and the remaining four were middle schools. Based on the findings of this study, the authors' knowledge of the research literature, and understanding of programs and strategies in use around the US, they provide, as summary to this report, a series of recommendations for consideration. These are: (1) Ensure that all Missouri middle and high school students have the information needed to make prudent decisions about their future; (2) Improve the amount and quality of career counseling made available to Missouri middle and high school students; (3) Develop a "Career and College Club"; (4) Develop a "college coach" program; (5) Create a Regional Educational Opportunity Partnership (REAP); (6) Conduct research on "what works" in Missouri; and (7) Evaluate all activities for impact toward educational goals. A bibliography is included. (Contains 5 exhibits.)
Educational Policy Institute. 6900 Wisconsin Avenue Suite 606, Bethesda, MD 20815. Tel: 202-657-5207; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 11; Grade 7; Grade 9; High Schools; Intermediate Grades; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Educational Policy Institute
Identifiers - Location: Missouri; United States