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ERIC Number: ED499275
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 20
Abstractor: ERIC
Making the Grade in College Prep: A Guide for Improving College Preparation Programs
Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis, University of Southern California
The goal of college preparation programs is to help students, particularly underrepresented students of color, to enroll and succeed in college. While many programs focus on strengthening students' math and reading skills, familiarizing them with college entrance exams, and demystifying the college admissions process, there are few guidelines for how these programs should be structured and which intervention practices are most effective at achieving the desired results. This report draws on several qualitative and quantitative data sources, collected as part of a longitudinal study of college preparation programs, to gather demographic information and data to determine why students enroll in special programs, the attitudes their family and friends have about the program, and students' academic and non-academic behaviors. Information was also gathered about student aspirations, obstacles, self-efficacy, identity and more. The Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis (CHEPA) seeks through this research to discern which elements of college preparation programs are more effective than others and why. While research on this topic is ongoing, CHEPA has identified several common program challenges. These are: (1) Many programs are geared toward short-term solutions; (2) Few programs have coordinated relationships with the schools that the students attend and the postsecondary institutions where students will attend; (3) Families are often ill equipped to provide advice to their children; (4) Most programs survive on soft money; (5) Program evaluation is absent; (6) Student attrition from the day they graduate from high school until the end of their first term at college remains a significant problem; (7) Most graduates of college preparation programs attend two-year community colleges or public state universities; and (8) Academic, counseling and social activities are the primary components of college preparation programs. Program characteristics, instructional components, and desired outcomes are outlined in a flowchart of model college preparation programs. Strategies for improving program effectiveness and next steps for stakeholders conclude this report. [This report was produced by the Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis, Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California.]
Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis (CHEPA). University of Southern California, Rossier School of Education, 3470 Trousdale Parkway, Waite Phillips Hall 701, Los Angeles, CA 90089-4037. Tel: 213-740-7218; Fax: 213-740-3889; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Parents; Practitioners; Researchers; Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: Ford Foundation, New York, NY.; Department of Education, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: University of Southern California, Los Angeles. School of Education.
Identifiers - Location: California