Innovations in Improving Access to Higher Education: New Directions for Youth Development, Number 140
February 2014, Jossey-Bass
Gaining an understanding about the barriers in transitioning from high school to college is crucial to improving college access and matriculation—particularly for low-income families and first-generation college-goers. These obstacles include many factors, such as:
- Lack of access to resources at home or school
- Not having a rigorous college-preparatory curriculum or not taking advantage of these courses
- Misperceptions about the college-going process.
This volume introduces innovative and effective ways to ease the
transition process. One essential question examined is the role of
high schools and whether they should take a more active role in
preparing students for college. While some interventions in this
issue are designed for school-wide implementation, others are more
targeted and focus on certain aspects of the college process such
as financial aid, but all recognize the role of high schools in
shaping students’ college-going aspirations and
By including the most cutting-edge and rigorous research on improving college access, this volume:
- Delineates the obstacles adolescents face in their transition from high school to college
- Increases understanding of the mechanisms contributing to gaps in college enrollment
- Highlights how interventions can help to ease these challenges.
This is the 140th volume of New Directions for Youth Development, the Jossey-Bass quarterly report series dedicated to bringing together everyone concerned with helping young people, including scholars, practitioners, and people from different disciplines and professions.
Issue Editors’ Notes 1
Barbara Schneider, Justina Judy
Executive Summary 5
1. Pathways to college and STEM careers: Enhancing the high
school experience 9
Barbara Schneider, Michael Broda, Justina Judy, Kri Burkander
This university-community partnership providing college mentoring and additional supports is having an impact on college-going rates and STEM interest in postsecondary education.
2. Research into practice: Postsecondary success in the
Chicago Public Schools 31
David W. Johnson, Eliza Moeller, Mathew Holsapple
A five-tenet framework guides the work of the Consortium on Chicago School Research in understanding and ameliorating the challenges facing low-income youth as they encounter the transition to college.
3. Lessons learned from a data-driven college access program:
The National College Advising Corps 55
Eileen L. Horng, Brent J. Evans, anthony l. antonio, Jesse D. Foster, Hoori S. Kalamkarian, Nicole F. Hurd, Eric P. Bettinger
A successful data-driven partnership between researchers at Stanford University and the National College Advising Corps has facilitated improved college access for low-income students.
4. The not-so-lazy days of summer: Experimental interventions
to increase college entry among low-income high school graduates
Benjamin L. Castleman, Lindsay C. Page
Peer mentoring and text messaging programs are shown to be helpful and cost-effective strategies for addressing the phenomenon of “summer melt” observed among low-income college-bound students.
5. Is traditional financial aid too little, too late to help
youth succeed in college? An introduction to The Degree Project
promise scholarship experiment 99
Douglas N. Harris
Promise scholarships, such as The Degree Project, offer an alternative to traditional aid programs by making commitments to students early on in high school and providing motivation and encouragement as students prepare for college.