Create a school environment, policies, and teacher expectations that support all students’ pursuit of a postsecondary education.
Increase percentage of students with expectation of achieving a postsecondary degree or certificate.
Increase percentage of parents/families who expect their students to achieve a postsecondary degree or certificate.
Increase percentage of students that school staff expects to achieve a postsecondary degree or certificate.
Create college-going identities among students.
Incorporate social, emotional and cognitive developmental theories.
Have students explore their “possible selves” – the selves they hope to become, expect to become, and fear becoming; help them develop strategies for moving beyond their fears and reducing the likelihood of negative outcomes.
Encourage students to identify their gifts with strengths-based asset mapping, specifically in areas that inform their self-concept using questions such as “What makes you feel successful?” or “What have you done to support your own success?”
Have students “try on” the role of college student through on-college-campus experiences and using college-like practices in high school activities, such as creating syllabi and course websites for high school courses.
Develop a college-going culture in schools and consistently communicate the expectation of higher education.
Incorporate preparing students for postsecondary options into school mission statements.
Sponsor activities such as college door wars.
Post information about colleges attended by teachers and other staff.
Prominently display postsecondary plans of all graduating seniors.
Celebrate academic achievements as much as athletic ones.
Create partnerships with postsecondary institutions that help to create high expectations and clear pathways to postsecondary education.
Expect teachers to incorporate postsecondary education themes in lessons and homework assignments.
Staff and school messaging expressly communicate expectation of excellence and high performance.
All staff and faculty reinforce the expectation that college preparation is a goal for every student.
Prepare all school personnel to coach students to take the right classes necessary for their postsecondary goals.
Explore differences in expectations among students, parents and teachers; work to right discrepancies.
Teachers exhibit a college-going attitude toward every student.
Ensure that all staff and faculty tell students that they can attend and achieve their postsecondary education goals.
Emphasize goal-setting, while also finding short term benefits.
Develop educational plans that include postsecondary options with all 8th grade students.
Work with students to break long-term and large goals into smaller sub-goals.
Teach youth to become adept at developing alternative or multiple pathways to the same goal.
Help students envision future goals in the context of current realities, including their challenges and needs, then help them develop strategies for overcoming potential obstacles.