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Title: Success in the first year of college: Achievement, Development and Retention


1
Success in the first year of college
Achievement, Development and Retention
2
Members of the College Board Academic Assembly
Council
  • Moderator Carol Jago, Past President, National
    Council of Teachers of English, IL
  • Dan Davidson, President, American Councils for
    International Education, DC
  • Arthur Eisenkraft, Distinguished Professor of
    Science Education, University of Massachusetts,
    MA
  • Roxy Peck, Professor Emerita of Statistics,
    California Polytechnic State University, CA
  • Karen Waples, Social Studies Teacher, Cherry
    Creek High School, CO

3
In this session we will
  • Provide data regarding college graduation rates
  • Discuss the programmatic, institutional and
    individual factors that influence academic
    success and persistence among incoming college
    students
  • Develop a set of recommendations to support
    students more effectively as they transition from
    high school and during their college experience

4
The US Department of Education has compiled
statistics about institutional retention and
graduation rates for undergraduate students.
  • The following charts show the percentage of
    students seeking a bachelors degree at 4-year
    degree-granting institutions who completed a
    bachelors degree within 6 years, starting cohort
    year 2005

5
All Institutions
6
Public Institutions
7
Private nonprofit
8
Private for-profit
9
Retention Strategies and Results at One
Institution
  • Dan Davidson, Chair of WLAAC
  • American Councils and Bryn Mawr College

10
Current Retention Rates at Bryn Mawr and
Haverford Colleges Faculty Perspective
  • Year 2005 returned in spring graduated
  • All students 92.1 81.6 (4yrs) 87.3 (6)
  • Pell Grant Recipients Only 82.9 (4yrs)
    86.9 (6)
  • No federal loans or grants 76.5 (4yrs)
    81.1(6)
  • African-American 93.3 84.0 (4yrs)
    87.7 (6)
  • Latina 91.1 72.6 (4yrs) 76.4
    (6)
  • International 92.6
    83.7 (4yrs) 89.3

11
On-going interventions
  • Q-Center (quantitative readiness)
  • Writing Center, Writing-intensive courses all
    fields
  • Health support. Psychological support (15)
  • Peer-to-peer mentoring
  • Tutoring Center, college sponsored
  • Dorm advising system
  • Academic support, advising (faculty and deans)
  • Multi-cultural Office
  • Digital tools for college use digital archiving,
    data mining, computational modeling, cool tools

12
Skill challenges
  • Time management (16 contact hours/week)
  • Self-management (executive function, reflection,
    intellectual risk-taking, self-assessment
    pushing the envelope )
  • Dealing with distraction (24/7 connectivity)
  • Identity competence (constructing the self in a
    new environment)

13
Predicting success of entering freshmen
  • AP courses, especially when they represent longer
    9 12 sequences, strong indication of
    proficiency/competence, academic ambition.
  • Diversity of course work. Persistence.
    Excellence.
  • Evidence of strong emphasis on fundamental
    thinking skills, open-mindedness lt Grade 9 -10
    on.
  • Caution about spreading self too thinly lots of
    AP but few good AP grades.

14
Success in the First Year of College
  • Roxy Peck
  • Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

15
Institutional Initiatives and Practices
  • Cal Poly25 35 Program
  • New Mathematics PathwaysThe Plastic Brain

16
Cal Poly25 -35 Program
  • The Issue addressed Most students dont study
    very much. It may work in high school, but not in
    college.

17
High school students dont study very much but
they are really busy with school and activities.
  • Informal group surveys of Cal Poly freshmen
    suggest most studied only 3-5 hours per week in
    high school.
  • Brookings Institute paper in 1997 reports high
    school students average 19 minutes a night of
    study .
  • 2005 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)
    reports 55 of high school students study three
    or less hours per week and only 8 study 10 hours
    per week.
  • However, Cal Poly freshmen say they averaged at
    least 15 hours/week in other activities in high
    school such as sports, music, publications, or
    employment.
  • Considering these students were in class 30 hours
    a week (5 days, six periods) as high school
    students, they were quite busy managing a 50 hour
    work week.

18
College students increase their study relative to
high school but still fall far short of what is
needed
  • National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)
    studies show that around 45 of college students
    spend 10 hours a week or less studying and only
    11 study 25 hours per week or more.

19
Most new freshmen have no idea what the study
expectations are in college.
  • They may triple or quadruple their high school
    efforts and feel good because they had never
    studied so much. But this is not nearly enough
    in college.
  • Class and lab time runs 15-20 hours per week.
  • Anecdotally, many students may proudly triple or
    quadruple the hours they studied in high school
    upon entering college. Even though this may
    total only 10-15 hours a week, they feel good
    about what they are doing as they have never
    independently studied this much before.
  • But total time in class and studying adds to only
    around 30 hours per week - not even a full time
    job, not even as many academic hours as in high
    school.

20
The 25-35 Advice to Students
  • Study 25 hours a week if you are taking three
    courses, 35 if you are taking four. This is
    about 2 hours/unit/week. Time in class and
    studying is equivalent to a 40-50 hour work week
    quite reasonable.
  • Make sure you are learning. You know something
    if you can talk about it and teach it to someone
    else. If you cant, you dont.
  • Test yourself before exams dont let the
    instructor be the first to test your knowledge.

21
Spreading the 25-35 Word Obsession on Saturation
  • Open House in April Briefly mention 25-35 in all
    college/department meetings for prospective
    students. Display 25-35 banners.
  • Summer Advising Display signs and banners.
    Introduce 25-35 program to new students and
    accompanying parents.
  • Communication to New Students in August
    Includes yellow 25-35 poster, letter from the
    dean, four page pamphlet on studying and
    learning, list of offices/phones for student
    services and advising memo on alcohol abuse
    study log.
  • Mailing to Parents of New Freshmen in August
    Includes yellow 25-35 refrigerator magnet, letter
    to parents asking them to put the magnet on the
    refrigerator for the rest of the summer copy of
    letter to students.

22
Spreading the 25-35 Word Obsession on Saturation
  • Moving into the Residence Halls Lobbies of each
    residence hall display a 2x3 feet 25-35 banner
    and lots of the yellow 8.5x11 inches 25-35
    posters. A 25-35 poster and refrigerator magnet
    are placed on each student bed before they
    arrived.
  • Week-of-Welcome WOW counselors talk about 25-35
    program throughout week. 25-35 is part of the
    academic day message at college and department
    levels. Yellow 25-35 banners and posters are
    displayed in meeting sites.
  • Fall Quarter, First Week of Classes Display
    yellow 25-35 banners around campus. Yellow
    posters placed on bulletin boards outside faculty
    and department offices, in labs and lecture
    rooms. Faculty members implement their roles in
    the 25-35 program (see next section).
  • Fall Quarter, Third Week of Classes Letter or
    email to all new freshmen encouraging them to
    evaluate their efforts, check actual study hours
    against 25-35 advice, and focus on preparation
    for their first set of exams.
  • Winter Quarter, First Day of Classes Letter to
    new freshmen describing how their class did the
    first quarter. Reminder of 25-35 advice. Focus
    on continuity in studying and learning.
    Encouragement to further find that new maturity
    that leads to intellectual achievement and
    student success.

23
The Role of Faculty
  • First Class Meeting Hold up a 25-35 sign. Talk
    about the privilege and responsibilities of
    attending college. Explain your academic
    expectations and give guidance on how to meet
    them successfully. Describe how to use 8-10
    hours a week studying for your course.
  • Course Syllabus Clear, complete, informative
    course syllabus. Make sure there is a section on
    academic expectations and how to accomplish.
  • Early and Frequent Grading Experiences These
    allow students to analyze study strategies and
    make adjustments during the term without losing
    the opportunity to earn a decent grade. Dont
    let your exams be a mystery. If students know
    what they are responsible for and are not
    surprised by their first exam, they are more
    likely to have confidence that studying and
    learning equates with success.
  • Encouragement and Guidance throughout the
    Quarter Take time frequently to ask students
    how things are going and let them know that you
    care. Continually provide guidance for studying
    and learning.

24
New Mathematics Pathways
  • Texas Community Colleges in collaboration with
    the Dana Center at University of Texas.
  • For students who place into developmental
    mathematics.
  • Designed to accelerate progressremediation and
    transfer-level mathematics course in 1 year (two
    semesters).

25
Intentional Consideration of Student Success
Issues
  • Integrated into course work
  • Focus on
  • student confidence and direction
  • Persistence
  • Commitment
  • Belonging

26
Two Key Components
  • Changing belief system
  • Students believe that A students study less, but
    data support a strong correlation between effort
    and grades.
  • Students believe that they are either good at
    math (or ???) or not, and that there is nothing
    they can do about that.

27
The Plastic Brain
  • Students read article from Health and Science
    News You Can Grow Your Brain New Research
    Shows the Brain Can be Developed Like a Muscle.
  • Weightlifter analogy
  • Difficult at first, but strength developed
    through exercise and persistence.
  • Watching a weightlifter is not helpful!
  • Productive struggle

28
Success in the First Year of College
  • Arthur Eisenkraft
  • UMass Boston

29
Success in the First Year of College
  • Motivation
  • Accessing printed material
  • Patterns
  • Metacognition
  • Eliciting prior understandings
  • Transfer of learning
  • Knowledge vs information

30
Motivation and Relevance
  • Motivated students have higher achievement
  • Relevance to their lives now.
  • Why are we learning this?
  • This is chapter 14.
  • One day this will be useful
  • Not about now and therefore not about me
  • Not even true!

31
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32
Why should I care?
  • Education is not a preparation for life
    education is life itself.
  • John Dewey

33
Why should I care?
  • If we want students to learn about science
    content, we have to respect them and their age
    appropriate perspective.
  • We have to find ways to help them understand how
    the content is relevant to them and the society
    they live in.
  • Physics of sports,
  • Chemistry of cooking,
  • Earth science of global warming
  • Biological implications of prescription and
    non-prescription drug use.
  • Science content into a larger context by adopting
    project-based learning.

34
Accessing Curriculum
  • Accessing curriculum and instruction
  • Accessing printed material
  • Learning information
  • Remembering information
  • Completing assignments
  • Working with others

35
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36
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37
Other Symbolic Structures (graphic organizers)
  • Graphs
  • Charts
  • Flow diagrams
  • Venn diagrams
  • Equations
  • Schematics

38
How People Learn (www.nap.edu)
  • Students come to class with preconceptions about
    how the world works.
  • Competence in science includes a foundation of
    factual knowledge, a conceptual framework, and a
    means to organize scientific knowledge.
  • Students can learn to take control of their own
    learning by defining goals and monitoring their
    progress in achieving them.

39
Recognizing Patterns
  • Experts vs novices
  • Chess studies
  • Boats
  • Brain tumors
  • Teaching
  • Competence in science includes a foundation of
    factual knowledge, a conceptual framework, and a
    means to organize scientific knowledge.

40
Metacognition
  • Students can learn to take control of their own
    learning by defining goals and monitoring their
    progress in achieving them.
  • How People Learn (nap.edu)

41
Eliciting Prior Understandings
  • Students come to class with preconceptions about
    how the world works.
  • Prior knowledge impedes subsequent learning.

42
Transfer of Learning
  • Thorndike
  • Near transfer and distant transfer
  • Pendulum/optics experiments
  • How People Learn NRC (www.nap.edu)
  • One set of subjects to another
  • One school subject to another
  • One year of school to another
  • School to non-school activities

43
y 3 x 6 y 3 x 6
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
x y                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
0 6                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
1 9                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
2 12                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
3 15                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
4 18                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
5 21                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
6 24                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

44
Near Transfer y 4x2 3
y 4x2 3 y 4x2 3
x y
-5 103
-4 67
-3 39
-2 19
-1 7
0 3
1 7
2 19
3 39
4 67
5 103
45
Fitness Club Distant Transfer
  • Do I join the fitness club?
  • Membership 15 per month BUT each visit costs
    2.
  • No membership 4 per visit
  • Solve with
  • Data chart
  • Graph with slope and y-intercept
  • Algebraically

46
Fitness Club Distant transfer
Number of visits Cost at 4 Cost at 15 2
0 0 15
1 4 17
2 8 19
3 12 21
4 16 23
5 20 25
6 24 27
7 28 29
8 32 31
9 36 33
10 40 35
47
Transfer of Learning
  • Thorndike
  • Near transfer and distant transfer
  • Pendulum/optics experiments
  • How People Learn NRC (www.nap.edu)
  • One set of subjects to another
  • One school subject to another
  • One year of school to another
  • School to non-school activities

48
Where is the knowledge we have lost in
information
49
Where is the knowledge we have lost in
information Where is the wisdom we have lost in
knowledge?
  • T.S. Eliot

50
Some Steps High Schools Might Take
  • Karen Waples
  • Social Studies Teacher
  • Cherry Creek High School
  • Greenwood Village, CO

51
Some Steps High Schools Might Take
  • Focus on skillsagree as a department (or as a
    school) which skills will be developed at each
    grade level
  • Early, targeted, personal interventionintervene
    immediately with students who are struggling
    academically
  • Rigordevelop a common understanding of what it
    means to deliver a rigorous and challenging course

52
Skills by Grade Level/Common Understanding of
Rigor
53
Early, Targeted Intervention
  • Do not treat all struggling students the same way
  • Freshmen who are failing only Social Studies
  • Mandatory support two days per week (during
    lunch)
  • Focus on study techniques, providing resources,
    organization, time management, interpersonal
    skills (how to talk to your teacher)
  • Positive, cheerful, inviting atmospherevery
    personal
  • Students move in and out over three week
    intervals
  • Immediate feedback to deans, parents and teachers

54
Additional Recommendations
  • High schools tend to focus on the percentage of
    students who attend college following graduation
  • High schools should develop systems to track
    student success throughout college
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