By Emily Nguyen, Network Facilitator
Our success as a network stems from the innovative spirit and strategic efforts of educators collaborating within and across the 10 partner high schools. Over the past several months, the RISE Network Success Team has worked in partnership with RISE educators to assemble resources, tools, and local innovations aligned to each of the RISE by 5 network strategies ranging from On-Track Data Teams to On-Track Conferences. As publicly available toolkits on our new resources webpage, these strategy guides spread resources and learnings across network schools and beyond, lightening the lift for educators seeking to initiate similar strategies or improve current practices in their own schools.
We are proud to share our newest strategy guide focused on planning and implementing high-impact college visits and related learning experiences. Network educators frequently affirm the importance of sparking college and career conversations well in advance of senior year, including by leading college visits for all students during sophomore year. One educator in Meriden noted that pre-college visit lessons are “often the first time students are introduced to important college vocabulary.” These early efforts support college access well in advance of the flurry of junior SAT testing and senior year applications. Further supporting the importance of early college visits, a national randomized study found that students who attended college visits early in their high school careers had increased college knowledge, postsecondary goals, and college-going behaviors. The visits also impacted students’ behavior and academic engagement during high school by, for example, increasing students’ likelihood of engaging in college planning conversations and enrolling in higher-level coursework.1 Something as seemingly simple as a campus visit can have an extraordinary impact on students’ postsecondary goals and pursuits.
College visits represent one important component of our Grade 9 through 12 efforts to promote a culture amongst students, families, and staff geared toward postsecondary success. The College Visit RISE Strategy Guide is designed to support educators as they design campus visits and the activities surrounding those visits.
A special thank you goes out to network educators who generously contributed their expertise and experience to the creation of this strategy guide, especially Haifa Abdel-Jalil (Career HS), Clevens St. Juste (East Hartford HS), Lauren Powers (Maloney HS), Abby Marcantonio (Platt HS), Sherry McLaughlin (Meriden Public Schools), and Bobbi-Jo Wathen (Middletown HS).
1 Swanson, Elise, et al. An Evaluation of the Educational Impact of College Campus Visits: A Randomized Experiment.