Resources and Downloads to Support College Readiness
Discover resources and information — including downloads from schools — related to developing the awareness, knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will prepare students to enroll and succeed in college.
Preparing Students Socially and Emotionally
- When Social and Emotional Learning Is Key to College Success: Read about the difference between college-eligible and college-ready and the social-emotional skills that can help kids find college success. (The Atlantic, 2016)
- Failure Is Essential to Learning: Understand how helping students to reframe failure as part of the learning process can help them succeed in college and beyond. (Edutopia, 2015)
- Nurturing Intrinsic Motivation and Growth Mindset in Writing: Discover how one teacher’s strategies for preparing her students to read and write in college changed as she explored new ideas about student motivation, engagement, and growth. (Edutopia, 2014)
- That "Aha!" Moment of College or Career Readiness: See how one teacher helped his students connect to ideas about themselves and their futures through a program called Roadtrip Nation. (Edutopia, 2015)
Building 21st Century Skills Through Deeper Learning
- Defining Twenty-First Century Literacy: Discover how deeper-learning environments can help foster 21st century competencies. To learn more about deeper learning, check out Bob Lenz's Deeper Learning video and blog series. (Edutopia, 2013)
- 8 Strategies for Teaching Academic Language: Try out some of the eight strategies discussed in this post to help students develop the language skills they’ll need in college. (Edutopia, 2014)
- Critical Thinking Pathways: Explore six different pathways to practicing critical thinking within the context of authentic inquiry, PBL, or interdisciplinary (integrated) studies. (Edutopia, 2014)
- How to Help Students Think Abstractly: Explore exercises in figurative language and abstractions in order to develop college-level language and thinking skills. (Edutopia, 2012)
- Why Collaboration and Communication Matter: Consider ways to incorporate Common Core-aligned speaking and listening practice into group activities. (Edutopia, 2014)
- Study Habits and College Readiness: Watch a video about a lesson from a 9th grade class that helps students develop study skills, literacy skills, and mindsets to prepare for success in high school and college. (Teaching Channel, 2013)
- Yes, You Can Teach and Assess Creativity!: Find guidance to help you intentionally teach and assess creativity to help students learn more deeply, build confidence, and increase college readiness. (Edutopia, 2013)
Improving College Readiness Through PBL
- Stand and Deliver: The Role of Presentations in Project Based Learning: Explore how schools like Manor New Technology High School hone written and oral communication skills through PBL presentations to build college-and-career readiness. Read more about Manor New Technology High School in Edutopia’s Project-Based Learning: Success Start to Finish." (P21, 2016)
- Experiencing Deeper Learning Through PBL: Watch a video profiling high school student Rahil, and learn more about how his experiences with project-based learning prepared him for college. (Edutopia, 2013)
- Can PBL Help Pave the Way to College Success?: Learn how one charter school network helps students become college-ready through an emphasis on project-based learning, student leadership, STEM education, and technology integration. (Edutopia, 2013)
- Want Your Students College Ready? Use PBL: Discover how well-implemented PBL taps into critical factors for college readiness. (Edutopia, 2011)
Increasing College Access
- Bridging the Gap Between Aspiration and Attainment in College Enrollment: Consider takeaways from an analysis by the Center for Public Education, including suggestions about how to bridge the gap between college enrollment aspiration and attainment. (Edutopia, 2014)
- Student Advocacy for Every Secondary School: Read about the role of student advocacy in helping students succeed and get to college. (Edutopia, 2013)
- How to Provide Guidance to First Generation College-Bound Students: Try out five strategies to better prepare first generation college-bound students for the college experience. (Edutopia, 2012)
- How to Provide College Planning and Counseling Support to Students of Color: Consider some advice to school counselors on giving balanced college-planning advice. (Edutopia, 2012)
- How College-Bound Students of Color Should Prepare for Life in a Predominantly White Campus: Explore conversation topics that can help students of color make a smooth transition to college life. (Edutopia, 2012)
- Five Steps to Widening the College Pipeline for African American and Latino Students: Transform classroom culture to help young people think about college as probable rather than possible. (Edutopia, 2012)
- College Readiness for ELLs: Discover ways to support English-language learners as they consider their future plans. (Colorin Colorado)
Helping Students Select and Apply to Colleges
- Gaming the College Admissions Process: Find out how games can help middle and high school students understand challenges and find solutions related to test review and the college application process. (Edutopia, 2014)
- A Strategy for Discovering and Describing Student Accomplishments: Prepare students for admissions essays by helping them examine the value of their experiences and accomplishments. (Edutopia, 2014)
- Choosing a College: Consider some advice about how to help students navigate around college myths to find their college match. (Edutopia, 2015)
- A Step-by-Step Guide to College Financial Aid: Help students navigate the process of applying for college financial aid, including information about FAFSA. (Edutopia, 2012)
Facilitating the Transition Beyond High School
- High School Support Through College: Learn about one school that extends support beyond high school to help students succeed in college. (Edutopia, 2016)
- Helpful Resources to Share With High School Graduates: Explore resources educators and parents can share with graduates to help them start planning ahead during the summer after graduation. (Edutopia, 2014)
- College Readiness Checklist for Parents: Use this college readiness checklist to make sure your high school grads are prepared for what's waiting for them on campus. (Edutopia, 2012)
- 9 Steps for Easing the Transition to College: Think through strategies to help teens with learning and attention issues prepare for the college transition. (Understood, 2014)
- College Board School Advisory Session Guides: Reference guides (especially the guide for grade 12) for session outlines that address topics about setting expectations for college and adjusting to college life; session outlines for grades 6 and up address other aspects of college readiness. (Big Future/College Board)
Downloads and Examples From Schools That Work
Edutopia's flagship series highlights practices and case studies from K-12 schools and districts that are improving the way students learn. Below, dive into real-world examples and practical downloads from schools that are preparing their students for college success.
Learn how Urban Prep Charter Academy, Englewood Campus in Chicago, Illinois, ensures that all graduates are accepted to a four-year college or university. See how they conduct pride advisory classes to help students develop socially and emotionally and build college preparedness through all four years of high school. Then download information about their advisory curriculum and one of their college-readiness tools:
- College Planning Worksheet -- Use this worksheet to understand how students identify which colleges they'd like to attend.
- Pride Curriculum Map -- Learn more about the entire Pride Curriculum, which covers topics ranging from study skills to racism and financial literacy.
- Sophomore Pride Curriculum -- Take a look at the Pride Curriculum for sophomores, which covers topics such as identity development and responsible decision making.
Review suggestions from educators at KIPP King Collegiate High School in San Lorenzo, California, on how to develop and assess critical-thinking skills to foster college readiness. Then check out how Kipp King addresses professional development on critical thinking, and explore some of the KIPP King school downloads to use them in your own school. Here are some highlights:
- Socratic Seminar Connectors: Download a one-page handout describing connector statements that students can use within the context of Socratic seminar discussions.
- Socratic Seminar Roles: Download a handout with specifics about possible roles and assignments of outer-circle members during Socratic seminars.
- Evaluating Seminar Statements: Download a handout that gives students practice evaluating seminar statements in advance of Socratic seminars and a reference list of connectors to help them formulate responses.