A Model of Student Supports in “High Expectation” Secondary Settings
Rhona S. Weinstein and Leo White, University of California, Berkeley
This project describes a research-informed framework for a student support system (particularly in academically accelerated settings) and provides recommendations for future research and best practices. Building on advances in research and existing support models across multiple fields, the researchers underscore the importance of
- broadening learning to include healthy development;
- strengthening the supportive features of classroom teaching and school design as first-level providers; and
- designing supports that anticipate and prepare for transitions, and that are responsive to student developmental needs and to the characteristics of the school population.
The culminating “SMART” supports target Schoolwide features, Multiple aspects of development, Adaptability of students to new challenges, Responsiveness to student needs, and Time (early and timely intervention, and additional time). The researchers also identify six domains across which supports are provided: academic, bio/psycho/social, enrichment, college knowledge and preparation, transition mechanisms, and parent collaboration. Finally, the researchers describe a support system that is principal- and teacher-led, data-driven and research-informed, professional-development focused, and that coordinates all support resources — most importantly, keeping students engaged in learning.
Principals’ Perspectives on Critical Student Supports: Case Study of Student Support Resources and Practices in an Early College Network
Laura Jaeger and Andrea Venezia, WestEd
This paper documents findings from principal interviews on student supports currently in place in a network of early college schools. The researchers identify the range of support strategies being used, the theory of action guiding various models, the practices that seemed most promising in meeting student needs, and the challenges in creating and implementing multiple and multi-faceted supports for a high-risk student population.
A Comprehensive Support Structure for Early-College Secondary Students: Case Study of UC Berkeley’s CAL Prep Early College High School
Megan Reed, California College Preparatory Academy
This paper discusses the current support structure and strategies implemented at one early college school serving first-generation college-going students. Cal Prep opened in 2005–06 as a result of UC Berkeley’s partnership with Aspire Public Schools. From its inception, Cal Prep staff have continually evaluated how best to support underprepared students in an accelerated setting. Drawing on the expertise of Cal Prep’s principal and wrap-around services coordinator, this paper highlights the core elements of the school’s support system that are essential to student success and how the student support system has evolved.
A Trio of Changes Supporting Students: Integrating School Reforms and Support Services
W. Norton Grubb and Yolanda Anyon, University of California, Berkeley
This work suggests that past support efforts have embraced a student and family deficiency view (e.g., removing barriers to learning), which has divided providers and teachers as well as removed services from the core responsibilities of schools. The authors argue that now is the right time to re-envision support services for several reasons. They begin their “re-visioning” process with a shift from deficiency language (e.g., drug abuse, unmotivated students) to discourse about student competencies. This consideration of the capacities that all students need to be successful, in college and beyond, provides a positive and more universal approach.
Toward a New Understanding of Non-Academic Student Support: Four Mechanisms Encouraging Positive Student Outcomes in the Community College
Melinda Mechur Karp, Community College Research Center
This paper examines the ways in which academically vulnerable students benefit from non-academic support. By reviewing theories of student persistence as well as program evaluation literature, the author identifies four mechanisms by which nonacademic supports can improve student outcomes, including persistence and degree attainment.
Programs associated with positive student outcomes seem to involve one or more of the following mechanisms:
- creating social relationships
- clarifying aspirations and enhancing commitment
- developing college know-how
- making college life feasible.
Identifying these mechanisms allows for a deeper understanding of both the functioning of promising interventions and the conditions that may lead students to become integrated into college life.