Preparing high school students for college

A new study from the National Center for Postsecondary Research and MDRC examines a number of college readiness partnership programmes operating in Texas. These programmes, co-sponsored by a college and, usually, a high school, are designed to prepare high school students to start college ready to undertake college-level work. According to the authors, both the literature and their research findings generally support these programmes’ potential to improve college readiness for students in the “academic middle”.

The authors identify a number of implications for college readiness partnership programmes and the partnerships themselves. For example, they say that those seeking to implement college readiness partnership programmes should consider that many programmes, especially those that are intensive, can only serve limited numbers of students. As such, they say that institutions may want to match college-going students who are academically underprepared with more intensive programmes and direct those students who primarily need assistance with “college knowledge” to less intensive programmes.

Source: Preparing high school students for college (2012), MDRC

Do summer schools help to widen participation in higher education?

The Sutton Trust has run summer schools aimed at Year 12 pupils from a “non-traditional HE background” since 1997. Around 10,000 young people have participated in the scheme, which aims to widen participation in higher education.

A new report from the University of Bristol looked at young people’s subsequent applications and registrations to universities. It found that the summer schools are effective in generating proportionately more UCAS applications and registrations from attendees. Underprivileged students are less likely to target the more elite universities, but the summer school helped to reduce this difference.

Source: The impact of the Sutton Trust’s summer schools on subsequent higher education participation: a report to the Sutton Trust (2011), Sutton Trust