Access to Success
The Access to Success (A2S) project is funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s First in the World (FITW) grant. FITW is designed to support the development, replication and dissemination of innovative solutions and evidence for what works in addressing persistent and widespread challenges in postsecondary education for students who are at risk for not persisting in and completing postsecondary programs.
A2S brings together a unique set of partnerships for developing a College Match-and-Fit Tool that can address the college enrollment and persistence rates of low-income and/or first-generation college students.
- American Council on Education (ACE)
- American College Application Campaign (ACAC) — an initiative of the American Council on Education
- National Student Clearinghouse (NSC)
DSU Project Design
Delaware State University (DSU), in partnership with ACE, ACAC, ACT and NSC, will align assessments of learning and utilize results to develop and implement a College Matchand-Fit Tool that positively influences the application, enrollment and persistence in higher education of first-generation students and/or students from low-income families. The College Match-and-Fit Tool will be used to increase the number of targeted at-risk students who enroll in postsecondary institutions for which they are most college ready both academically and non-cognitively. Informed consent letters will be sent to all parents, and students will have the option of not participating in the assessments and research.
An additional outcome of this project is the creation and implementation of a Professional Development (PD) Framework for high school teachers delivering college readiness content in English, mathematics and science (PD Framework). Utilizing the same student assessment results, DSU faculty and selected high school teachers will engage in a series of workshops that will inform the design of the PD Framework.
Request for Support
The grant requires that DSU identify a single cohort of 2,000 low-income/and or first-generation high school juniors (1,000 students in the intervention group and 1,000 students in the comparison group). Attrition factors were considered when selecting the cohort size knowing that an N of 350 students in each group is needed for a successful project design.
Student data collected from the Delaware Department of Education reflect that approximately 30% of the 8,807 high school juniors in the state are identified as low income for a total of 2,467 students. Considering that the total number of low-income high school juniors is just above the 2,000 minimum needed for the grant, it may be necessary to involve all high schools in the state. First generation data are not collected by high school; therefore, we must focus initially on low income. The College Match-and-Fit Tool will collect first generation data that can be shared with the state — an added benefit.
We are asking district superintendents to encourage their high schools to participate in the project. As the state’s only public university, we are excited by this opportunity to assist Delaware students in their pursuit of a collective goal of becoming “first in the world.”
How Delaware High Schools Can Benefit
|DSU Access to Success Project||High School Students||High Schools||DSU/Other Four-year Colleges in Delaware|
|FREE ACT with in-school test dates||X||X|
|ACT voucher for Saturday, February 6, 2016, test date||X|
|Utilize student ACT assessment results||X|
|College Match-and-Fit Tool that will address college enrollment and persistence rates||X||X||X|
|College Match-and-Fit Tool that will collect first generation data by high school||X||X||X|
|Focus to assist low-income and/or first-generation high school students to increase postsecondary education rates||X||X|
|Increased knowledge around college choice decision-making process used by first-generation and/or low-income families||X||X||X|
|College results online to assist students to assess level of success at specific universities||X|
|Professional Development Framework — teacher workshops||X||X|
|DSU faculty and high school teacher engagement||X||X|
|College readiness content in English, mathematics and science||X||X|
|Low-cost, high-impact strategies to improve student outcomes||X||X||X|
|Information on gaps in academic preparation||X||X||X|
|Resources through DSU’s partners on this project: American College Application Campaign (ACAC), an initiative of the American Council on Education (ACE), ACT and the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC)||X||X|
|Student tracking through the National Student Clearinghouse database||X||X|