HOW TO DEVELOP COLLABORATIONS WITH INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION
HOW TO MAKE IT HAPPEN
Effective K12-higher education collaboration is built on several key factors. These are listed below, along with some possible elements that each might include.
1. High-level leadership commitment. College presidents, district superintendents, and principals
~ can communicate a vision for postsecondary success for all
~ are in a position to set measurable, achievable goals, and establish an expectation of data-based decision-making
~ can invest or reallocate resources to enhance data capacity and implement shifts in policy and practice
~ should establish MOUs articulating mutual benefits, expectations, roles, and responsibilities for the collaboration
2. Robust cross-sector data infrastructure. This includes:
~ k12 and college data systems and platforms that “talk” to each other
~ data-sharing agreements to protect student privacy while providing each sector the information it needs beyond what is publicly available
~ a cross-sector team of experienced educators and technical data experts from each institution
~ mutually agreed-upon indicators, predictors, and measures of readiness and success.
~ data beyond academics: noncognitive skills (e.g., time management, perseverance) and college culture awareness and experiences.
~ timely access
~ field testing and feedback cycles at each stage of system development
3. Investment in adult capacity in data use, college-prep instruction, and critical support:
~ ongoing faculty and staff training in data use, and time to meet in data teams
~ a full-time college-to-school(s) liaison
~ high school and college faculty collaboration on instructional design and “teaching rounds” for classroom observation
~ coaching in college-friendly instructional practices for middle and high school teachers
~ incentives for k12 teachers to gain credentials needed to teach college-level courses, and for college faculty to provide dual enrollment instruction
~ judicious use of retirees and other potential adjunct instructors
~ enhanced collaboration support capacity: grant writing, communications, etc.
4. Broad support for partnerships at community, state, and/or national levels, such as:
~ local and/or national nonprofit partners that can help “broker” collaborations
~ state college and career readiness initiatives
~ state funding policies to help sustain the partnership (e.g., allowing colleges to count dual enrollment students for funding purposes
EXEMPLARS IN PRACTICE
Clemson Emerging Scholars Program
Clemson University’s intensive program to provide college access and readiness to students from seven neighboring high schools serving disadvantaged communities. Includes summer on-campus residency weeks and academic year activities as well as visits to numerous regional colleges.
Sharing Responsibility for College Success: A Model Partnership Moves Students to Diplomas and Degrees
Joel Vargas, Jobs for the Future
In-depth case study of the highly effective Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD College3 Early College Program in partnership with local colleges.
Data Collaboration in New York City: The Challenges of Linking High School and Post-Secondary Data
Excellent review of benefits and challenges encountered in cross-sector data use and connectivity.
- How High Schools and Colleges Can Team Up to Use Data and Increase Student Success
Michael Grady, Jobs for the Future, August 2016
This comprehensive review from a data perspective also includes examples from Providence, RI; Philadelphia; and NYC. Extremely helpful.
- Partnering to Create College-Going Cultures: A Training Guide, Building Educational Success Through Collaborations
UCLA, Melissa Friedmann MacDonald and Aimee Dorr, 2007
Very helpful “nuts-and-bolts” guidance on establishing relationships with institutions of higher education. See especially pages 2-3.
Building Momentum from High School into College
Elizabeth Barnett, Jobs for the Future
Identifies a “continuum” of college preparatory experiences and achievements that schools can monitor and focus on.
Taking College Courses in High School: A Strategy Guide for College Readiness–The College Outcomes of Dual Enrollment in Texas
JFF, Ben Struhl & Joel Vargas
The case for the powerful impact of dual enrollment on college-going success for underserved student groups.