Annual Progress Report
High School Linkages – Student Readiness
A. Describe the past year’s accomplishments and the current status of this Action Project.
Plans were finalized for Sinclair’s partnership with the Dayton Public Schools for the new tech high school. Substantial new financial support was received to scale up the Academic Resource Center (ARC) initiative across 13 new high schools over the next five years. Significant improvements were made in ARC processes for selection of students, staff training and communication, curriculum, and testing and measurement of student learning. On average, participating high school junior and senior students advanced 3.95 grade levels through this program. Sinclair’s Tech Prep initiative was expanded to add two new pathways, and processes for recruiting and recognizing Tech Prep students were revised. Among this year’s graduating cohort, 71% of the students who began the pathway completed it, and 64% of the cohort qualified by virtue of GPAs for a scholarship to Sinclair. The college’s framework for Tech Prep served as an exemplar for the League for Innovation’s College and Career Transitions initiative, and an electronic toolkit was developed for replicating the pathway model. Career exploration software for ninth grade students was developed, piloted, and finalized for web distribution. Sinclair launched its leadership role for Ohio of the national initiative Project Lead the Way, training over 90 high school faculty on teaching strategies in math, science and engineering. Processes were established for recruiting high schools, training high school and college faculty and evaluating the annual progress of this new initiative. Planning was initiated for a pilot course at Sinclair to address academic, career and behavioral factors that promote student success. A process was developed for documenting the many Sinclair-high school connections across the college.
B. Describe how the institution involved people in work on this Action Project.
The initiatives that are part of the college’s overall high school linkages – student readiness commitment were highly visible on campus during this year. Members of the college community identify with these individual initiatives rather than with the AQIP High School Linkages-Student Readiness Project, and there is a strong level of support for each of the individual initiatives. The Tech Prep, Academic Resource Center and Project Lead the Way initiatives involved approximately 45 college faculty and staff, 105 high school faculty, 20 counselors and 1,120 high school students in activities related to curriculum development and delivery, facilities and equipment planning, assessment of student learning and student transition to college. The college’s top leadership, Board of Trustees and community leaders were closely involved in decisions regarding Dayton Public Schools collaborations and the expansion of the Academic Resource Centers. The college’s commitment to close collaboration with high schools and promoting student readiness for college was a continuing theme in the president’s outreach to the community, the college’s fiscal priorities and the college’s recent revision to its strategic plan.
C. Describe your planned next steps for this Action Project.
Each of the initiatives that are part of this overall project has defined next steps, including specific plans for ensuring continuous improvement and specific assessment and measurement of outcomes. There are clear institutional “sponsors” of these initiatives, and regular assessment of progress is embedded in existing college processes. The High School Linkages – Student Success AQIP Project as originally scoped was quite broad and is essentially a collection of related initiatives with some common goals. Because each initiative is now well established, the college will move to sunset the High School Linkages – Student Readiness AQIP project and replace it with a new project.
D. Describe any “effective practices” that resulted from your work on this Action Project.
There are three practices that have matured to a point where sharing them with broader audiences would be worthwhile. Early data suggest that the Academic Resource Center model is helping high school students make significant gains in their preparedness for college as measured by advancement in grade level proficiency in reading, language arts and mathematics, thus reducing or eliminating students’ need for developmental instruction when they enroll in college. The college’s Tech Prep model has been refined and shared with a national audience through the League for Innovation’s College and Career Transitions initiative; this model helps build a close articulation of content and credit between high schools and colleges, and student success is quite high. The on-line career exploration software developed for ninth graders shows promise for helping students develop educational and career goals early, a clearly demonstrated factor in student persistence and success.
E. What challenges, if any, are you still facing in regards to this Action Project?
The breadth of the scope of this project makes measurement of the cumulative impacts of the initiatives unrealistic. Measurement of the progress of students within each initiative is feasible and underway, but cumulative measurement would not be reliable.