A Rubric for Success


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We know about the 21st Century Skills our students will need to prepare for the
global marketplace. But do we know about the “soft skills” required to succeed in college? The
College Success Rubric outlines ten traits our higher education partners have identified as critical
for college persistence. The rubric can be used by educators, counselors, or employers to embed
skill building into lessons and projects. It can also be used for students to assess their own
college readiness and set goals to enhance their preparation.

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  • Introduction of Presenter and PAIWho’s in the room? Introduction of Topic and quick overview of agenda Context and reason for developing the rubric Reflection upon the transition-to-college experience Review of the College Success Rubric Identification of behaviors linked with the traits Practice in using the rubric to design activities
  • We know about the 21st Century Skills our students will need to prepare for the global marketplace. But do we know about the “soft skills” required to succeed in college? The College Success Rubric outlines ten traits our higher education partners have identified as being critical for students’ persistence in college. The rubric can be used by educators, counselors or employers to embed skills building into lessons and projects, and by students to assess their own college readiness and set goals to enhance their preparation.
  • Career themes are integrated into the academic courses through projects, thus increasing the relevance of those courses
  • 30 years later – in 1999 – PAI realized we needed to provide college supports – because: our employers need skilled workers, many students do not receive individualized or consistent support from their schools and now we know our students are not completing college at high rates... In order to learn how the college-prep system was working in our city and how we as an organization could and should participate, we pulled together a Higher Education Committee to advise us.
  • We want to make sure students are successful in their chosen pursuits years after graduation…So how are we doing in producing successful college graduates?National and local data: The diminishing PIPELINE.Historically what Academies have been focused on (and good at) is stemming the dropout rate from 9th grade to H.S. graduation.And our communities are now galvanized around providing college prep services to get students to enroll.But we are increasingly finding that the drop-off from enrollment to college completion is daunting and expensive. The graph:Of 100% of 9th graders (in 1999-2000 in SDP), 48% graduatedin 4 years, with an additional 10% graduating within 6. Of those who graduated from high school, about 50% (half) matriculated to college within 1st year after high school. And 42% (less than half) of those who matriculated to college graduated.Recent data show that in Philadelphia we are doing better in connecting our high school graduates to college admissions, but not necessarily enrollment – so we are working on building supports in the summer “gap.”
  • So our charge has become not only to prepare students to access college, but to succeed there.Where were we falling down?What does this task entail?
  • Reflect upon your own transition to college.Solicit several answers to these questions. What is the range of issues people mention?What are the similarities and differences with our students’ experiences and “readiness”, especially in terms of “social/cultural capital” and social skills?
  • There are various elements to the college experience – academic, social, personal, “habits of mind.” Research says that the Gap can be attributed to:curriculum deficits,fragile financial circumstances,cultural capital.In thinking about the college transition, the Higher Ed. Committee said that for our 1st generation college-going students, it’s not just about academics or finding their way around campus, it’s also social skills and habits of mind. They needed to understand how to act and have the wherewithal to learn how to flourish in a new environment. Of course, this is the same challenge our students face when they are first employed and the reason the career Academies came about! And the reason we have been focused on the 21st C. Skills that employers identified as being critical to success in the workplace. So we are in a good position to integrate the same readiness “agenda” for college as we have done for careers.
  • How to prepare students for the College Culture – before they get there. In our model we only work with students at the high school level – although we are working together with colleges to craft better “bridges” between graduation and matriculation. What should we be embedding in our programs?How can we equip students so they are able to navigate successfully into and through college?For development of 21st C skills, we promote internship experiences. What experiences can we design/provide for students to develop their college success traits?
  • While many organizations and individuals are engaged in the college prep process, their work often ends when students graduate from high school. They must then hope their students fall into capable hands on the college campus to increase their chances of a successful transition. Attendees will see how they can collaborate with teachers, counselors, nonprofits, employers, college students and others to bolster students’ chances of college success – even before they leave high school. For all these partners, the College Success Rubric provides a common language that helps them assess their students’ needs and imagine ways to develop these critical competencies. PAI’s Higher Ed. Committee made the same observation (it’s not all academic) and decided to define those “college success” traits – like 21st C Skills for employability – that college partners see as integral to students’ success in college. Included on the Higher Ed. Committee are representatives of 27 college and universities – or consortia.The Higher Ed. Committee found a rubric online, used it as a template and augmented it.
  • ASCA – American School Counselor Association (2004) – espec social skills
  • HAND OUT RUBRIC and Post-it NotesThink of a typical middle-of-the-road college-going student. Where does he/she fall in terms of these characteristics? Read the rubric.On post-it notes, record examples of concrete behaviors that exhibit strength or weakness in any of the traits. Post your notes on poster paper listing the appropriate traits, and whether it represents “strength” or “weakness.”Walk around and read the examples of behaviors. Add any more comments.
  • Ask what points stand out.Supporting our students starts with KNOWING where they stand on a continuum of skills development We posed this second question to our Higher Ed. Committee – ON AVERAGE their Highest Priority traits are:1 Responsibility2 Expectations3 Success Focus and Time Management4 Wellness5 Support NetworkThey decided this was not an easy question to answer.
  • Working in groups of 3, describe an activity you have done – or design one - in which students would PRACTICE these skills. Record them on Index cards. Include a brief description of the activity, the subject it would fall within (if relevant), which traits it is designed to develop, any partners that would be involved.If there is consensus around the highest priority traits, focus on those. Keep in mind that you want to have students PRACTICE those behaviors that represent STRENGTHS in any particular trait.For example, in a summer program that focuses on building cultural competency and study skills/time management – you could include: Interaction with faculty and opportunities to role play and practice the type of interactions that are encouraged in a college environment Interaction with students of a similar socio-economic background – develop a peer cohort (support network)Share several projectideas.
  • The rubricis evolving based on the feedback we have received to date. Now we are looking to gather more data that will support the use of the rubric, make it more concrete and readily usable/accessible by students directly.
  • A Rubric for Success

    1. 1. A Rubric for Success:Ten traits for college completion NPEA Conference April 20, 2012
    2. 2. Workshop Objectives• Understand the “soft skills” and behaviors required for college success• Build motivation to use College Success Rubric as a tool for improving students’ college-readiness• Create (or borrow!) at least one new strategy for developing students’ college success traits
    3. 3. History of PAI The racial and economic turmoil of the late 1960’s left our nation’s youth alienated and disillusioned.The school system seemedto have no relevance formost youth and the dropout rates rose as high as50% in some high schools.
    4. 4. Philadelphia 1969 Civic leader Charles Bowser brought business into the schools in a program that engaged both the student and the business partner in meaningful ways. “I called them ‘Academies’ because it sounded special and I wanted the kids to feelCharles Bowser, like they mattered.”Deputy Mayor and Executive Director ofthe Urban Coalition
    5. 5. Career Academy Definition• A small learning community of about 300 students, typically within a large high school, and themed to a career• Students scheduled together over at least two years with a team of academic and technical teachers • Partnerships with employers, the community, and local colleges that bring resources from outside the high school to improve student motivation and achievement
    6. 6. The Need for a College Focus
    7. 7. Pipeline to College Graduation for First-time 9th Graders of 1999-2000120% School District of Philadelphia, Office of Accountability, January 13, 2010100% 0 Students80% Graduating from High School in Five60% to Six Years 100% 10%40% Four-year On-time 48% 1% High School20% 23% Graduates 1% 10% 0% 0% 0% 0.00% 12,230 First-time 9th 5,882 (48%) 2,982 (24%) 1,258 (10.3%) 1999-2000 9th Graders, 1999-2000 Graduated from High Matriculated to Graduated from Graders School within 4 College within First College by Summer Years; 1,187 (10%) Year after High 2009 Graduated from High School School in 5-6 Years
    8. 8. Our ChargeDo better not simplyin preparing studentsto ACCESS college –to enter the doorway –but to SUCCEED thereand ultimately GRADUATE
    9. 9. Crossing the Bridge1. What was your biggest challenge in making the transition to college?2. What strategies did you use to overcome the challenge?3. What did you wish you had known or been able to do to help navigate in new territory?
    10. 10. A Key toCollege Readiness
    11. 11. A Dilemma
    12. 12. A ProposalCOLLEGE SUCCESS RUBRICTen traits for college completion
    13. 13. What We’ve Found• Employers like it o Independence Blue Cross found it aligns with their employee competencies and new employee training• Educators see links to other tools and assessments o ASCA’s National Standards for Students o States’ efforts to define and assess college readiness o Employability Skills Inventory, John J. Liptak, Ed.D.• College Students validate it
    14. 14. Using the Rubric• Think of a typical college-going student with whom you are working• Read the rubric with that student in mind (8 min)• Reflect upon: o How would your student rate on each trait? o In which trait is he/she strongest? weakest? o How do you know? Cite behaviors.
    15. 15. Reflection o As a group, where do we see students exhibiting the most strength? The most weakness?o What should be our highest priority traits to work on developing with students?
    16. 16. Developing Competencies• What can we do as educators to move students to the next level?• Describe an activity that you have done or could do to help build one or more of the College Success traits
    17. 17. Our Next Steps• Create online simulations for self-assessment and badges for accomplishments• Embed its competencies into workshop plans and pre/post tests• Establish priorities or relationships among the traits
    18. 18. Professional Network • Share how we use the rubric • Receive updates on associated tools • Rubric is online at www.academiesinc.org
    19. 19. Contact MeJennifer Binzen CardosoAssistant Director, Learning & InnovationPhiladelphia Academies, Inc.215-546-6300, ext. 122jbcardoso@academiesinc.org