College for All – Podcast Episode 75 | Classnotes Podcast 75

Classnotes Podcast (August 3, 2010) Clearly, our nation needs many more students to attend college and graduate, but several things are getting in the way, particularly students who are minority or economically disadvantaged. Nilka Avilés , Ed.D., an IDRA senior education associate, tells us about her experience with an effort that built relationships between high schools and a local university to remove barriers of school-level low expectations, student academic preparation and college-level instruction. She describes the practical supports that were provided to the minority and low-income students and their families that led to their success.

Nilka is interviewed by Aurelio Montemayor, M.Ed., director of the IDRA Texas Parent Information and Resource Center.

Show length: 15:32.

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Early College High School: A Model of Success for High School Redesign (pdf),
by Nilka Avilés and Encarnación Garza Jr., International Journal of Urban Educational Leadership

Defining Student Success in the Context of College Readiness, 
Rosana G. Rodríguez, Ph.D., IDRA Newsletter

Also in Courage to Connect – A Quality Schools Action Framework (pp 188-192),

“Supporting the Dream of Going to College Through Powerful Student Engagement,” 
By Héctor Bojorquez, IDRA Newsletter

About the Institute for Research and Reform in Education and First Things First (pdf),
James P. Connell, Ph.D., webinar presentation

Early College High Schools: Stepping Up to College During High School (pdf),
Joel Vargas, Jobs for the Future, webinar presentation

Success at Every Step: Policies to Prepare College- and Career-Ready Students (pdf),
Ryan Reyna, NGA Center for Best Practices, webinar presentation

Preparing College- and Career-Ready Students: Elements of Successful Programs (pdf),
Sarah Hooker, American Youth Policy Forum, webinar presentation

Jobs for the Future, Current Projects

Texas High School Project

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Show Notes

  • Nilka explains how the students she worked with had to overcome poor academic training and the expectations from teachers and administrators in their schools that they wouldn't make it to college.

  • Nilka describes how she recruited and supported students for her project: building relationships, providing information about going to college, providing access to a college culture, and building study skills.

  • Nilka talks about working to change teachers' perceptions of the students, particularly at the university level.

  • Nilka offers the example of one professor who created a more student-centered approach for the high school students.

  • Nilka discusses the impact of building a college-going culture from the time the students entered high school.

  • Nilka shares the story of a high school student who was considered a slow learner, but who persisted and graduated high school with 48 college credit hours.