Posts Tagged ‘College Planning for High School Students’

Summer 2013 Research, Service Learning, Leadership Development and More…

Tatiana Burgess (English Education C’ 2014), Camille Fontenelle (Elementary Education C’2016), SaiSri Gajjala (Biomedical Engineering and Leadership C’2015), Megan Hallett (English Education C’2014), and Kevin Nai (English Education C’2014) are investigating the national urgency to increase college access and completion rates by focusing on federal, state, and district policies and practices.  After “ingesting” background reading on the nature of the federal and state relationship in education, federal theories of change and action, and policy briefs on college degree access as a global economic issue as well as a civil rights issue, these students had an opportunity to meet  face to face with important stakeholders to discuss views on practices as they relate to intended local behavior by state and federal policy makers.  The undergraderate research team conducted a lively discussion with key stakeholders on Wednesday June 12.

(left to right facing out) Malik Stewart, State and Federal Programs Director in the Redclay School District, Cimone Philpotts, Legislative intern DE Senate Finance Committee, Leo Dohan, Naramco Manager and Sponsor of the Bridge to Employment program, Curtis Bedford, Principal at Newark High School, Shannon Griffin, Parent Advocate and Executive Director of Learning Link of Delaware, and Latisha Bracey, Legislative Assistant to Senator Chis Coons Discuss Education and Practices that Support School Success and College Access

(left to right facing out) Malik Stewart, State and Federal Programs Director in the Redclay School District, Cimone Philpotts, Legislative intern DE Senate Finance Committee, Leo Dohan, Naramco Manager and Sponsor of the Bridge to Employment program, Curtis Bedford, Principal at Newark High School, Shannon Griffin, Parent Advocate and Executive Director of Learning Link of Delaware, and Latisha Bracey, Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Chis Coons Discuss Education Policy and Practices that Support School Success and College Access

Beginning on Monday June 17, the undergraduates continued collecting data by convening sessions that support a group of Newark High School seniors.  The high school students  will complete college and scholarship applications during a 10 day campus experience:  On Track for Success is funded by Bridge to Employment (BTE),  a Johnson and Johnson–Naramco program.  ASPIRE has partnered with this effort for the past six years.

The summer 2013 work continues the College Awareness Reaching Everyone (CARE) agenda introduced in 2009 as a central activity of the ASPIRE community.  The outreach, service learning, and community-based research activities build leadership skills for the undergraduate students, and the activities provide additional opportunities for pre-service teachers to develop culturally responsive interaction styles and practices. The high school students benefit from interactions on the campus and by building relationships with undergraduates who are successful students and near peer role models.   Taria Pritchett, English Education Class of 2012, who initiated Operation CARE when she was president of ASPIRE,  returned to campus on July 19th to conduct sessions on writing competitive college essays.  Taria is now a member of  the English faculty at Mt. Pleasant High School. Her teaching load next year will include developmental and IB courses.Teacher Taria

The work this summer continues with support from the Office of Undergraduate Research and Experiential learning, with added support from the School of Public Policy and Administration.  Several of the undergraduates are conducting research to fulfill credit requirements in a new Public Policy, Education, and Leadership course.

Seven of the high school students are continuing work that they began last summer when ASPIRE supported their efforts to become better self-regulated learners.  In addition to this summer’s study, ASPIRE members are tracking the changes in the high school students’ academic profiles that appear associated with the work done in summer 2012 to help the high school students improve their time management and study skills.  Undergraduates Kevin Nai and Sai Gajjala returned for the second summer to work with the Newark High students and continue research on college preparation and access.

summer20135summer20134Megan and Group Camille and Genovieve Tatiana Burgess, Megan Hallett, and Camille Fontenelle met the Newark students during sessions held at the high school and here on campus during the  2012-13 school year.  The undergrads will complete this phase of their research when the first summer session concludes on May 5, and they will work through July to finalize their paper and poster presentations for the August undergraduate research symposium.  The work this summer investigates two major course questions:


1)      Examination of the On Track for Success Program as an Agentive Process –What pre/post experience changes are evident in students’ reports of their personal confidence that they will pursue post-secondary degrees and in their reports they will achieve post-secondary degrees? What are the pre/post experience changes in students’ reports of barriers that might prevent success and in the students’ reports of resources that will ensure their success? How does On Track for Success (as a component of BTE) address national concerns for improving college completion rates in the U.S.?  What are the merits and limitations of this kind of intervention?  How is this kind of intervention viewed by key stakeholders who shape policy and practice?

 2) How does the On Track for Success program reflect national priorities related to the emerging Knowledge Economy and theories of change and action?  Who is participating and to what effect in post-secondary education?  What factors seem most influential in the college/career choices of the high school students?  Are they most concerned about location, environment, type of school, admissions requirements, quality of the academic programs, expenses, financial aid, housing, campus life, other?  What institutional options are the students considering and how are these influenced by market dynamics and public policy?   



Summer 2013 Research Fellowships

Several Research Fellowships are available to work with the On Track for Success: Making Progress Summit.  Undergraduates accepted as fellows will work in teams to support completion of college and scholarship applications with selected rising high school seniors.

 Project Schedule

2013 Summer Program:  June 3 – July 12 (Dates TBC)


  On Track for Success continues work in support of a community of students who face challenges in succeeding in high school and gaining access to post-secondary opportunities.  We will work with a maximum of 20 high school seniors (rising seniors).

Contact:  Melva Ware to receive the fellowship application.  Completed applications must be returned by March 11. 

ASPIRE Service Event: On Track for Success

On Saturday December 1 2012, the ASPIRE community joined forces with McNair, SSSP, and NSBE to host a college and career planning event for high school families.  Undergraduates stepped up, by taking responsibility to coach individual students in writing their college essays and developing personal resumes.  The students will interact again by email in mid-January when the high school students will mail drafts of their essays to their undergraduate coaches.  There will be opportunities for additional face-t0-face interactions in June 2013 when the campus student community will support this group of students in a week-long college application and scholarship application completion “boot camp.”  Undergraduates who enroll for the first summer session in Public Policy and Leadership in Education UAPP 467 will have opportunities to engage with the On Track for Success students in a course that focuses on policies and practices guiding national concerns for increasing college access and completion rates in the U.S.

  The On Track for Success students are 11th graders at Newark High School.  Several of them participated in summer 2012 in an academic leadership camp led by ASPIRE officers.  The high school students developed workshops that they are now sharing with their peers at Newark HS.  On Saturday, ASPIRE leaders beamed as their mentees gave an impromptu presentation on their summer 2012 work.   The group ended their presentation by sharing their mantra :  Good Better Best, Never Let It Rest, Until Your Good is Your Better and Your Better is Your Best!!!!!!!         

Welcome to Campus Success Through Education Conference Participants

Prospective Education Majors from four Delaware high schools visited campus on Tuesday November 13, 2012.  Their day included visits to UD classes and a tour of campus, as well as information sessions on financial aid, scholarships, and the Associate of Arts program.  The students received ASPIRE brochures and encouragement to learn as much about the teaching profession as possible and to equip themselves with study habits that will ensure success at every level of education.  ASPIRE Encourages Students to Develop:

Study Power



Newark High School students have decided to start a chapter of the ASPIRE student organization at the high school.  Their purpose is to provide leadership for academic achievement among students.  Essentially,  All Students ASPIRE (ASA) leaders will recruit Students to Step Up and make being smart mean being popular, as well.  They want more students to take ownership of the personal responsibility to focus on school work, develop solid study habits, and earn good grades.  The leadership group met on Friday, February 24 at the ASPIRE student support office on the UD campus.  They plan to conduct at least one academic awareness session during the spring semester and work with ASPIRE leaders and Newark teachers to develop peer tutoring opportunities that allow the ASA leaders and those that they recruit as peer tutors to earn their volunteer credits.

The Crew at the Beach

Faith Roach, a 2011 Elementary Education graduate and Bruce Aldred, Biology ’12, formed a very powerful partnership to support middle school students who are headed to Cape Henlopen high school and slated for participation in the AVID program. 

Now I Know How It Feels to Work in Early Childhood

Malana Linder, an 11th grader at Pencader Charter high school, is interested in education because her grandmother is a retired teacher.  Counselors and teachers have not necessarily encouraged her interest in education because she is a competitive student and Pencader has a business theme.  Students there have more contact with role models in business.  Malana’s mom encouraged her to seek opportunities to learn more about teaching as a career.  As a Summer 2011 High School Intern, Malana gained important insight working with four year olds at the University’s Early Learning Center:  I thought this was a simple field.  It seemed like a babysitting job in a way before I got the experience.  My thoughts and feelings did a 180 [degree turn]; I have a totally different view of this field and have much respect for early educators…it has given me an idea about what age group I’d like to work with…

You Don’t Want to Miss …

The First-Year Teacher Panel is Wednesday April 6 at 5PM in Sharp 100! A panel of student teachers and early career teachers will share their experiences. Make sure you attend because you will be following in their footsteps soon! RSVP for Teacher Panel here:

will be hosting a group of 30 students from Glasgow High School  on WEDNESDAY MAY 4th, 2011 9:00 a.m.-Noon

Volunteers can sign up during ASPIRE meetings or email with your availability.  You may volunteer for the entire morning or any hour that you have free.

Happy Ending

On Wednesday, July 21, as one of the final activities of the Summer 2010 Aspiring Teacher Program, ASPIRE undergraduate leaders and high school interns hosted a college planning day at the University for Bayard Middle School students.  The middle school students toured the campus and interacted with their hosts during a panel discussion that provided tips for succeeding in high school and preparing for admission to the University of Delaware and other competitive schools.  The college and high school students had very consistent guidance for the middle school students:  Rigor is important.  Choose a high school that offers honors and AP courses.  Take hard courses, do the work and develop study skills. The middle school students wrote thank you notes to their hosts and exchanged contact information, with all promising to remain in touch.  The highlight of the day, without doubt however, was the pizza and gelato finish!

Operation C.A.R.E.

ASPIRE Members will launch Operation C.A.R.E. (college awareness reaching everyone) workshops for middle and high school students.