The College Crusade’s programs and services are grounded in the fundamental principles and research of the youth development and college-readiness fields. To learn more about what informs our practice and what the latest research indicates for improving college access and success, we recommend the following major resources:
Making the Grade in College Prep: A Guide for Improving College Preparation Programs, by William G. Tierney and Linda Serra Hagedorn, 2007 (.pdf format). This significant paper, published by The Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis at the Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California, provides practitioners, funders and policy makers with a framework for structuring and evaluating college preparation programs.
Moving Beyond Access: College Success for Low-Income, First-Generation Students, by Jennifer Engle and Vincent Tinto, 2008 (.pdf format). Funded by the 3M Foundation and published by The Pell Institute, this report describes the current status of low-income, minority, and first-generation college students in higher education, examines the obstacles these students face in completing college, and recommends ways of promoting their success.
Charting a Necessary Path: The Baseline Report of the Access to Success Initiative, by Jennifer Engle and Mary Lynch, 2009. This first report from the Access to Success Initiative measures the existing college access and success gaps for low-income and underrepresented minority students in two dozen public higher education systems nationwide. Published by the National Association of System Heads and The Education Trust.
Empty Promises: The Myth of College Access in America, 2002 (.pdf format). This report from the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance examines the growing financial barriers that prevent qualified high school graduates from attending college, even as our economy requires more workers with postsecondary education.
Shared Features of High-performing After-School Programs: A Follow-Up to the TASC Evaluation, by Jeniffer Birmingham, 2005. The After-School Corporation (TASC) commissioned Policy Studies Associates to prepare this valuable report on the characteristics shared by successful out-of-school-time (OST) programs in New York City.
Measuring Up 2008: The State Report Card on Higher Education: Rhode Island. The Measuring Up report card, developed by The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, provides each state with information for assessing and improving its postsecondary education.
Learning Around the Clock: Benefits of Expanded Learning Opportunities for Older Youth, by Anne Bowles and Betsy Brand, 2009. The American Youth Policy Forum produced this report to identify the characteristics of extended learning opportunities (ELOs) offered outside of school hours that are achieving positive results for underserved youth. It includes descriptions of 22 ELO organizations across the country that are helping youth succeed.
Can I Get a Little Advice Here? How an Overstretched High School Guidance System Is Undermining Students’ College Aspirations, 2010. In this study undertaken for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Public Agenda surveyed young adults aged 22 to 30 to find out how much guidance they received in high school when making college and career decisions.
Student Debt and the Class of 2008 (.pdf format). The most recent annual report from the Project on Student Debt, which provides data on the student loan debt of recent college graduates, including state averages and a list of high-debt and low-debt states.
Toward a More Comprehensive Conception of College Readiness (.pdf format), prepared for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation by David T. Conley, provides a four-component definition of college readiness, with specific examples of indicators and ideas for what schools and students can do to foster and develop college readiness. Dr. Conley is with the Educational Policy Improvement Center (EPIC), whose mission is to improve educational policy and practices in ways that lead to more productive education results for all students and particularly for students historically underserved by public schools.
Closing the Expectations Gap 2010 is Achieve’s fifth annual survey of state educational policies created to close the expectations gap between “the standards students are required to meet to earn a high school diploma and the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in their college and career pursuits after high school.”
Created by the nation's governors and business leaders, Achieve helps states raise academic standards and achievement so that all students graduate ready for college, careers and citizenship. Achieve sponsors the American Diploma Project Network (ADP), which is a coalition of 33 states dedicated to aligning standards, graduation requirements, assessments and accountability policies with the demands of college and careers. Rhode Island is a member of the ADP network, and a state data profile is available. Achieve’s publications include national and state reports as well as policy briefs and white papers that focus on preparing all students for college and work.
An independent, not-for-profit organization that provides more than a hundred assessment, research, information, and program management services in the broad areas of education and workforce development. To learn more about the ACT test, a national college admission and placement examination, see Facts about the ACT. To explore ACT’s many reports, case studies, and issue briefs on education, see their Research and Policy Issues page.
America’s Promise Alliance
A nationwide partnership of over 300 organizations and local affiliates dedicated to “ensuring that all young people graduate from high school ready for college, work and life.” America’s Promise Dropout Prevention Campaign has held summits in all 50 states to raise awareness of high dropout rates, to report how much it costs the U.S. economy when students do not graduate from high school, and to mobilize community support for young people.
A not-for-profit membership association whose mission is to connect students to college success and opportunity. Among its best-known programs are the SAT®, the PSAT/NMSQT®, and the Advanced Placement Program® (AP®). Among its many policy and advocacy initiatives, the College Board assists states, including Rhode Island, as they seek to improve access to college opportunity. It also offers a substantial amount of information via a directory of data, reports, and research.
NCAN - National College Access Network
NCAN’s mission is to improve access to and success in postsecondary education for first-generation, underrepresented and low-income students. It helps local communities all over the country initiate, develop and sustain their own college access programs. Features of their services for members include a national directory of college-access programs and a toolkit for building a college-access organization. Through NCAN’s listserv, members receive information and advice from practitioners as well as timely notices of emerging research in the field.
Pathways to College Network
An alliance of 38 national organizations and funders committed to advancing college access and success for underserved students. Includes a comprehensive library of publications pertaining to college-readiness issues.
Diplomas Count 2009
An annual report from Education Week and the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center, produced with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Education Commission of the States
The mission of the Education Commission of the States is to help states develop effective policy and practice for public education by providing data, research, analysis and leadership; and by facilitating collaboration, the exchange of ideas among the states and long-range strategic thinking.
Quality Counts 2010
An annual report from Education Week and the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center, produced with support from the Pew Center on the States.
RI Kids Count
A children’s policy and advocacy organization that provides information on child well-being, stimulates dialogue on children’s issues, and promotes accountability and action. The annual RI Kids Count Fact Book tracks many educational indicators for child well-being in the state.