Getting Ready for College, Careers, and the Common Core


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TAG: Chapter 4

Professional Development Workshops

EPIC staff can lead workshops for your organization on the topics identified in the book chapters. Please visit the EPIC Workshop and Professional Development Page) to learn more about the services offered and to contact an EPIC representative for further information or scheduling.

Think of Interventions to Improve Student Ownership of Learning

Which students are most successful and least successful in taking ownership of their learning? Are the expectations that students do so different for some groups of students? Think of three simple interventions that would improve ownership of learning without requiring major program redesign or staff training.

Have Students Set Goals in Three Time Frames: Short term, Medium term, and Long Term

Have students set goals in three time frames: short term, medium term, and long term. Short-term goals are those they can do immediately (e.g., improve study habits by devoting more time to studying). Medium-term goals may span a course or academic year (e.g., improve writing skills or get a 3 or better on an AP exam). Long-term goals relate to aspirations (e.g., prepare to become a commercial pilot, attend a four-year college locally). Collect and categorize their goals to see what they tell about the students and how their goals can be supported.

Have Students Map Their Goals and the Steps They Need to Take to Achieve Them

Have students map their goals and the steps they need to take to achieve them. This site offers a series of ten steps to help students reflect on the intent and design of their goals. It also offers a mini-quiz to diagnose a student’s ability to manage time, and achieve goals (

Estimate Student Proficiency with the Key Learning Techniques

Estimate student proficiency with the key learning techniques, such as time management and study skills. How many students do these things well? For those who don’t, improvements in which areas would lead to the greatest improvement in their performance the most quickly? See the website for this book for a host of programs that address these techniques.

Introduce Students to Time Management

Introduce students to time management by first having them track how they are using their time. This builds their awareness of the decisions they are making about which activities are important (

Look for Evidence of How Persistent Students are When Faced with a Challenging Task

Look for evidence of how persistent students are when faced with a challenging task. Read How Children Succeed by Paul Tough.

Access and Share the Resiliency Quiz

Access and share the resiliency quiz to help students reflect on how they learn and cope with stressful situations. As an assignment, ask students to describe how they will build off the ways they have handled unexpected difficulties in the past to persist in the future. Have students present and share these strategies with the class (

Provide High School Students with Examples of College-Level Writing Assignments

Provide high school students with examples of college-level writing assignments and examples of acceptable college-level work on these assignments. Have them then determine the gap between where their writing is now and what it would have to be for their work to be at the college level. Examples can be located on a number of websites—for example: Colby College, the National Council of Teachers of English, Standards for Success, the Purdue Online Writing Lab, and Appendix C of the English Language Arts Common Core State Standards.

Help Students Improve Their Learning Technique Skills

Many resources exist to help students improve their skills on a number of different learning techniques, such as time management and study skills. See the book ’s website for examples. Then identify students who could benefit by improving their skills in these two areas.

Require All Students to Have a Method for Recording Assignments Regularly

Require all students to have a method for recording assignments regularly, and check regularly that they have done so. Do this schoolwide at all grade levels and in all courses that have assignments.

Have 9th Graders Identify Potential Colleges to Attend

Have all students sign up as ninth graders for a service that helps them identify potential colleges to attend (;

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