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What Is a College-Going Culture?

Preparing students to enroll in college and graduate on time starts with creating a college-going culture — an environment that nourishes student aspirations and supports behaviors that lead students to prepare for, apply to, and enroll in college and other postsecondary institutions.

A high school’s college-going culture is reflected in the value it places on college attendance and its beliefs about the appropriate destinations for students after high school. In a college-going culture:

  • Educators believe that all students can learn at very high levels.
  • Teachers, administrators, parents, and students expect students to receive the experiences they need for high achievement and college preparation.
  • Students’ learning is strongly tied to the expectations of those around them and the quality of their opportunities to learn.
  • Adults encourage students to exert the necessary effort and persistence throughout their entire educational career, and adults work diligently to eliminate school-sanctioned alternatives to hard work and high expectations.
  • High expectations are coupled with specific interventions and information that emphasize to students that college preparation is a normal part of their adolescence.

Creating a college-going culture requires a commitment from school administrators, teachers, support staff, and counselors.


Sources

Locke High School College Going Culture Survey Report: Aggregate College Going Culture Survey Report, UCLA, 2006.

Oakes, Jeannie, Critical Conditions for Equity and Diversity in College Access: Informing Policy and Monitoring Results.



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Odinakachi

Odi graduated from Hospitality High School and Bucknell University ... view video (2:15)


TRUE OR FALSE?

Getting students to enroll in college is enough. Once they get there, they'll earn a degree.

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