College Knowledge: What It Really Takes for Students to Succeed and What We Can Do to Get Them Ready

College Knowledge: What It Really Takes for Students to Succeed and What We Can Do to Get Them Ready

by David T. Conley


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Although more and more students have the test scores and transcripts to get into college, far too many are struggling once they get there. These students are surprised to find that college coursework demands so much more of them than high school. For the first time, they are asked to think deeply, write extensively, document assertions, solve non-routine problems, apply concepts, and accept unvarnished critiques of their work. College Knowledge confronts this problem by looking at the disconnect between what high schools do and what colleges expect and proposes a solution by identifying what students need to know and be able to do in order to succeed.

The book is based on an extensive three-year project sponsored by the Association of American Universities in partnership with The Pew Charitable Trusts. This landmark research identified what it takes to succeed in entry-level university courses. Based on the project's findings - and interviews with students, faculty, and staff - this groundbreaking book delineates the cognitive skills and subject area knowledge that college-bound students need to master in order to succeed in today's colleges and universities. These Standards for Success cover the major subject areas of English, mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences, second languages, and the arts.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780787996758
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 01/28/2008
Series: The Jossey-Bass Education Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 354,310
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 15 - 18 Years

About the Author

David T. Conley is professor of Educational Policy and Leadership and founder and director of the Center for Educational Policy Research at the University of Oregon. He served as the developer and executive director of the Proficiency-based Admission Standards System (PASS) for the Oregon University System, and currently conducts studies for the College Board to validate the standards used in the SAT, PSAT, and AP tests.

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Table of Contents



About the Author.

PART ONE : From the Current System and the High School of Today to an Aligned, Coherent Program.

O N E Understanding the System.

T W O What High School Students Know About College Readiness.

T H R E E The Old and New Criteria for College Success.

F O U R Current Strategies to Increase College Readiness.

F I V E What Does a High School That Prepares Its Students for College Success Look Like?

S I X Designing High Schools for Intellectual Coherence.

PART TWO The First-Year Experience and Beyond.

S E V E N Experiencing Success in the First Year of College.

E I G H T What Really Happens in the First Year of College.

N I N E What We Must Do to Create a System That Prepares Students for College Success.

PART THREE Knowledge and Skills for Success.

T E N Standards for Success.

E L E V E N English Knowledge and Skills.

T W E L V E Mathematics Knowledge and Skills.

T H I R T E E N Natural Sciences Knowledge and Skills.

F O U R T E E N Social Sciences Knowledge and Skills.

F I F T E E N Second Languages Knowledge and Skills.

S I X T E E N Arts Knowledge and Skills.

S E V E N T E E N University Work Samples.

A P P E N D I X A Checklist for College Readiness.

B I B L I O G R A P H Y.

I N D E X.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Relating research to practice, David Conley outlines recommendations to bridge the gap between college eligibility and college readiness that are practical and possible for every school in the country."
—Dr. Kathleen D. Smith, principal, Cherry Creek High School, Englewood, Colorado

"This is an invaluable resource—a practical, research-based book that will help students, their parents, and educators understand what students need to know and be able to do to be ready for the academic demands of college."
—Andrea Venezia, senior policy consultant, National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education

"This is not a book of platitudes and generalities. Instead it offers a wealth of intelligent, specific ideas on how to improve American education for all students.  And while educators will find the book enlightening, parents and high school students will be interested to learn what a genuine ‘college prep’ program is, how many schools with good reputations fail to provide it, and what they can do to steer their own right course of study."
—Michael Riley, superintendent, Bellevue School District, Bellevue, Washington

"Every high school should have a copy of this book on hand to help in designing a curriculum that ensures that all their students will be prepared for and experience success in college. College Knowledge provides a blueprint for what high school students should know and be able to do in order to be successful in college."
—Dawn P. Vaughn, president, American Association of School Librarians

"David Conley is the leading thinker on connecting high school academic standards and the tests that are increasingly used to measure those standards with the skills and knowledge that university faculty have identified as crucial to the success of students in college and the admissions tests that lie between. College Knowledge is a fundamentally important contribution to linking all of these items together in a coherent, integrated and eminently sensible way."
—Bob Laird, former director of undergraduate admission, University of California, Berkeley

"The most comprehensive and detailed overview ever published on how to improve secondary school preparation and success for college. Research based insights, practices, and policies for all audiences trying to better connect secondary schools and colleges. Both K-12 and higher education must work together in fundamentally new ways to implement Conley's vision."
—Michael W. Kirst, professor of education and business administration, Stanford University; member, management and research staff, Consortium for Policy Research in Education; and codirector, Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE).

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