A new guide from the National College Attainment Network (NCAN) urges K-12 district and school leaders and personnel to take five steps to help their senior class transition to a 2- or 4-year college or certificate program after high school graduation. NCAN is releasing this resource as the coronavirus pandemic continues to strain systems and disrupt student learning and plans at all levels.
The guide, “Immediate Next Steps for Helping High School Seniors Transition to a 2-/4-Year College or Certificate Program: 5 Actions for Districts and Schools to Take Right Now” highlights practices that will be familiar to many in the college access and success field:
- Conduct a senior exit survey now.
- Focus on Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion.
- Decode financial aid offers and compare costs.
- Navigate decision deadlines.
- Combat summer melt.
Each of the five sections includes questions that district and school personnel should ask themselves as well as their colleagues and partners involved with college and career readiness, key next steps to take, and a curated list of the best resources to complete the step.
“Students and families across the country are clearly facing a tremendous amount of uncertainty,” says NCAN Executive Director Kim Cook. “But in the face of that uncertainty, it’s important that districts and schools help students stay in the game and take the critical steps now that leave postsecondary options open to them later.”
The guide urges districts and schools that have not yet done so to conduct a senior exit survey as soon as possible. These surveys usually collect students’ postsecondary plans and forwarding addresses and in many districts are conducted close to graduation. But having these data in hand right now could help target each student with an intervention matching their plan. The guide includes sample surveys provided by NCAN members from which districts and schools can draw questions.
This article was originally published on NCAN’s website here. The mission of the National College Attainment Network is to build, strengthen, and empower communities and stakeholders to close equity gaps in postsecondary attainment for all students.