Thursday, July 28, 2016

A Data-Driven Method to Foster a College-Going Identity for Students

I've been (slowly) reading Ready, Willing, and Able: A Developmental Approach to College Access and Success by Mandy Savitz-Romer and Suzanne M. Bouffard and when I came across "college-going identity statuses" I knew I had an incredible, new way to categorize my students so I could streamline and better prioritize my efforts.

According to the text, there are 4 "statuses" that indicate the degree to which a person has explored and committed to a particular element of identity. I believe these statuses are a great way for us to categorize our students at the beginning of the school year, and then set goals to make positive change throughout the school year.

The 4 stages are:

  1. Identity diffused, and not yet resolved whether or not they are college-going
  2. Foreclosured, by “prematurely” deciding college is not for them
  3. Moratorium, “trying on the possibility of going to college”
  4. Identity achieved, having explored the options, talked to peers and others, and on the path to college (p. 70-71).

According to the authors, you want your students to fall into the moratorium status to really take advantage of the programs and services you will provide as their school counselor.

So how can you use this without creating extra work for yourself?

Each fall I meet one-on-one with all of my seniors and juniors. During this meeting they have to complete a one page survey with various questions about their post-secondary plans prior to meeting with me. During our meeting I make additional notes on the paper and as they leave I hand it to my assistant for data entry purposes.

My thought was to add one more data point to the form that I can record (not the student) based on our conversation. Then I can categorize the students and see those that are at the lower end of the college-going identity scale for follow-up first and then move down the line; creating a goal to increase the percentage of those that are in the moratorium status, or even the identity achieved status.

I created a Google Form to illustrate my idea, you can see how easily it creates the data points and spreadsheets for you!



Let me know what you think in the comments below!


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