Monday, August 29, 2016

Freshman-SMART Goals-Data Driven Practices-Oh My


If you follow my blog you know I'm a huge supporter of the growth mindset theory. In previous years I have set SMART goals around fostering a growth mindset and used the Short Grit Scale as my measurement tool.

This year however, I decided to fuse my ideals and practices together as I work with this freshman class. I went to an incredible session at #ASCA16 focused on raising college aspirations and I felt like all of the stars aligned in my world.

This year I will be working on increasing the freshman classes' college going self-efficacy; or their college aspirations, as a class. My SMART goal is to: Increase the college-going self-efficacy of the class of 2020 by 10% by April 30, 2017. To assess this goal I am using the College-Going Self-Efficacy Scale. This tool measures two important factors in terms of college aspirations: Attendance and Persistence.

I administered the "College-Going Self-Efficacy Scale" to each of my freshman last week to get baseline data. In the coming weeks I will provide a number of services for them, for example:

  • minute meetings
  • school counseling core curriculum
  • College Funding Night
  • ISP Sessions (4-year plans)
I will also run at least 2 small groups during RTI time: Organizational Skills Bootcamp and a Test Anxiety Group. I may also bring my Vision Board group back if there is a need.

At the end of this semester I will assess them again. Programming will continue into the second semester and I will assess them a final time in April.

Data from each interval will be shared with my administration as we assess my SMART goal progress.

I also pulled a couple of questions from the tool to analyze individually at each interval:




1. I can make an educational plan that will prepare me for college
2. I can choose the high school classes needed to get into a good college
3. I can go to college after high school
4. I could finish college and receive a college degree
5. I could be smart enough to finish college



I will be looking specifically at each of these questions on a student level as we complete programming and re-administer the assessment. This will not only help me identify growth, but also help me identify students who need more than what I have outlined in my action plan.

When it comes to preparing students for college/career success, it is important to reach the freshman--to help them build a strong foundation.

I'm excited to further review the data gathered with the assessment & looking forward to identifying those who need additional assistance and charting their growth as a class.

If you plan to use this tool as well, I recommend you add a few items to the back of the assessment:

  1. Students Name (a spot for them to write their name)
  2. Do you plan to graduate from high school with your class?
  3. What are your plans for after high school (2 yr/4yr/Military/Workforce/Apprentice Program)
  4. How sure are you about your ability to graduate from college? (same likert scale as front)
  5. Have either of your parents/guardians attended any college at all?
A few data points that should improve I your school as you implement your programming:

-Freshman On Track rate (IL School Report Card)
-Average freshman class gpa

Please share your tips for working with freshman and your assessment tools in the comments below.