Do we know who our students are? Diversity and diverse learners Jennifer McCormick
Who are our students? • 44.2 % of the CSULA freshmen responding to the 2009 Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) Freshmen Survey indicated that English was not their native language. • In 2009, 80.1% of our first-time freshmenneeded remediation in English.
First-time Freshmen • 60% of our students live within a 10 mile radius of CSULA. • The vast majority of first-time freshmen attended high schools within a ten mile radius. • Let’s look at the academic realities specific to these schools.
The College Preparatory Curriculum • In 2009, 49 students from Garfield High School enrolled at CSULA out of a graduating class of 608. • 68 students, out of the 608, graduated with the sequence of courses required by UC and CSU (i.e., four years of English, three years of math, at least two years of social science, at least two years of science, two years of a language other than English) • How do we bridge the gap between high school and college literacy requirements to ensure a more academically competitive applicant pool? • More specifically, what do we do with the 540 students at Garfield who did not take a college preparatory curriculum and who are not eligible for CSU?
What is Academic Literacy? • Students need skills enabling them to define, summarize detail, explain, evaluate, compare\contrast, and analyze. • Academic Literacy: (13) • “Only 1/3 of entering college students are sufficiently prepared for the two most frequently assigned writing tasks: analyzing information or arguments and synthesizing information from several sources.” • Academic Literacy: (4)
CSU’s Early Assessment Program • EAP includes three major components: • Assessment of English and mathematics readiness of high school juniors for college. • A high school Expository Reading and Writing Course designed to foster critical reading and writing. • Professional development for teachers in which they learn to support critical reading and writing.
Today’s focus: the ERWC and Academic Literacy • Students analyze the rhetorical devices of different texts, i.e. identify the emotional, logical and personal appeals embedded in an essay. • Students analyze complex syntax. • They identify an argument in another’s text and learn to replicate that structure in their own writing. • They use writing as an extension of learning. • They develop the habits of mind necessary for academic literacy. Specifically, they learn to reread, rethink, and rewrite ideas.
Expository Reading and Writing Course • With the UC’s approval of the ERWC as a “b” English college preparatory course, the number of adopting high schools is increasing. • For example, LAUSD has adopted the ERWC as a one semester course in all district high schools in12th grade.
Results Supported by Research • Study done through the Program Evaluation and Research Collaborative shows improvement in the percent of students deemed proficient in English (2003-2006) in high intensity ERWC schools was more than FOUR times the rate of improvement of all California high schools (13.6% vs. 3%).
Findings: Teacher Survey • Major impact in teachers’ abilities to: • prepare students for college, • use new instructional strategies, • hold students accountable for their own learning, • motivate students to read and write challenging texts.
Critical literacy • The following quote serves as an indication of how teachers perceive the development of critical literacy. “It[ERWC] empowers students to express themselves and to think critically about the claims of other writers, both their peers and professional authors. One student thanked me for helping him become a thinking citizen.”
State-wide Study • Hafner, St Germain and Cline surveyed freshmen on seven different CSU campuses. According to this state-wide study: • The type of high school English course predicted other aspects of college readiness. • The amount of essay writing strongly predicted how well prepared students felt for college. • Students in AP and ERWC courses reported writing more essays than their counterparts in other English courses. • 36% of students taking an ERWC course in high school were placed in remediation, compared to 50% taking other courses.
College Prep Coursework for English Language Learners • Neil Finkelstein looked at patterns of course taking by ELLs (44,813 transcripts ). • He found that ELLS showed great difficulty fulfilling CSU entrance requirements when compared to non ELLs. • Getting students on track early in high school by ensuring access to college prep coursework in English and math is critical to keeping them on track to fulfilling college entrance requirements.
Bridging the gap • The majority of secondary English Language Learners are long-term ELLs. They have been in English Language Development courses for seven years or more. They have not been challenged by an academically rigorous curriculum. • CSU has developed a curriculum that will serve them. • We create a more academically competitive applicant pool by supporting ERWC, and by bridging the void between high school and college literacy needs. • .