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Irma L. Rangel YWLS

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Irma L. Rangel YWLS

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  1. We’re Going to College!?!?Working with First Generation College Bound Girlsand Their FamiliesNational Conference on Girls’ EducationFebruary 2012

  2. Irma L. Rangel YWLS • Magnet school in the Dallas ISD • Public-Private partnership between Dallas ISD and Foundation for the Education of Young Women • First public school for girls in Texas • Opened in 2004 • 470 girls in grades 6 through 12 • 72% of high school students qualify for free/reduced lunch • 96% underrepresented in college population

  3. Irma L. Rangel YWLS • Rated Exemplary by TEA • U.S. Department of Education National Blue Ribbon School 2011 • 100% of students are college bound • Class of 2012 is fourth graduating class * 57% are first-generation • Students and families served by one DISD counselor and a full-time CollegeBound Advisor

  4. First Generation Defined • Broad definition: Student whose parents have not attended college and/or have not earned a college degree • Narrow definition: Those students whose parents’ highest level of education is a high school diploma or less

  5. First GenerationEnrollment Statistics • 28% of White students • 45% of Black/African-American students • 48.5% of Hispanic/Latino students • 32.2% of Asian students • 35.6% Native American/Alaskan Native students National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) U.S. Department of Education 2010 report on 2007-2008 post-secondary enrollment

  6. Characteristics • May come from lower income families • May be from underrepresented backgrounds • May have parents born outside the United States • May speak a language other than English at home • May receive lower scores on standardize admission exams • May maintain lower grade point averages than their non-first generation counterparts • May not have a support base at home for understanding the college search and admission process • Are more likely to be working while in school

  7. Factors that affect their access to college • Lower levels of academic preparation • Lower educational aspirations • Less knowledge about the college application process • Fewer resources to pay for college • Less encouragement and support to attend college, particularly from Parents

  8. Redefining College Readiness • Although a rigorous high school curriculum is essential to postsecondary success, academic preparation alone does not guarantee degree completion. • Define “college knowledge” as a specific skill set – social, academic and cultural – necessary for successful transition to postsecondary education and degree completion. Burleson, Hallett & Park, College Knowledge: An Assessment of Urban Students’ Awareness of College Processes, AACRAO: College & University, Fall 2008.

  9. Redefining College Readiness(Burleson, Hallett, Park) • Financial Access • Involvement and Campus Life • Relationships • Time Management • The Fourth “R” = Resilience Irma L. Rangel YWLS

  10. The Search forSustainable Girls • They want to achieve and succeed in major ways unheard of in the past. • In the quest to develop talents and aspirations, they have carved for themselves a frightening new territory where there is no concept of enough. The chance to become everything has become an impulse to become everything. • Our girls seem to have a mechanism that leaves them without sufficient boundaries. Girls just keep adding…and adding…expectations, creating an endless list of chores and goals. Anne Pabst, The Search for Sustainable Girls, The Journal of College Admission, Fall 2010

  11. Symptoms of Girls at Risk • Fatigue • The need to do more • The constant measuring of themselves • Being easily disappointed in themselves • The need to care for others • The hyper-awareness of parents’ desires • The wistful looking into their past • Devotion to coffee • The passion for appearance, the worry Anne Pabst, The Search for Sustainable Girls, The Journal of College Admission, Fall 2010

  12. Parents • Parents often do not have and lack access to “college knowledge” • Knowledge limited by their own lack of experience with the college admission process • Knowledge limited by lack of access to key information sources (i.e. the Internet, parent-teacher conferences, college nights) due to barriers such as language or work/family responsibilities (cannot afford to miss time from work, cannot secure childcare or may be single parent)

  13. From the Rangel archives… • “I need you at home mija!” • Return to Mexico with family • Conflicting messages and failure to individuate • “You are bringing shame to the family!” • A question of identity • History of poverty • Many of our students co-parent • Many of our students work to support their families • Students often compared to older siblings, cousins etc. and their college bound attempts and experiences • Often cannot afford campus visits • May not consider living on campus because of family expectations and responsibilities

  14. Raising Aspirations for College • Connect college to job and career interests • Inform about college and how to pay for it • Help students perceive themselves as college material • Students need to understand that college is possible • Be personal and persistent about college • Question isn’t “Am I going to college?” but “Where am I going to college?”

  15. Navigating the College Admission Process • Start early, meet often • Take it step by step • Share information on financial aid applications and how to pay • Get the family involved • Make connections to the community

  16. Best PracticesParents • Share tips on how to communicate with daughter and idea of what to expect from her • Utilize resources and speakers from ACT, College Board, Department of Education, community based organizations, university partners • Grade level programming beginning in middle school • College Bound Super Saturday • Parent University

  17. Best PracticesParents • Offer meetings during the day, in the evenings and on weekends • Provide child care • Provide bilingual materials • Printed newsletters and handbooks (supplement internet presence) • Get parents on a college campus • Connect them to veteran alumnae parents • Connect them to organizations at partner universities • Senior Transition Events

  18. Best PracticesStudents • Utilize resources from ACT, College Board, Department of Education, community based organizations, university partners • Grade level programming (NACAC Guiding the Way to Higher Education) • Share tips on how to communicate with parents and idea of what to expect from them • Develop Advisory Curriculum • Partner with teachers, Senior Class Advisors • Pre-College Admission Camp • College Fairs on and off campus • Handbooks and organization systems

  19. Best PracticesStudents • Comprehensive summer camp program • Mentoring Program • Sponsor college campus visit with parent(s) • Senior Transition Events • Alumnae Events & Support • Pair younger students with alumnae • Alumnae Panels and presentations • Alumnae serve as ambassadors for their colleges/universities • Engage alumnae in college bound activities • Utilize social media to support alumnae • Visit alumnae on their campuses • Connect alumnae to local support

  20. Mother Daughter Programs • Offer workshops, open houses, leadership conferences, summer camps, pairing with undergraduate women • Programs begin as early as 6th grade and continue through freshman year in college • Mother Daughter Program - University of Texas, El Paso • Hispanic Mother Daughter Program - Arizona State University • Con Mi Madre – Junior League of Austin • Mother Daughter Academy – Angelo State University • Mother Daughter Program – University of Texas, Pan American • Mother Daughter Program – Lubbock Betty Anderson branch of the AAUW • Mother Daughter Program – Knox College

  21. First Generation Students may experience… • Culture shock/stress • Confusion regarding what is expected of them as college students • Family responsibilities that conflict with academic responsibilities • Lack of family understanding about these responsibilities • Alienation from family support • Alienation from new campus culture • Frustration with the “system” • Difficulty connecting with professors

  22. Alumnae Stress Points • Feelings of guilt (leaving family/siblings behind) • Making friends • Getting to know her way around campus • Difficulty accessing resources and connecting to services • Balancing studying and social scene • Feeling financially “less than” • Course load and different academic assessment models • Knowing how and when to ask for help • Believing it is okay to ask for help

  23. Easing the Initial Transition to College “Getting into college is one thing. It’s actually sticking it through that’s the hard part.” • Prepare students academically for college • Encourage participation in summer bridge or orientation programs • Continue support throughout first year of college • Help students acclimate to college environment • Involve parents • Help students manage the financial aspects of college

  24. Tips for First Generation Students • Get involved on campus • Join a study group • Leave your room and reach out to make friends • Get to know your professors • Locate a diversity advocate • Educate yourself on financial aid options • Educate yourself on campus resources • Tune into how you are doing physically, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually and take care of yourself • Seek help when you recognize a problem Adapted from material published by Marquette University

  25. Conclusions & Recommendations • Get the message out to ALL students about college as early as possible • Partner with colleges/universities, community based organizations and state/federally funded pre-college programs • Better prepare students for college through rigorous coursework rich in pre-AP, AP, IB or dual enrollment opportunities • Continue support for students once in college

  26. THANK YOU!Ann MaranoCollegeBound AdvisorIrma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership SchoolDallas, Texas(972) 749-5221amaranofou@dallasisd.org