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College-focused issue briefs, presentations, posters, and more

The To&Through Project’s postsecondary success resources provide educators, high school students, and families with a set of tools to learn and spark conversations about what matters most for postsecondary success. Designed to engage a wide variety of audiences, the resources include college-focused issue briefs, presentations, posters, and more. Explore these resources below.

The Network for College Success Postsecondary Success Toolkit

The Network for College Success's Postsecondary Success Toolkit is a collection of protocols, reports, resources, and artifacts that can help schools better support students to graduate from high school ready to succeed in college. The toolkit can provide your school or district with valuable information on how to develop postsecondary teams that are focused on research, data, and successful practices.

Lesson Plan: Student Stories of Navigating the Postsecondary Maze

This lesson plan centered around the stories of recent CPS graduates currently in college aims to help high school students in their senior year explore two questions: (1) "What does a college being a good 'fit' mean in reality for recent graduates? What does it mean personally for you?" and (2) "How have recent graduates successfully navigated what happens when the college they enrolled in isn’t a good 'fit'?"

Navigating the Maze: Understanding CPS Graduates' Paths Through College

When do students stop out from college? How often do they stop out? What types of transitions do students make (between two- and four-year institutions, and enrolled and not enrolled)? What are the degree outcomes associated with different types of transitions? To learn more, read our report Navigating the Maze or download research briefs summarizing key findings on the report's webpage.

College Pathways Tool

The To&Through College Pathways Tool enables users to explore in more detail the pathways different groups of CPS graduates take through college. The tool visualizes the post-secondary transitions that students made between the fall after high school graduation and six years later, and enables users to look at pathways and outcomes for students based on their race/ethnicity or their gender. Hover over different parts of the visualization to see the degree outcomes associated with different types of post-secondary transitions.

Postsecondary Success Issue Briefs

Research from the UChicago Consortium shows that GPA is a better predictor of college success than test scores. Yet, regardless of their academic qualifications, students’ likelihood of graduating from a given college mirrors a college’s overall graduation rate. The issue briefs below summarize these and other key UChicago Consortium research findings on what matters most for postsecondary success. They can be printed as flyers, or the text within the briefs can be incorporated into newsletters.

College Guiding Lesson Plans

This counselor-created series of lesson plans is designed to foster student reflection and discussion on college hopes, fears, and goals. The lesson plans cover a range of topics — from motivations to attend college to the transition to college and challenges students may encounter in college. They also feature videos of current college students reflecting on their journeys to and through college and offering first-hand advice on how to prepare for life after high school.

College Choice Presentation

This PowerPoint presentation breaks down and illustrates key UChicago Consortium research findings on college choice. The presentation includes detailed talking points and can be shared with teachers, counselors, and other school staff members or partners to foster shared knowledge of the factors that matter most for students’ postsecondary success. Designed with a wide variety of audiences in mind, the presentation is also a useful tool for students and their families.

Posters for College-Bound Students

This set of “Did You Know?" posters are designed to draw students' attention to what matters most for their postsecondary success, based on decades of UChicago Consortium research. They can be printed and displayed in schools, after-school program facilities, and other spaces in which students are engaged in learning and pursuing their postsecondary goals. They can also be used as handouts or flyers.

Data Insights on Postsecondary Success

The To&Through Project data insights on postsecondary success are visualizations of the UChicago Consortium’s most important research discoveries about what fosters postsecondary success. Designed to be easily understood by students and other key audiences, the data insights may be used in presentations, printed as flyers, or included in emails. Learn more about key levers for improving college graduation below.

Myths and Facts about Postsecondary Success

The path to and through high school and college is riddled with misguided notions and outdated assumptions about what students should know, do, and focus on in order to maximize their chances for success. Fortunately, more than a decade’s worth of research and data from the UChicago Consortium has helped solidify the facts and dispel myths about what it takes to make it to and through college. Explore our postsecondary-focused myths and facts below.

Social Media Toolkit: Postsecondary Success Edition

This social media toolkit consists of sample Facebook posts and tweets that illuminate important insights on what matters most for students' college journeys. The language in this toolkit can also be used for other social media platforms, such as Instagram and Snapchat. Each post includes a link to student and parent/guardian resources designed to illuminate what matters most for students' postsecondary success.

Postsecondary Success Stories

Our collection of Postsecondary Success Stories profiles high schools, colleges, and universities that have experienced success in creating a new college-going culture, raising enrollment rates in 4-year institutions, strengthening supports for underrepresented minority students, improving college persistence and attainment, and more. Each story provides background, insights, and recommended strategies for your own students' success.

Looking for more? Find out how community-based organizations are using our High School Milestones Tool and Community Milestones Tool to more accurately track student outcomes. Read the Navigating the Maze: Understanding CPS Graduates’ Paths Through College report to gain insight into how Chicago Public Schools (CPS) graduates’ college completion rates have remained flat while college enrollment rates have significantly increased. The technical paper Tracking Two Year College Outcomes: Comparing National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) and Illinois Community College Board as Sources of Two-Year College Data can also help inform education researchers on how to identify, report on, and interpret CPS graduates’ outcomes.