Due to the focus on collaborative learning at Oakton High School, a student must be proficient at group work in order to be successful in class, which can directly affect a student’s GPA. Counselors felt that teaching collaboration skills can help boost all students’ GPAs including the students with a GPA below a 2.7.
To collect perception data, 150 randomly selected freshmen took a survey at the end of the lesson (see attached). To collect the outcome data, counselors compared a sample group’s first quarter grades to final grades in English 9 to see how many students improved their grades by at least one step (e.g., B- to a B is one step). Counselors chose to analyze English grades since the lesson was presented through English 9. The sample group was made up of randomly selected freshmen students.
According to the perception data, students found the collaboration lesson helpful and the majority of students learned more about the different roles and dynamics involved in group work. The outcome data showed that 67% of the sample group improved their English grade after the collaboration lesson by at least one step.
With Oakton moving their focus towards group work, counselors need to expand the collaboration lesson across all grade levels. Counselors should collaborate with teachers from different subject areas to find ways to tailor the lesson to meet the needs of all classes. Counselors should also conduct this lesson earlier in the year. The earlier students learn collaboration skills, the more successful they will be in class.
Exploring Your Options Lesson:
The perception data was collected by administering a pre-test and post-test to 120 juniors to gauge student knowledge before and after the lesson (see attached). To collect the outcome data, counselors looked at a report from Naviance to see how many seniors have successfully applied to college early as a result of planning ahead after the junior lesson.
According to perception data, students demonstrated knowledge acquired from the pre-test to the post-test. The outcome data reflected that 9.1% of the 2016-2017 class and one out of 30 Hispanic males applied to college early as of October 7, 2016. Since most of our students apply to college in November, December, January, or February, counselors will continue to collect data throughout the 2016-2017 year to track the amount of students who apply to college. 70% of Hispanic males have indicated to their counselor that they plan to apply to a four-year college this year.
In addition to following up with students their senior year, counselors plan to add to the junior program by continuing to hold college conferences in the spring of junior year and to hold multiple parent college nights, including a Hispanic parent college night. The counseling department has also started to offer a college workshop in the summer to help rising seniors with the application process.
The perception data was collected by administering a survey that was emailed to seniors in late November, after the majority of the students had started the college application process. Forty-five students completed the survey (see attached). To collect the outcome data, counselors looked at a report from Naviance to see how many seniors applied to college.
Based on the perception data, seniors learned how to apply to college, send test scores, request letters of recommendation, etc. from the lesson. Although this data suggested that students learned from the lesson, students mentioned that they wanted more information from counselors and they wanted the information earlier than fall of senior year. The outcome data showed that 96.4% of the class of 2016 applied to college after the senior lesson. There were 21 Hispanic males in that class and 70% of those students successfully applied to a four-year university.
The counselors will continue to hold meetings with parents and students to maintain our high number of students who successfully apply to college. Counselors responded to the feedback that the class of 2016 wished they had more information sooner by holding individual college conferences for juniors and parents during June. Counselors also added an additional senior parent night during the summer as a way to get information out to the families earlier than in 2015-2016 and created a College Application Bootcamp for rising seniors to get a head start on applications and college essays during the summer of 2016. Counselors also want to plan a Hispanic family college night, in collaboration with our Spanish-speaking parent liaison.