Approximately 517 first time ninth grade students participated in lessons on study skills. Ninth grade students completed a pre and post-test so that we would be able to assess their attitudes, knowledge, and skills as a result of the study skills lessons. In general, students showed an increase in all areas, but we noticed that many students still did not know the total number of elective credits needed to graduate. Since school outcome data indicate that first time 9th grade students’ retention rates continue to be significantly higher than for other grade levels, the school counseling department suggested that more interventions need to be in place for students to be successful. Pre and post-test perception data along with outcome data (a 10.9 % decrease in the number of first time 9th grade students who were retained from 2015-2016 to 2016-2017) suggest that lessons on study skills are needed for 9th grade students and that linking learning styles to specific study skills may be beneficial for students. We determined future lessons should provide more information on elective courses and the required number of elective credits needed to obtain a high school diploma as this at times students may not think that elective courses are important when they are taking classes and as such students at times to do not their elective courses. The school counseling department determined based on school data that 9th grade students who are struggling during the first nine weeks of school need intensive interventions to be successful in school. In the future, 9th grade students need more opportunities to be linked to school supports (tutoring, credit recovery, etc.). Additional lessons need to be implemented with extended time during lessons to address these concerns. Small groups and mentors may be needed to provide additional support for students who are struggling during the first nine weeks of 9th grade.
All 10th grade students (100%) were informed about Georgia’s dual enrollment, Move on When Ready (MOWR) program, which enables students to receive high school and college credit for courses at no cost. When we initially planned this lesson we decided that we would focus on dual enrollment, academic enrichment, and study skills, but due to time constraints were only able to primarily focus our attention on dual enrollment. Students were given a pretest which provided some insight on how much familiarity students already had on the dual enrollment program. The pretest revealed some common misconceptions and provided some clues as to why students might have trouble enrolling or participating in the programs. Upon completion of the pretest, students were shown a video presentation on the MOWR program. Post-test results indicate that students had a better understanding of the MOWR program, but they showed a decrease in being able to identify at least one college that participates in the dual enrollment program. We thought it may be possible that students may have decided that they would not answer this question when they were completing the post-test. Students showed a 373.3% increase from 23 students who participated in the dual enrollment program in 2015-2016 to 109 students who participated in 2016-2017. Based on data we decided to continue to conduct dual enrollment lessons, but provide additional information on college options for the enrollment program.
The lessons for twelfth grade students addressed topics related to college and career planning. Data in the school profile indicated that there was a 2.2% increase in the percentage of students who anticipated enrolment in 2 or 4 year post-secondary institutions.
A pre-test was administered to help determine their prior knowledge about various concepts and resources such as the college application process, financial aid options, and career exploration. The results indicate that students had a general understanding about financial aid options, career exploration, and the college application process, prior to the lesson. Following the pre-test, students completed a related online activity and participated in a discussion where some of the steps for college and career planning were outlined. Upon completion of these activities, a post-test was administered and based on the results, students showed the most significant increase in awareness of how to utilize college application fee waivers and the process for requesting transcripts and test scores. However, students showed less of an increase in the percentage of students who were aware of how to find a career path that is right for them. We determined that future lessons should devote more time on helping students to identify a career path.