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1 Conceptualizing College and Career Readiness through Concept Mapping Wenjie Tang, M.A. Thomas Fetsco, Ph.D. Arizona GEAR UP 1 2 Arizona GEAR UP ( ) An initiative of Northern AZ University Partnerships with schools in rural communities statewide Proven model for increasing graduation and college-going rates Seven-year project begins with 7th grade cohorts, continues through first year in postsecondary education Range of services and interventions with emphasis on rigor, relevance, relationships, resources and reflection. 1

2 3 GEAR UP Mission The mission of GEAR UP is to significantly increase the number of low income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. Although there is a shared mission, we wondered if there was a shared understanding of that mission. 4 The Devil is in the Details. Implementation of a single program across different contexts Different Challenges and Opportunities Different Understandings of the Meaning of Key Jargon and Terminology Different Priorities for Specific Outcomes 2

3 5 What knowledge, abilities, skills, and behaviors or other characteristics are the most important for a student to be college- and career-ready? 6 Research Questions 1. What knowledge, abilities, skills, and behaviors or other characteristics are the most important for a student to be college- and career-ready? 2. How does the importance of one characteristic differ from that of others? 3. To what extent are the administration team and site coordinators consistent on the perceived importance these characteristics? 4. To what extent are the important characteristics feasible to implement according to GEAR UP site coordinators? What are the facilitators and inhibitors? 3

4 7 Methods Structured conceptualization Mixed method Needs Concept mapping (Trochim, 1989) Methods 8 Uses of Concept Mapping Strategic planning What should be done by an effective arts council? Needs assessment What types of support do professionals need? Assessment of fidelity - Whether program models are transferred from program designers to program staff? Scale development -- What are the most important aspects to evaluate for this family support program? 4

5 9 In this study, CM is used for Conceptualizing program outcomes Assessing fidelity Facilitating organizational learning 10 Concept Mapping Procedure 5

6 11 Complete the following sentence: If our district s GEAR UP program successfully prepares students to be college/career ready, our high school graduates should 12 Brainstorming 6

7 13 14 Editing for Clarity Relevance Uniqueness Manageable # of statements synthesized statements ideas from literature statements for sorting 7

8 15 Sorting In this activity, we want you to sort ideas about college and career readiness into categories based on their conceptual similarity. By conceptual similarity, we mean that the ideas seem to make sense together. Then name the piles. 16 Logistical Challenges Distance and scheduling Face to face brainstorming Online sorting and rating 8

9 17 Drag-n-Drop Sorting 18 Re-name Piles 9

10 One Person s Sorting Aggregate Sorting Data Display ideas on a 2-dimension map Multidimensional Scaling (MDS) 10

11 21 Point Map 7 22 Cluster analysis Group statements into clusters Hierarchical Cluster Analysis Decide on the number of clusters 11

12 23 AZ GEAR UP CCR Concept Map Concrete Non-academic Academic Abstract Points: statement # 1 to 66 Statements are grouped into 7 Clusters 24 Ratings Importance as a college-readiness outcomes(1-6) Importance as a career-readiness outcomes(1-6) Feasibility of reaching the CCR outcomes(1-5) 12

13 25 Ratings 26 Cluster Rating Map Financial Literacy Cluster Legend Layer Value to to to to to Postsecondary Knowledge 66 & Skills College Preparation Courses/Exams Academic Foundations 8 5. Social/Emotional Intelligence Metacognitive 4 Skills Motivational Beliefs/Skills 13

14 27 Pattern matching Ladder graphs A B A B A B 28 Compare importance ratings of College Readiness and Career Readiness Importance for College Readiness (n = 14) Motivational Beliefs/Skills Academic Foundations Metacognitive Skills Financial Literacy College Prep Courses/Exams Postsecondary Knowledge & Skills Social/Emotional Intelligence Importance for Career Readiness (n = 14) Motivational Beliefs/Skills Academic Foundations Metacognitive Skills Social/Emotional Intelligence Postsecondary Knowledge & Skills College Prep Courses/Exams Financial Literacy r =

15 29 Group difference: Importance ratings on College Readiness Implementers (n=11) Motivational Beliefs/Skills Academic Foundations Metacognitive Skills Financial Literacy College Prep Courses/Exams Postsecondary Knowledge & Skills Social/Emotional Intelligence Implementers and administrators are highly similar to each other in terms of ratings of important clusters for college-readiness. The 3 most valued clusters remain the same r = 0.83 Administrators (n=3) Academic Foundations Motivational Beliefs/Skills Metacognitive Skills College Prep Courses/Exams Financial Literacy Postsecondary Knowledge & Skills Social/Emotional Intelligence 30 Which clusters are more important to college readiness but less feasible Importance for College Readiness (Program) (n=14) Motivational Beliefs/Skills Academic Foundations Metacognitive Skills Financial Literacy Feasibility (Implementers) (n=11) Postsecondary Knowledge & Skills Financial Literacy College Prep Courses/Exams Postsecondary Knowledge & Skills Motivational Beliefs/Skills Social/Emotional Intelligence Academic Foundations College Prep Courses/Exams Social/Emotional Intelligence Metacognitive Skills r = The 3 most important clusters are more challenging than other clusters, such as PSE Knowledge and Financial Literacy. 15

16 31 Results The three most important clusters are: Academic foundations Motivational beliefs/skills Metacognitive skills However, they are not necessarily as feasible as other goals. Implementers prioritized CCR goals similar to the designers. 32 Dissemination of the Results Interpreting results with program staff Check validity of results Approaches: Meeting Webinar & Online posts 16

17 Dissemination of the Results (Cont.) 33 Questions for the program administration team: To what extent are outcomes in the cluster important to the program? What may have caused these outcomes to be rated as less feasible to achievement than others? What has AZ GEAR UP administrators been doing/ is planning to do to make it more feasible for implementers to achieve these outcomes? Dissemination of the Results (Cont.) 34 Discuss with site coordinators: How would you relate the CCR goals in the map with your work? Which clusters do you think are relatively more feasible to accomplish at your site? What are the resources and strategies you and the school district/school have to help accomplish the goals? 17

18 35 Coordinators Feedback The CCR goals keep causing me to reflect on my work plan and what it should consist of for the next four years. There are certain clusters like Social/Emotional Intelligence, Meta Cognitive Skills, Motivational Beliefs, etc., that I can help students with as a coordinator, but there are some clusters that need to be a part of the school culture/expectations and classroom environment. When we plan with the high school, I would really like to have these clusters available so we can thoughtfully plan parent nights, student workshops, guest speakers, and professional development, etc. We need administrators and teachers to "buy-in" to the importance of Academic Foundations and College Preparation. I'm sure they will all agree that fostering and building these skills are valuable, yet we need them to understand the role GEAR UP and the Coordinators have in implementing and supporting these CCR goals. 36 Coordinators Feedback (Cont.) I really like how the statements were organized into the sevencluster concept map. When we were all originally coming up with different ideas they seemed to cover a lot of different areas, but when grouped together it was clear that they overlapped in so many ways. I think the CCR goals directly relate to our everyday tasks and goals for our students. The postsecondary knowledge and skills, and financial literacy concepts are feasible (I think) if our administrators and other staff realize that, and all work together to demonstrate these to the students. As the coordinators we have a direct line of communication with each student, and need to make sure that we are really using all of the available resources to get the information out. 18

19 37 Our Use of Results Research in Practice papers Assessment of Metacognition 38 Recap 19

20 39 Limitations and Future Studies Process depends to a large extent on successful brainstorming. Brainstormed ideas may evolve Follow-up study on the same topic during high school Need a deeper discussion with site coordinators about facilitators and inhibitors of reaching CCR goals. Perspectives needed from other groups of program stakeholders Compare program perspectives with input from colleges and employers 40 Reference Kane, M. & Trochim, W.M.K. (2007). Concept Mapping for Planning and Evaluation. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publication. Trochim, W. (1989). An introduction to concept mapping for planning and evaluation. Evaluation and Program Planning. 12, 1, Trochim, W M.K. (1999) Technology for Mapping Where We re Going and Where We ve Been. Conference paper presented at the Oregon Program Evaluators Network. Trochim, W M.K. (2005) Concept Mapping: An Introduction to Structured Conceptualization 20

21 41 Thank you! Tom Fetsco, Ph.D., Director of Research Wenjie Tang, M.A., Research Associate 21

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