High schools play a pivotal role in getting kids to college, says Anthony Antonio, associate professor of education at Stanford Graduate School of Education (GSE), and creating a college-going culture within schools is a big part of that—especially for kids who attend low-income, high-minority schools and whose parents didn’t go to college.
When Antonio, whose research focuses on equity issues in American higher education, spent time studying an all-girls private school in Los Angeles, for example, “it was blatantly obvious how much that school was geared toward getting their young women into college”—college paraphernalia on the walls, information about financial aid on bulletin boards and routine schoolwide events focused on college preparation. ”But when you walk into high-needs schools, that’s not what you see. Not surprisingly, the messages around college-going are very diffuse, haphazard.”
On this episode of School’s In, Antonio joins GSE Dean Dan Schwartz and Senior Lecturer Denise Pope to talk about how more high schools can help make college an option that feels within students’ reach.
One way schools can begin to build a college-going culture, he says, is by expanding how teachers and administrators view their respective roles. “In schools where college-going culture is pervasive, teachers see their role beyond teaching. They see a role in college advising,” Antonio says. “That doesn’t mean you know all the ins and outs of applying to college, but you do know something about college-level work, you know about the requirements as they relate to the graduation requirements of your school—you’re not a blank slate, and you can be part of the solution.”
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