American University's new Center for Postsecondary Readiness and Success (CPRS) will focus on increasing equitable and accessible pathways to postsecondary success for all students. Despite an abundance of research over the past decade on postsecondary opportunities, disparities in college access and degree attainment persist for low-income students and students of color. Increasing college enrollment rates and closing opportunity gaps, especially among new majority populations, bear direct relation to the availability of well-trained, culturally responsive, and resourced school counselors and college advisors.
However, research pertaining to the training, practice, and structuring of counseling and advising services in schools has been slow to be realized and linked to the postsecondary student pipeline. No center has focused on the critical examination of school counseling and college advising or well-established practices that in many cases, persistently safeguard the uneven distribution of resources, and foster inequitable access to high quality counseling and advising practices in today's schools.
CPRS is poised to examine existing models of student support such as school counseling and advising for postsecondary opportunities as well as to introduce new frameworks for postsecondary success.
- Identify a common set of practitioner competencies needed to effectively guide and support students on their postsecondary path
- Dissect school and community-based factors that influence and contribute to the current gaps and barriers for postsecondary attainment
- Identify and dismantle school-based systems, policies, and practices that hinder equitable postsecondary opportunities
- Reimagine, reframe, and conduct interdisciplinary research to unpack effective counseling practices that support equitable student postsecondary exploration, and planning
- Publish practitioner, family, and student friendly reports to disseminate knowledge, provide tools and increase exposure to foster replication of evidence based practices