Teachers College, Columbia University

Supporting College Transitions Through Collaborative Programming: A Conceptual Model for Guiding Policy

By Melinda Mechur Karp & Katherine L. Hughes

Recent educational policy developments have sought to raise the academic rigor of students' high school experiences to increase student preparation for postsecondary education. The expansion of credit-based transition programs (CBTPs), both in number and in the type of student served, represents one such strategy.

The research question guiding this study was: Through what mechanisms might credit-based transition programs encourage student success in postsecondary education? Five in-depth qualitative case studies were conducted. The case study data demonstrated that the authors’ initial conceptual model oversimplified program structure and the interaction among program components. The model was refined to reflect that complexity and to take student motivation into account.

The final model hypothesizes that student participation in college coursework and support services, along with the attendant growth in academic skills, knowledge of the social aspects of college, and motivation, will lead students to matriculate into postsecondary education.

This article was published in the Teachers College Record, vol. 110, No. 4. Permission was granted to post this article in its entirety. © Teachers College, Columbia University.