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College Knowledge: What It Really Takes for Students to Succeed and What We Can Do to Get Them Ready Hardcover – April 22, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0787973971 ISBN-10: 0787973971 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Jossey-Bass Education
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (April 22, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787973971
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787973971
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 1.3 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,291,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

For a number of years, Conley has been researching the problem so many students face once they are at their chosen school of higher education: that they are totally unprepared for the academic demands of their institutions. He recounts the preparation or lack thereof during the high school years of three college-bound students and makes it clear that there is a difference between college-eligible and college-ready. He lays out chapter by chapter what is wrong and how it can be remedied. Conley's findings include the fact that many of these students are first-generation college-bound so their parents don't know how to help them, and, due to budget cuts, many high schools don't have guidance counselors who can help teens plan their classes in proper preparation for college. Conley sees this problem being alleviated by strict course of study planning and by educated community volunteers who have the experience and vision to help teens wanting a higher education. This valuable book belongs in every high school library.–Alice DiNizo, Plainfield Public Schools, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The main audience for this book will be academics and educators, but parents concerned about their college-bound teens will find out a few surprising things that may help them help their kids. Conley, a professor at the University of Oregon, spent three years researching the degree to which secondary schools prepare students for higher education. His results, published in a report called "Understanding University Success," which was distributed to every high school in the U.S., reveal that many students lack the higher-level thinking and technical skills that ensure a smooth transition to a postsecondary environment. How can educators address the disconnection? How can students prepare themselves in the meantime? Without straying too far into the language of academia, Conley addresses both questions, examining the current structure of our educational system, then providing work samples and detailed, subject-specific checklists to demonstrate the level of challenge college-bound students can expect. It's eye-opening, to be sure, and may leave some teens longing for the comforts of high-school routine. Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on May 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book really has two goals. It's original and main intent is aimed at high school teachers who are preparing students for college. In this vein it addresses what should be tought to students and how they should be taught.

The second goal is how to take whatever high school education a young person has and from this foundation prepare the student for what college is going to be like.

Unfortunately the taking of the college preparatory curriculum in most high schools does a fairly poor job of actually preparing students for surviving in the college environment. Perhaps the knowledge the student has in math, english, or whatever is adequate. But there is still the lack of involvement on the teachers part, particularly in the large survey type classes of a hundred plus students with a TA doing the teaching. Combine this with the faster pace, the increased requirements for homework, and the outside influences away from home and the potential is there for significant problems.

This book is a more basic guide than many of the college review type books that merely list some attributes of dozens of colleges. This is a guide on how to succeed rather than how to pick a college.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By W. M. Dix on June 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
Because I work with underserved students and their college counselors, I bought this book to do research. It's admirably organized and clear, avoiding jargon-laden edu-speak in favor of level-headed observations about how to prepare students for college. The first part was most relevant for me as a college counselor, but the recommendations regarding curriculum sequences and preparation are excellent. A good book for school and department heads as they review their own curricula, especially if they want to ensure a good transition to college for their graduates.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Murphy on March 15, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm retired now, but I worked for 15 years with high school improvement. Many high school graduates fail to make it through college, because they don't have the skills recommended in this book. I recommend it for all secondary educators.
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More About the Author

Dr. David T. Conley is the founder, chief executive officer, and chief strategy officer of EPIC. Conley also serves as President of CCR Consulting LLC, Professor of Educational Policy and Leadership, and founder and director of the Center for Educational Policy Research (CEPR) at the University of Oregon. Dr. Conley serves on numerous technical and advisory panels, consults with educational agencies nationally and internationally, and is a frequent speaker at national and regional meetings of education professionals and policy makers. He is the author of several books and numerous articles on the topic of college and career readiness.

Between 1993 and 1999, Conley developed and implemented the nation's first proficiency-based college admission system, PASS, which was adopted by the Oregon State Board of Higher Education for use in the seven campus Oregon University System. PASS was subsequently field tested at 52 Oregon high schools and continues to be used by students as a means to demonstrate college readiness.

In 2003, Dr. Conley completed Standards for Success, a groundbreaking three-year research project to identify the knowledge and skills necessary for college readiness. This project, funded by the Washington, D.C.-based Association of American Universities (AAU) and The Pew Charitable Trusts, analyzed course content at a range of American research universities to develop the Knowledge and Skills for University Success standards. In 2005, Dr. Conley published his research from this project in College Knowledge: What It Takes for Students to Succeed and What We Can Do to Get Them Ready.

Since 1996, Dr. Conley has worked with federal and state governments, national education organizations, and foundations to conduct research on a range of educational policy issues. He has published the results of this research and other studies in numerous journal articles, technical reports, conference papers, book chapters, and books, including Who Governs Our Schools?, which analyzes changes in educational policy and governance structures at the federal, state, and local levels, and, in 2005, College Knowledge, which summarizes the results from Standards for Success and describes how to design high schools in ways that lead to more students being truly ready for college. Dr. Conley's most recent book, Getting Ready for College, Careers, and Common Core: What Every Educator Needs to Know, was published in Fall 2013 and is available for order today. Written with all educators in mind, but with an emphasis on those at the secondary level, this important resource shows how to develop programs that truly prepare students for both the Common Core assessments and for college and career readiness.

Dr. Conley received a BA with honors in Social Sciences from the University of California, Berkeley. He earned his master's degree in Social, Multicultural, and Bilingual Foundations of Education and his doctoral degree in Curriculum, Administration, and Supervision at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Before joining the faculty of the University of Oregon in 1989, he spent a total of 20 years in Colorado and California as a school-level and central office administrator in several districts, an executive in a state education department, and as a teacher in two public multicultural alternative schools.