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Ready, Willing, and Able: A Developmental Approach to College Access and Success

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1612501321
ISBN-10: 161250132X
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“This is a persuasive book that should be required reading for those interested in new ways of improving college access.” — Mark Rohland, Teachers College Record

From the Back Cover

How can an understanding of adolescent development inform strategies and practices for supporting first-generation college goers? In Ready, Willing, and Able, Mandy Savitz-Romer and Suzanne Bouffard focus on the developmental tasks and competencies that young people need to develop in order to plan for and succeed in higher education. These include identity development, articulating aspirations and expectations, forming and maintaining strong peer and adult relationships, motivation and goal-setting, and self-regulatory skills, such as planning.

The authors challenge the predominant approach of giving young people information and leaving it to them to figure out how to apply it. They call for a new approach that integrates the key developmental tasks and processes of adolescence into existing college access practices in meaningful ways. Rather than treating young people as passive recipients of services, the authors argue that adults can engage them as active agents in the construction of their own futures.

Ready, Willing, and Able is a must-read for everyone (and I mean everyone) who believes that there is more to helping young people become ready for college, work, and life than improving reading competency and mastering the FAFSA application. This book helps explain and address the missing piece: supporting adolescent development. I can’t remember the last time I read a professional book that taught and inspired as masterfully as this one does. I read it cover to cover and made notes in the margin. Thanks to the authors, help for young people is on the way.” — Karen J. Pittman, cofounder, president, and CEO, The Forum for Youth Investment

“Savitz-Romer and Bouffard have written a much-needed book that captures and highlights the intersections of adolescent development, community-building, and college readiness. This book should be read by all educators, particularly school counselors and K-12 school-based college counselors, interested in helping youth reach their academic potential. Well done!” — Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy, professor and vice dean of academic affairs, School of Education, Johns Hopkins University

“How do we get our kids to and through college? For starters, read this book! For too long we have tried to help our students without understanding the profound developmental changes they are going through. This important work illustrates the complex challenges that adolescents face and offers important strategies and insights to help them flourish.” — Jeffrey C. Riley, superintendent-receiver, Lawrence (Mass.) Public Schools, and former chief innovation officer, Boston Public Schools

Mandy Savitz-Romer is a faculty member and director of the Prevention Science and Practice Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Suzanne Bouffard is a researcher and writer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Education Press (April 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 161250132X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612501321
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can't believe this valuable book only had a few reviews, so thought I'd add mine. I'm helping with the design of a college prep program for middle and high school children who are from low-income backgrounds and whose parents have not attended college. As I searched for research on college prep for this audience, I found most information was geared toward children who are already motivated to go to college and/or who already have financial and other supports. Then I found this excellent book. It is completely targeted toward an audience like this and begins by addressing how to help these youth make decisions about whether they will attend college. It goes on to give advice on how to help them find their own motivation and make their own plans. It provides theory as well as some very practical strategies-many of which I will use. It emphasizes that the adult's role is to help guide the youth in their own process of deciding upon and preparing for college (so that they will fully own their enrollment and goals and persist to graduation) and gives steps for doing so. I was particularly impressed with the passages that talk about drawing peers and parents into this process and valuing their ability to contribute, and not to automatically dismiss them as being destructive influences (because they didn't go to college, are low-income, are young, etc.).
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Format: Paperback
This book lays a path for a profound shift in the way that practitioners support the young people we work with. Using clear and accessible ideas and language, incorporating theory, practice, and personal experiences, the authors frame college access and success as a process that should be guided by an intentional and reflective focus on the various facets of adolescent development. The chapters on identity development are especially informative. I highly recommend 'Ready, Willing, and Able' to anyone working with young people - in schools, after-school programs, community agencies, etc.
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Format: Paperback
I have worked in college access for more than 20 years and I have never read a better, more useful, book than this. But to say that this is a must-read 'for college access practitioners' or 'college counselors' undervalues the depth and potential reach of the information presented here. This book is a must read for anyone who works with any child in any K-12 setting in any capacity. If there was responsibility and accountability for the developmental growth of children in our school system, we would be dealing with a capacity crisis at the postsecondary level and not the morally devastating attainment gap that sorts our children by wealth and race and ethnicity. In these pages the authors provide simple, logical, and well-researched strategies for adults to use to help adolescents reach critical developmental milestones that are certainly needed for college success, but also needed for any success once they leave our care. The brilliance of this book is that a world of complex research is matched with an equally complex problem and results in a readable, enjoyable, realistic, optimistic book that - intentionally or not - makes the case that we can change the course of lives and the trajectory of our nation and we can start right now (or rather, as soon as you finish reading the book). This should be required reading for anyone in a teaching or school counseling program of study. And for those already at work in the various fields that make up our educational landscape, reading this book should be the very next thing you do. No academic decision, no policy decision, no funding decision should be made without the firm grounding in adolescent development found here.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book has revolutionized the way I think about and approach my work with students. It is a must read for practitioners who want to better serve every student regardless of their background, experience or level of aspiration.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is phenomenal. It marries theory to practice and provides real world examples that bind the two together. Anyone working in college counseling, college access/persistence programming or working with at-risk/first-generation/underrepresented populations should use this book as a guide to facilitating successful postsecondary educational opportunites for their students. Their advice works for different contexts: school, community programming, individuals and groups. Simply phenomenal.
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I purchased this for my daughter for Christmas-she is a High School Guidance Counselor. She said she really likes it and the book as met her expectations for the information she was hoping it included.
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