Improving College Readiness Through Arts, Athletics, and Family Engagement

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Johns Hopkins University
American students are not graduating high school as college-ready learners. To achieve college readiness, students can learn to become well-rounded by studying academics, arts, and athletics in high school. Unfortunately, recent federal and state policies discourage this option and do not promote extracurricular participation in American high schools. A mixed-methods study examined college readiness and extracurricular participation from 10 first-year college students' perspectives to find an avenue for intervention. The findings indicated that students' family members significantly impact their extracurricular participation and, therefore, their college readiness. Additional research shows that schools can partner with families to effectively use their influence to jointly impact students' educational choices and trajectories. This paper culminates with a partnership guide for school administrators to use to partner with families. A School Administrator’s Guide to Improving College Readiness Through Arts, Athletics, and Family Engagement provides schools with the blueprint for reevaluating their approach to students’ extracurricular participation. The guide and its virtual companion at feature a step-by-step procedure for implementation that helps schools foster a partnership with families based on the common goal of increasing college readiness.
College Readiness, Extracurriculars, Family Influence, Partnerships, Education Policy