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    MAEOPP Best Education Practices Center Blog

    The MAEOPP Best Education Practices Center features practices supporting success of low-income and first-generation students. This resource identifies "what works" and "how to do it". Featured are practices from TRIO, GEAR UP, and similar programs. Center co-sponsors are the  Mid-America Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel (MAEOPP) and the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning at the University of Minnesota


    MAEOPP Center 2015 Best Education Practices Directory

     MAEOPP Center 2015 Best Education Practices Directory

    <Click here to download PDF>

    Copyright ©2015 by Mid-America Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel (MAEOPP) and the University of Minnesota by its College of Education and Human Development, Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning, Minneapolis, MN.

    MAEOPP is pleased to release the 2015 directory of peer-reviewed education practices approved by the MAEOPP Center for Best Education Practices.  Each practice has undergone a rigorous external review process.  This directory contains those approved at the promising and validated levels.  Readers can use this publication as a guide for implementing the evidence-based education strategies contained within it.  Detailed information about the education practice purposes, educational theories that guide the practice, curriculum outlines, resources needed for implementation, evaluation process, and contact information are  provided by the submitters of the practice who have practical experience implementing it. Consider using them with current programs and in grant submissions that require evidence-based practices to improve student success.

    The thirteen practices approved thus far by the MAEOPP Center represent each of the five major TRIO grant programs: Educational Talent Search, Upward Bound, Educational Opportunity Centers, Student Support Services, and Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Programs.  One practice is from a GEAR UP program.  For readers unfamiliar with TRIO programs, a short history is provided.  While the education practices come from TRIO and GEAR UP programs, they could be adapted for use with nearly any student academic support and student development program.  These programs are incubators of best practices to serve the needs of historically underrepresented students and the general student population as well.


    Promising GEAR-UP Practice Added: High School Financial Literacy

    High School Financial Literacy GEAR-UP Students.  Wichita State University (approved Promising Practice October 31, 2014).  Strong financial knowledge is important to people of all ages.  Finance makes a difference in our lives both on a short and long term basis. It effects how we interpret everyday life and analyze information.  Improved financial literacy, particularly early in life, results in a higher standard of living over the long term, aids in career choices and helps determine retirement savings.  Providing young people with the knowledge, skills, and opportunity to establish healthy financial futures is far preferable to having to provide credit repair or debt management services later on in their lives (M.S. Sherraden, 2013).   Kansas Kids @ GEAR UP (KKGU) designed an online high school financial literacy program based on the National Standards for K-12 Personal Finance Education created by Jump$tart.    The high school program consists of six components that teach students financial knowledge in financial responsibility, income and careers, planning and money, credit and debt, risk management and insurance, and saving and investing.

    The goal is to ensure seniors do not graduate without a basic knowledge of finance.  The design of the program begins with an introduction to financial literacy, which includes a pre-test to assess the students’ knowledge of financial literacy.  After completing each module students must be pass a multiple choice test with a score 80% or better before advancing to the next module.  The program randomly selects questions and their multiple-choice answers so that students cannot copy down answers to pass each test without reviewing the modules again.  Instead of a posttest, the questions that are asked throughout the six module tests serve as comparison questions for the pre test instead of students taking a separate posttest.  <Click on this link to downlad the best education practice.>


    Validated SSS Practice Added: Integrated Learning Course for Entering SSS College Students

    Integrated Learning Course for Entering SSS College Students.  University of Minnesota (approved Validated Practice 8/10/14)  In 1972, the TRIO program leaders at the University of Minnesota developed the Integrated Learning (IL) course to meet academic and transition needs of their Upward Bound (UB) students.  These courses were offered during the UB summer bridge program for its students who were concurrently enrolled in academically-challenging college courses following graduation from high school.  Later, use of IL courses shifted from the UB program to the college-level TRIO Student Support Services program.  Long before the widespread use of learning communities within higher education, the IL course is an example of a linked-course learning community.  A historically-challenging course like an introductory psychology is linked with an IL course.  The IL course is customized to use content of its companion class as context for mastering learning strategies and orienting students to the rigor of the college learning environment.  For the past four decades, the IL course approach has assisted TRIO students improve their academic success in the rigorous academic environment as well as acclimate to the social climate of the University of Minnesota (UMN), one of the largest universities in the United States.  UMN is a Research I Intensive public university with highly selective admissions and high expectations for students by the course professors.  Two quasi-experimental studies examined the possible benefits of the IL course.  One was in connection with a General Psychology course. The IL course students earned statistically significantly higher final course grades than nonparticipants.  Another study with a General Biology course replicated the results of higher final course grades for the IL course students.  The IL courses fostered not only higher final course grades, but also expanded positive study behaviors and their metacognitive skills necessary for academic success.  [Click on this link to download this best education practice.]


    MAEOPP Survey of Desired Best Education Practices

    MAEOPP surveyed its members for education practices they wanted.  Information is categorized by priority.  This is helpful as they submit practices from their programs.  

    Practices requested by more than half of responders:

    • Financial literacy curriculum and activities
    • Strategies for raising retention rates of students within the program
    • Leadership development
    • Study skills building workshops or courses
    • Methods of assessing students for academic advisement
    • Improved attitudes towards learning
    • Improved student confidence
    • Effective methods for tracking students after program completion
    • Career exploration activities and classes
    • Holistic assessments of students (example uses could be for program admission, academic advisement, or other program purposes)
    • Job shadowing activities
    • Career interest assessments and activities

      [Click on this link to download the two-page survey results.]  


    Promising UB Practice Added: Structured Study Hall Days at College Campus for UB Students

    Structured Study Hall Days at College Campus by UB Students.  Wichita State University (KS)  (approved Promising Practice 10/20/13)  The Communication Upward Bound’s (CUB) model supports high school student success through a variety of carefully coordinated activities.  One of them is “Study Hall Days”, a structured study hall hosted on the Wichita State University campus when public school classes are not in session.  Most high school students remain at home or only come to the school for athletic team practices when school officials have in-service days for staff development or professional meetings.  Research studies document the adverse effects this interruption on their learning.  The CUB model of Study Hall Days creates an activity-rich learning environment for them.  Several activities include:  (1) use of supplemental curriculum materials to deepen understanding of current topics in their classes including use of the ComFit Online Learning Center, (2) private tutorial sessions with CUB tutors and staff members, (3) practice on time management and metacognitive skills to strengthen their development as autonomous learners and proficiency with self-directed learning, (4) attendance of college classes related to their future academic majors, (5) interactions with college faculty members and students, and (6) preparing for college entrance and course placement assessments.  These activities groom participants to higher success in high school and college.  [Click on this link to download this best education practice.]


    Promising UBV Practice Added: Podcasting Academic and Career Counseling for Post 9/11 Veterans

    Podcasting Academic and Career Counseling for Post 9/11 Veterans.  Wichita State Unviersity (KS)  (approved Promising Practice 10/15/13)  Adding audio podcasting to the Upward Bound Veterans program allows our students to listen to important information when and where they want.  Podcasting is a simple way to provide information through the human voice some students prefer rather than reading a handout.  Listening to audio and video podcasts has rapidly grown recently due to widespread ownership of iPods, smartphones, and desk/laptop computers.  Podcasting can be as simple or complex as you want.  The most important element is the quality of information and its direct relevancy to the listeners.  [Click on this web link to download the education practice.]  


    Promising McNair Practice Added: McWrite Seminar for Scholarly Writing Skills

    McWrite: Developing Scholarly Writinig Skills. Wichita State University (KS) (approved Promising Practice 10/15/13) Taken from the abstract: "The McWrite model for developing scholarly writing skills was developed at Wichita State University to help students with difficulty mastering the mechanics of writing (punctuation, grammar, sentence structure, paragraph development) and scholarly writing required for graduate studies. According to Schumacher and Gradwohl-Nash (1991), three purposes of writing are fostering understanding, changing conceptions. and developing thinking skills. This is consistent with Piaget’s theory of cognitive development (1958). All participants of the Wichita State University TRiO McNair Scholars Program participate in monthly, hour-long group sessions to develop increased competency in these three essential skills. McWrite benefits students in all areas of their academics, fostering increased confidence in their writing abilities, and success in graduate school. A unique feature of the McWrite program is the sustained and systematic approach to development of writing skills for all McNair Scholars, regardless of previous academic success. This program is part of the core of the TRiO McNair program rather than an optional activity with limited attention". [Click on this web link to download the education practice.]