Guiding High School students in the College Process: Action Research

By Navjot Singh

    Guiding High School students in the College Process: Action Research

    About the Author

    Navjot Singh
    Counselor in training
    Hayward, CA, US
    1 Article Published
    Navjot Singh

    Being a first-generation college student myself and being in Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), it has been great to learn about programs similar to AVID that promote college readiness and help support first generation students with the right materials, support, and encouragement to fulfill their dreams. At the high school site where I was working as an Intern, I was able to work with the Puente program, which has the same mission.

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    Project Summary

    The goal of this research was to see whether thirteen guidance lessons on college readiness help prepare high school juniors. Since all of these juniors were first generation college bound students, it was important to help them become aware of post-secondary options and prepare them with resources to make effective choices. This action research provided students with resources to enhance their learning power through stronger connections with their peers, to help students gain greater self-awareness of how to excel after high school, and to better prepare the students for applying to colleges. The findings indicated that students have had an increase in knowledge on the topics that were addressed through PowerPoint presentations.

    Project Context

    James Logan High School is the largest high school in northern California with over 4,000 students. Looking at school SITE data, I noticed that the school has a diverse population offering a wide range of support for all students. The school data showed that almost half the population (47.6%) of students are designated as disadvantaged. Out of those students I wanted to see how many Puente program students are from diverse backgrounds and then see how the Puente program helps the juniors with college preparation and readiness for their senior year.

    Project Goals, Methods and Outcome

    Project Goal

    The purpose of this research was to determine whether guidance lessons on college readiness help prepare juniors in high school.

    Materials, Participants, and Action Process

    The project was composed of thirteen guidance lessons focused on different topics of college readiness and how to prepare for the college application process during the senior year in high school.  The lessons were implemented on a weekly basis from February 2015 to May 2015 to 34 juniors at James Logan High School. None of the family members of these students went to college.

    The effects of the guidance lessons were measured by pre- and post-survey questions. The questionnaires were composed of fill-in-the-blank, multiple choice, and check-all-that-apply types. The differences between the pre and post scores will help determine if the lesson taught was effective and how much the students gained knowledge about that topic. The questionnaires were distributed through Google forms. Each student had access to their counselors’ Google Classroom where important updates and information were posted. Students were able to complete the pre/post questionnaires through Google classroom, and their responses were recorded on Excel.

    With a new topic covered every week, I was able to see if the information presented was helpful to students and if they learned new material. To date, I have completed ten sessions with the students. Out of the ten lesson plans, I have collected pre/post data for five lessons. The lessons that were conducted were: Transcripts, Graduation Requirements, differences between colleges/universities/post-secondary options, SAT/ACT preparation, college research, University of California and California State University application process, networking 101, California Career Zone, personal statements, and resume writing.


    As there were many components to the program, I provide findings on Resume writing. Utilizing PowerPoint slides, I discussed with students what is important to include on a resume and addressed the use of proper fonts and headings. We then reviewed and discussed a sample resume and had students create their own resumes on Google Documents. After this lesson, 80% of the students were able to identify how to write a proper resume and what to include.

    In general, findings from the lessons that were conducted indicated that the students did learn from the lessons given. Students have shown an increase in knowledge on the topics that have been included in PowerPoint presentations.

    To cite this work, please use the following citation:

    Singh, N. (2015, May 30). Guiding high school students in the college process: Action research. Social Publishers Foundation.

    Copyrighted by Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

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