Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

9th Grade Campus Visit: Steps to Success

Lacy Pennington, Christiana Horn, Alexandra Parsons, Ayanna Wheeler, Teresa Lansford, Morgan Myers | Published: May 19th, 2021 by K20 Center

Essential Questions

  • What steps do I need to take to reach my future goals?

  • How can I fund my postsecondary education goals?

Learning Goals

  • Students will be able to recognize the factors that influence students’ ability to gain acceptance to the PSE option of their choice.

  • Students will be able to identify at least one solution to fund their postsecondary education.

  • Students will be able to create one actionable step they can take to increase their chances of success in pursuing postsecondary education.

Materials List

  • Presentation Slides (attached)

  • Additional Resources handout (attached, 1 per student)

  • Distance Learning Modification Activities (optional; attached, 1 digital or physical copy per student)

  • Distance Learning Modification College Knowledge Terms (optional; attached, 1 digital or physical copy per student)

  • Presentation Slides (attached)

  • GPA Game Materials (Volunteer Participation) (optional; attached)

  • GPA Game Materials (Whole-Class Participation) (optional; attached)

  • Let's Get Smart about Goals handout (attached, one per student)

  • Poster and sticky notes (optional)

  • Student devices with Internet access (optional)

Engage

Use the attached Presentation Slides to guide with the activities. Begin with slide 2 to introduce this activity to students. Welcome students and let them know that today presents an exciting opportunity to visit a college campus and gain valuable insights about the various degrees and career goals, and the types and levels of postsecondary education they might require.

Transition to slide 3, titled "Housekeeping: Norms," and discuss the list of expectations for the visit with students (feel free to add or delete expectations as needed):

  • Keep cell phones on silent.

  • Stay engaged in all activities.

  • Ask related questions.

  • Follow all instructions.

Transition to slide 4 and briefly discuss the student-friendly objectives for today's visit. Additionally, take this opportunity to address the essential questions: “What steps do I need to take to reach my future goals? How can I fund my postsecondary education goals?” If you plan to complete an in-person campus visit with students, you may wish to list that in the objectives.

Go to slide 5. Ask students "What are some things you can do that would increase your chances of getting into college?" Invite students to "popcorn" to share their answers.

Explore

Go to slide 6. Watch the video on the slide. Do so by sharing the URL (https://k20center.ou.edu/h5p/thegpagame/) with students so they can access the video on their devices.

Go to slide 7. Introduce students to the I Notice, I Wonder strategy. Then, ask guiding questions to debrief the game, including those on the slide: What did you notice? Are you surprised by where the students ended up in the line? Is there anything you wonder about after viewing the video? Solicit a few answers from the group for each question.

Pass out one of the prepared scorekeepers and game cards to each student. Move to slide 8 and display the game's instructions. Ask students to play by first taking into account the starting GPA on their card. Their GPA determines the number of points they start with (2.7-2.9 = 0 points; 3.0-3.9 = 1 point; 4.0-4.2 = 2 points). Students should record their starting points on their scorekeepers. Invite students to listen as you read each statement and add or subtract points to their totals based on each statement, keeping track of their scores on their scorekeepers. When students are ready to begin, read the statements on page 2 of the GPA Game Materials handout one by one.

After you have read every statement and students have completed their calculations, move to slide 9 to reveal that students who ended the game with four points or more are accepted. You may choose to have students stand up when the slide with their admission decision is being shown to visually represent this information to the class. Move to slide 10 to show that students who ended the game with 1-3 points are waitlisted. Move to slide 11 and show that students who ended the game with 0 points are rejected.

Move to slide 12. Ask guiding questions to debrief the game, including those on the slide: If you were accepted, what were your applicant’s strengths? If you were waitlisted or rejected, what were your applicant’s weaknesses? What could students who were waitlisted or rejected do to increase their chances of being admitted? Consider also asking students the following: What did you notice? Are you surprised by how the applicants ended up? Solicit a few answers from the group for each question.

Go to slide 13. Invite eight student volunteers to play the game at the front of the class. Hand each of these students a different Game Card. Start the game by lining the students up from the highest GPA to the lowest, noting to students in the audience that the highest GPA is the front of the line and the lowest GPA is the back of the line, and that they will move forward or backward in the line based on each statement read versus the statements on their cards. Briefly introduce students to the I Notice, I Wonder strategy, and ask the students in the audience to pay attention to what they notice and wonder about the applicants who are playing the game. Begin the game when students are ready by reading each statement on page two of the GPA Game Materials packet. Have students move forward or backward in line based on each statement you read versus the statements on their cards.

After you have read every statement, move to slide 14. Ask guiding questions to debrief the game, including those on the slide: What did you notice? Are you surprised by where the students ended up in the line? Is there anything you wonder about after watching or playing the game?

Explain

Go to slide 15. Share the URL on the slide (https://k20center.ou.edu/h5p/collegeadmissionfactors/) with students and invite them to access the drag-and-drop activity on their own devices. Ask students to drag and drop the answers to fit the correct college admission factor box.

Go to slide 16 to display the infographic that asks questions related to Advanced Coursework, Attendance, College Entrance Exam Scores, Extracurricular Activities, and GPA. Call on student volunteers to provide answers to the questions about each of the five factors.

Go to slide 17. Use this opportunity to share with students what each of the five factors entails. Answer any questions students bring up about this information. Use the following questions to guide the discussion:

  • Which of these factors are you familiar with? Which are you unfamiliar with?

  • What opportunities are available in your school or community that contribute to PSE acceptance?

Extend

Go to slide 18. Ask students to brainstorm how they might pay for a career tech or college.

Go to slide 19. Ask students how they would like to receive up to $30,000 to go to college. Explain that they can—Oklahoma’s Promise is a scholarship that would pay that much to go to school. However, this can only happen if a guardian fills out the application.

Go to slide 20. Share with students the requirements for applying and what they need to do to apply. Encourage them to talk to their parent or guardian about this as soon as possible.

Evaluate

Go to slide 21. To transition into the Evaluate phase of this activity, tell students that they are 42% more likely to achieve their goal if they write it down (they'll do this momentarily).

Go to slide 22. Tell students that now that they have evaluated students for admission using the GPA Game, talked about what factors matter for getting admitted to college, and considered different ways to fund a postsecondary education, it's their turn. Ask which one of the admission factors is most important for them to focus on as they consider their own PSE goals. Solicit a few answers from the class if anyone wishes to share an area they could work on.

Give each student a copy of the Let's Get Smart About Goals! handout. Invite students to identify a goal, a deadline for reaching that goal (by the end of the school year at the latest), practical steps to take to achieve that goal, and a person who can help them reach their goal. Share the following sample goal with students to help them get started: "My goal is to increase my GPA to 3.25 from 3.5. I will reach this goal by the end of this school year. To reach my goal, I will have no missing assignments, attend tutoring once a week for help, and study 20 minutes a day. My mom will help me keep on track with this goal."

Additionally, invite students to talk to a parent or guardian about completing the Oklahoma's Promise application as a potential option for funding their postsecondary education. Encourage students to post their handouts somewhere they will see it every day.

Go to slide 23 and share the additional resources listed with your students to support them on their journey to postsecondary education. It may be helpful to give each student a copy of the attached Additional Resources handout so they can keep track of this information. You may also wish to add these links to Canvas, Google Classroom, or email these resources to students so are easily accessible.

Lastly, thank students for coming!

Research Rationale

College can be a life-altering experience for students, and not only academically. Here are just a few of the ways in which college can change students' lives for the better: Earning a bachelor's degree will allow students to earn, on average, $1 million more than high school graduates over the course of their careers (Abel & Deitz, 2014). College offers students an opportunity to build relationships with mentors and peers that will benefit them throughout their careers (Campbell, Smith, Dugan, & Komives, 2012). College graduates tend to have more job satisfaction, jobs that offer a greater sense of accomplishment, more independence and opportunities for creativity, and more social interactions in their jobs than noncollege graduates (Oreopoulos & Petronijevic, 2013). College graduates increase their chance of employment. Over the last 20 years, the unemployment rate for college graduates has been approximately half that of high school graduates (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018). College helps students develop skills that prepare them for careers in the tech-driven economy, including nonroutine, abstract skills that aid in problem solving, multitasking, and creativity (Oreopoulos & Petronijevic, 2013).

Resources