Supported College and Career Readiness

Project: Supported College and Career Readiness

Funding: Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences

Project Investigators: Lee Kern, Ph.D and Chris Liang, Ph.D., Lehigh University; Jennifer Freeman, Ph.D., University of Connecticut

Students with or at-risk for emotional or behavioral problems experience extremely poor outcomes compared to their peers. This includes poor academic achievement, high frequencies of grade retention, greater rates suspension, high dropout, and higher rates of incarceration. College and Career Readiness (CCR) programs have great potential to enhance school engagement, leading to lower school dropout rates and higher post-secondary outcomes, as well as preparing students for life after high school (e.g., college attendance, employment).

The Supported College and Career Readiness (SCCR) was developed specifically for secondary students with or at-risk for emotional or behavioral disorders. The project is designed to enhance college and career readiness activities and prepare high school students for future success. The SCCR program consists of six core components:

  1. A bi-annual assessment to identify student strengths related to potential career choices.
  2. Assistance with identifying top career choices.
  3. Course recommendations linked to top career choices.
  4. Dedicated time and a structured curriculum to instruction focused on skills needed to be prepared for college or career.
  5. Career and futures mentoring from teachers and parents.
  6. Work-based learning experiences.

The study is a collaborative effort between Lehigh University and University of Connecticut. The SCCR Program was developed during the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 school years, with a randomized controlled trial implemented across the 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 school years.