Preparing Students for College Learning and Work: Investigating the Capstone Course Component of Virginia's College and Career Readiness Initiative

Wathington, Heather D.; Barnett, Elisabeth; Fay, Margaret; Mitchell, Claire; Pretlow, Joshua; Bork, Rachel Julia Hare

The authors investigated the design and implementation of the capstone courses that are part of Virginia’s College and Career Readiness Initiative. Based on a set of performance expectations for college readiness, two capstone courses — one in English and one in mathematics — were developed to help support high school juniors and seniors who intend to enroll in college but are at risk of placing into developmental education. The courses were piloted in more than 20 high schools across Virginia during the 2011–12 academic year. To better understand the pilot year of the capstone courses in Virginia, NCPR partnered with the Virginia Department of Education to document the implementation of the courses. Researchers interviewed stakeholders at the state, school division, and school levels, as well as the creators of the curricula at four partnering institutions of higher education. They also visited several high schools and school divisions involved in implementing the capstone courses to understand how the curricula were being used and to learn more about course content and pedagogy. As a result, the authors identified issues that practitioners should consider as the capstone course initiative expands and implications for researchers investigating capstone courses.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Community College Research Center
Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
April 2, 2014