It’s Not Too Early: College Access in Middle School

TCASN was excited to present at the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE)’s LEAD Conference on October 17, 2017 alongside our colleagues from the Ayers Institute for Teacher Learning and Innovation at Lipscomb University and the TDOE. College access in middle school is a topic that is simultaneously talked about constantly and not talked about enough. We hear over and over that college access and success starts early – in kindergarten, if not before – but we don’t always hear about strategies and practices that schools and districts can implement in order to facilitate more students going on to some form of postsecondary once they graduate from high school. The goals of our session were to share some of the recommendations TDOE has identified for how schools and districts can create more seamless pathways to postsecondary in middle school and to provide some concrete strategies and practices from across the state that others are using to do exactly this. Our session participants had multiple opportunities to share and brainstorm with one another on how college access in middle school can be implemented in their communities, and it was wonderful to see so many conversations sparked around the room!

Session materials and resources shared are available on the Ayers Institute’s eduTOOLBOX resource for session participants who want to refer back or those who were unable to attend but want to check out some resources on this topic.