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College Know-How

College Know-How

College Know How is a three-year initiative to develop and pilot curricula supporting high school students’ transition from high school into college.  The project also is piloting a professional development framework to assist teachers in integrating College Know How curricula into core academic courses.


Funded by the U. S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, the initiative identified college expectations for thinking and planning skills across a variety of subjects, and provides high school students with learning experiences designed to develop those skills.

The target student audience is first generation college-goers, although it is anticipated that many others will benefit when the initiative is taken to scale. Two curriculum products will be developed:  a full credit stand-alone course for 12th graders and a 9th through 11th grade strand of materials that can be incorporated into academic courses, homerooms or advisories, with a focus on helping students develop skills in demonstrating learning and understanding through writing and other forms of academic and technical communication, for instance, graphing.

The initiative is fueled by intellectually diverse sources, ranging across David Conley’s College Knowledge, Adelman’s 1999 Toolbox and successor publications, the many findings from Indiana University’s surveys of college, community college and high school students’ attitudes and experiences, and our own and our colleagues’ experiences with and learning from students and teachers in challenged urban and rural high schools across the country.

For More  Information

Robert Balfanz is principal investigator and Joanna Hornig Fox is co-principal investigator.  For more information, contact

  1. Sharon Aiuvalasit03-30-12


    I am a teacher at the Urban Assembly School for Careers in Sports High School in the South Bronx, NY. We are currently in the process of applying for the Expanded Success Initiative, a grant created by the Open Society Institute and Bloomberg Philanthropies in conjunction with the New York City Department of Education. This grant is focused on increasing the college readiness of Black and Latino young men. I am very interested in seeing how we can incorporate your initiative into our plans. Please contact me with more information. Thank you very much.

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