“Everything to Gain”: K-12 and College Partnerships=Academic Success

“Everything to Gain”: K-12 and College Partnerships=Academic Success

Danielle P. De Jager-Loftus (University of South Dakota, USA) and Abby Moore (University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8392-1.ch003


This chapter seeks to provide an overview of how academic librarians at the University of South Dakota's (USD) University Libraries are making steps to impact pre-college information literacy instruction and college preparation through collaborative outreach. There is much to be gained from establishing an ongoing dialog and formal relationships between academic librarians, campus programs, high school teachers, and school librarians. Using the existing literature and examples of partnership experiences, this chapter identifies best practices, which can improve student information literacy skills upon arrival at college, ensure students' academic success, increase student retention rates and increase exposure of the institution.
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Poor funding and budget restraints have forced many school administrations to cut library budgets or cut librarian positions altogether. Although many states have mandated that each school employ a certified librarian, this mandate can be waived for any number of reasons. Teachers are now being asked to teach research skills as early as first grade as required by state standards that are grounded in the goal of college and career readiness. However, since current state standards were officially integrated into school curriculums in 2014, there will be a significant amount of time before professors and academic librarians have college-ready students in their classrooms.

College readiness has traditionally been defined as the absence of a need for remediation in math and English. More recently, the concept of college readiness has expanded to encompass four clearly defined aspects of college readiness: “cognitive strategies, content knowledge, self-management skills, and knowledge about postsecondary education” (Conley, 2008, para. 2). Many educational policy organizations such as Diplomas Count, Partnership for 21st Century Skills, and ACT emphasize the importance of students making connections among the big ideas—focusing on the structure of knowledge—to enable students to scaffold their understandings in a way that their college education can build on (Buddin & Croft, 2014; Editorial Projects in Education, 2010; Vockley, 2007).

South Dakota

Twenty-eight percent of students who enter South Dakota’s public universities need to complete remedial work prior to enrolling in college-level courses in English and math (South Dakota Board of Regents, 2012). In a study of perceptions of South Dakota English instructors in both high school and college concerning the teaching of critical thinking skills, comments from the college instructors indicated a need for enhanced development of critical thinking in students in preparation for college readiness (Thurman, 2009). To promote the development of higher order thinking skills, the South Dakota Department of Education implements standards in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing. These state content standards require the teaching of critical thinking in the English and language arts content areas in all secondary schools in South Dakota (South Dakota Department of Education, 2013a; 2014).

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