The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

With so many products available we often need a little help in making our curriculum choices. The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine family understands because we are in the same boat! Do you need more information on a product before you buy? With over 5,500 products listed in 52 easy-to-use categories, much of the information you need to know is only a click away! Let our reviewer-families help yours.
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Understanding University Success and Additional Resources Review by Dr. Heather Allen

Center for educational Policy Research
720 E. 13th Ave., Suite 201
Eugene, OR 97401
(541) 346-6153
(877) 766-2279

"Understanding University Success" is the result of a two-year study, in which more than 400 faculty and staff members from twenty research universities participated in extensive meetings and reviews, designed to answer two questions: (1) What must students know and be able to do to succeed in entry-level university courses? (2) How can universities make better use of state high school assessments in their application decisions?

Analysis of the data obtained at the meetings and reviews was compared with national academic content standards documents. From there, multiple peer reviews were conducted to polish the standards and ensure their validity. The next step involved the use of consultants with expertise in standards development to review all results thus far and contribute suggestions for further improvement. The result of this extensive effort is thought to be the most comprehensive and thoroughly grounded set of standards for college success developed.

The culmination of this project is wealth of information concerning the foundational skills and content standards, or knowledge and skills for university success, in English, mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences, second languages and the arts. The resulting 80-page book and CD address each discipline in a separate chapter, with each chapter including information on foundations and standards.

The foundations include skills, behaviors and attitudes expected of incoming students. The standards list the content knowledge required to maximize the probability of success in entry-level university courses.

How might this material help you? Well, in short, using these standards as a guide for preparing home schooled students for college can identify the knowledge and skills needed to succeed at the university level. Further, there are 250 work samples included to provide students with a glimpse of the rigor of college level work. These standards have been licensed to the College Board and will be used as a foundational element in future versions of the SAT, PSAT, and AP tests. "Standards for Success" is an excellent compilation of standards across subjects that homeschoolers can use to insure that they are including, in their education, areas of study that will be critical for success in college.

I would recommend considering adding this information to your homeschool reference materials as it is comprehensive, understandable, and a good reference as you prepare your children for the possibility of college. It is a very inexpensive "check" against what you are currently including in your homeschooling curriculum with what is expected at the college level.

--Product Review by: Dr. Heather Allen, TOS Senior Analyst, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine