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Post-Secondary Success: In Schools, Communities, and Families

6/25/17 to 6/28/17


Tuition: $2,250 per person

Local educators affiliated with The Harvard Ed Portal-Public School Partnerships: $1,950 per person

Priority Application Deadline: May 12, 2017

We are currently accepting and reviewing applications as space is available. For consideration, please submit an application at your earliest convenience, no later than June 16, 2017.

What You Will Learn

Post-Secondary Success: In Schools, Communities, and Families, a new institute offered by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, will provide practitioners with tools and frameworks for advancing their work and engaging students on a path to post-secondary success. Designed for school- and community-based professionals, the program will bridge the gap between research and practice, building upon the strong foundation of existing practices while deepening understanding of the critical issues that influence post-secondary readiness and success.

Program Overview

Though students today have an unprecedented array of options available to them after completing high school, the path to post-secondary success is filled with uncertainty and challenges. Post-Secondary Success: In Schools, Communities, and Families will provide a foundation for understanding the arc of post-secondary readiness, including relevant developmental psychology across the K-16 continuum. This program will help you in understanding the unique and complex needs of all students, including the impact of race, family income, disability, and immigration status on post-secondary opportunity and success. You will learn strategies for leveraging and coordinating the important resources that strengthen postsecondary transitions, including families, financial resources, and support systems. This institute will help you to think critically about your work to ensure students not only make a well-informed decision about their post-secondary options, but successfully complete that next step.

This institute is an opportunity to learn from experts in the field as you collaborate with colleagues working on similar issues from different vantage points while being given the time and space to systematically reflect and build upon your practice in promoting positive outcomes for all students.

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Program Details

Mandy Savitz-Romer will share how to support students’ college going and college staying identities as well as how an understanding of adolescent development can illuminate shifts in practice for engaging all students across preK-16 to achieve their post-secondary goals.

Roberto Gonzalez will describe how undocumented students understand their post-secondary prospects and how their status shapes their engagement in post-secondary preparation and success.

Tony Jack will illustrate how first generation students engage in help-seeking behavior as well as how their acquisition of social capital can be supported across the education continuum.

Monica Higgins will discuss, using case studies such as Nike, the essential conditions for public/private partnerships that enhance existing post-secondary readiness efforts.  

Rick Weissbourd will describe how students can demonstrate their ethical engagement in the admissions process.

Karen Mapp will focus on how families understand the post-secondary planning process, offering suggestions for promoting engagement by using an engaging framework to leverage the unique assets families bring to post-secondary preparation, transition, and success.

Bridget Terry Long will provide an overview of the economic and behavioral decision making processes that shape students’ post-secondary decisions and transitions.

Deborah Jewell-Sherman will share how to design post-secondary success systems, policies, and practices that deliver on the promise of excellence and equity for all students.

Eric Waldo will give a national perspective on college and career readiness, including a discussion on how Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher initiative has broadened the focus of post-secondary readiness. 

Program Objectives
  • Examine the research behind adolescent development and how it applies to preparing students for post-secondary success
  • Consider the effects of race, family income, disability, and immigration status on post-secondary opportunity and success
  • Identify opportunities and barriers for students and learn effective approaches for ensuring the success of all students
  • Develop systems and learning plans for supporting students on paths to post-secondary readiness and success
Who Should Attend
  • K-12 educators who play a key role in supporting student success pathways and are interested in deepening their practice, including Directors of Post-Secondary Readiness Programs, Directors of School Counseling, School Counselors, College Counselors, School Administrators and Leaders, and Superintendents
  • Higher education professionals engaged in programs supporting students’ successful transitions to and through college
  • Community-based and non-profit professionals helping students plan for the future and are interested in understanding how to serve as an agent of change

Faculty Chair

Mandy Savitz-Romer's professional experience has allowed her to link research to practice in the field of school counseling, specifically as it relates to college access and readiness for first generation college students. Before joining the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Savitz-Romer was the associate director of the Boston Higher Education Partnership, where she led research, policy, and programmatic initiatives focused on promoting college access, readiness, and support for Boston Public School students. She previously taught courses in school counseling and postsecondary planning at Boston University. As a former urban school counselor, Savitz-Romer is particularly interested in how schools and community organizations structure counseling support systems and college planning efforts to reach all students. She is the co-author of Ready, Willing, and Able: A Developmental Approach to College Access and Success (Harvard Education Press 2012). Savitz-Romer is the director of HGSE's master's program in Prevention Science and Practice (PSP). Her research interests include college access and readiness for first generation college students; early college planning and awareness; school counselor development; K-16 policies and reform; and school-university partnerships.


Roberto Gonzales, assistant professor of education, HGSE

Daren Graves, adjunct lecturer on education, HGSE

Monica Higgins, Kathleen McCartney Professor of Education Leadership, HGSE

Tony Jack, junior fellow, Harvard Society of Fellow

Deborah Jewell-Sherman, professor of practice, HGSE

Bridget Terry Long, Saris Professor of Education and Economics and academic dean, HGSE

Karen Mapp, senior lecturer on education and director of the Education Policy and Management Master’s Program, HGSE

Eric Waldo, executive director of former First Lady Michelle Obama's Reach Higher initiative

Rick Weissbourd, senior lecturer on education and faculty director of Human Development and Psychology, HGSE


Enrollment Instructions

In order to promote a dynamic and engaging learning environment, the admissions process strives to create as diverse a participant group as possible. Applications are processed and reviewed on a rolling basis. 

You will need to finish each of the following steps to complete your application. The application form should take 15–20 minutes if you have prepared all necessary information listed below and must be completed in a single session.

Step One
You will be asked to provide your personal profile and organizational information.

Step Two

  1. Explain how participation in the program will benefit your work and describe one or more significant challenges you would like to explore during the program. (250 word limit)
  2. In what ways do you expect your particular skills, experience and perspective to contribute to group discussions? (250 word limit)
Fees, Hotel Accommodations, and Policies

The comprehensive tuition includes all instructional materials and refreshments. Participants receive a certificate of participation and a letter confirming clock hours of instruction.

Payment or a purchase order must be received within thirty days of program acceptance and prior to the program start. Participants are responsible for their own travel expenses. While a purchase order confirms a reservation, an outstanding balance is maintained until payment is rendered. 

Please click here for more information on hotel accommodations for on-campus programs.

Please click here for more information on our on-campus and online refund and withdrawal policies. If you have any additional questions or concerns about your ability to participate, please contact our admissions team at or 1-800-545-1849.

The Harvard Graduate School of Education reserves the right to change faculty or cancel programs at its discretion. In the unlikely event of program changes, the school is not responsible for non-refundable travel arrangements or other planning expenses incurred.

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