Understanding the Conditions for Postsecondary Success

Quality research can support educator practice and drive school improvement.

The Network for College Success postsecondary approach stems from research coming out of the UChicago Consortium on School Research. Specifically, the 2008 From High School to the Future: Potholes on the Road to College report continues to help our Coaches and partner educators better understand the school conditions that foster or hinder student postsecondary success. Reading the Potholes report is an excellent way to begin connecting postsecondary research with school practice. The accompanying case studies explore real student and school assets as well as barriers when navigating the process to and through college.

Use the Tool Set

The full Understanding the Conditions for Postsecondary Success Tool Set is available for download. The download includes the four tools in this Tool Set. 

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Tool Name Type

From High School to the Future: Potholes on the Road to College

The goal of this research report is to help Counselors, educators, district leaders, and policymakers understand the adaptive challenges and practical steps to improve postsecondary outcomes for first-generation students and students of color, who now overwhelmingly aspire to go to college.

The executive summary of the report is included in this Toolkit. For the entire report, click here >

To view the corresponding research presentation, click here >


Increasing College Success for High School Seniors

A sample research presentation on the importance of a school-wide focus on college success in order to increase student enrollment and persistence. The presentation was created with Network for College Success Coaches and a UChicago Consortium researcher.

To view the presentation, click here >


Potholes Case Studies and Analysis Exercise

The case studies included in the Potholes research report highlight ten students who struggled at different points in the postsecondary planning process. The corresponding analysis exercise can help Counselors and other educators analyze the case studies and collectively think about the implications for practice. Three case studies are included in this Toolkit.

To read all of the case studies, click here >


To&Through Issue Brief: College Choice

A two-page brief summarizing the UChicago Consortium’s latest research on why college choice matters and strategies schools are using to help students navigate the college selection process.