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The Raising Quality and Achievement Program is a 3-year initiative to support further education (FE) colleges in the United Kingdom in their drive to improve students' achievement and the quality of provision. The program offers the following: (1) quality information and advice; (2) onsite support for individual colleges; (3) help with benchmarking; (4) college-based development programs; (5) leadership assistance for governors, principals, and team leaders; and (6) regional practitioner networks and quality forums to develop and promote good practice. During the project, the objectives of raising student achievement have been re-evaluated and the policy assumptions underpinning discussions of student achievement have been identified. Data on the retention and achievement rates at all FE colleges in the United Kingdom have been collected, and their reliability has been assessed. The assessment revealed that achievements are being underreported for several reasons, including the incapacity of many FE colleges' management information systems (MIS) and the low priority given by some teachers to recording achievement data in MIS. The question of how high to aim when striving to improve student achievement was explored, and examples of successful application of the following strategies in various types of FE institutions and programs were identified: classroom-level interactions; learning pathway; and college policy and leadership. (Contains 13 references.) (MN)

Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Adult Students, Change Strategies, Educational Change, Educational Improvement, Educational Practices, Educational Research, Foreign Countries, Management Information Systems, Postsecondary Education, Reliability, School Holding Power, Technical Institutes, Theory Practice Relationship

Further Education Development Agency, Citadel Place, Tinworth Street, London SE11 5EH, England, United Kingdom; e-mail: publications[at] (5 British pounds).

Autor: Martinez, Paul


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