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This book focuses on one of the key questions in education: What determines a student's success? Based on twenty years of work on student success, Ray Padilla here presents two related models he has developed that both provide a framework for understanding success and indicate how it can be enhanced and replicated. The research and theory that inform his models are covered in detail. He defines student success simply as progress through a program of study, such that the student and others expect him or her to complete it and be promoted to the next level or graduate. Rather than focusing on the reasons for failure or drop out, his approach focuses on understanding the factors that account for student success and that enable many students, some of them under the most challenging circumstances, to complete all program requirements and graduate. The models provide schools and colleges with an analytical tool to uncover the reasons for student success so that they can develop strategies and practices that will enable more students to emulate their successful peers. They address the characteristics of the students - such as motivation and engagement, the ability to surmount barriers, and persistence - and similarly surface the characteristics of teachers, the educational institution, its resources, and the contexts in which they interact. The process provides administrators with a clear and appropriate strategy for action at the level of each individual unit or subpopulation. Recognizing the need to develop general models of student success that also can be applied locally to specific situations and contexts, the book presents Padilla's Expertise Model of Student Success (EMSS) that can be applied to general populations, as well as the Local Student Success Model (LSSM) that can be used to drive local institutional strategies to improve student success. The book demonstrates how the models have been applied in settings as diverse as a mirity high school, a community college, and an Hispanic Serving Institution, and for such purposes as comparing a high-performing and a n high-performing elementary school. The contributors include: Kimberly S. Barker, Mary J. Miller, George E. Norton and Ralph Mario Wirth. Kimberly S. Barker is an assistant professor at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, System Center San Antonio. She is currently working in the College of Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Mary J. Miller is the Instructional Compliance Director for the Edgewood Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas. Prior to this appointment, she served as an elementary school principal for ten years. George E. Norton is the Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs for Admissions, Orientation & Transition Services at The University of Texas at San Antonio. Ralph Mario Wirth is an administrator and director of educational planning at The San Antonio School for Inquiry and Creativity, as well as lead researcher for the Democratic Schools Research Institute, Inc.
Raymond V. Padilla is Professor, College of Education and Human Development, University of Texas at San Antonio. His most recent book is Debatable Diversity: Critical Dialogues on Change in American Universities.