The mission of the ETL Education
Foundation Virtual University Initiative is
to provide primarily African-American
and Latino high school students with
online college-like experiences and
academic support with the goal of
increasing their higher education
success potential and to facilitate good
citizenship through linking education and
service.
College Ready?  We Can Help.
Several news and journal articles
reveal that although scholastic
assessment examination scores are
starting to increase, measures and
performance indicators of college
readiness show sluggish positive
change.  For instance, the New York
Times has reported that only 37% of
New York State’s high school graduates
were deemed fully college ready.  Even
highly ranked schools graduate many
students who are not fully college
ready.
The ETL Education Foundation Virtual University Initiative (VUI) addresses all aspects of college
readiness.  The VUI seeks to expose students to college-like experiences; thereby enhancing
readiness.  Students have the opportunity to interface with technology, enhance academic skills,
complete college-level mini courses, explore career options, discover learning styles and preferences,
as well as apply new learning to community problem solving. By leveraging the power of the internet,
the VUI provides enhanced opportunities for students to practice and garner critical college readiness
skills.  
To learn more about signing up for our
next session, visit the ETL Education
Foundation Virtual University Initiative
website at
www.etl-vui.org
Readiness Indicator
Description
Virtual University Initiative Offerings
Contextual Skills
College Knowledge
Student possesses a
knowledge of the college
process; including
admissions, curriculum,
financial aid, etc.
The VUI's mock college application admissions
process, parent webinars, and local college tour
program addresses this important aspect of college
readiness.
Cognitive Strategies
Analysis        
Reasoning     
Openness  
Inquisitiveness
Interpretation  
Precision         
Problem Solving
College ready students have
practiced and are more
proficient in higher level
learning, and more easily
conform to this college level
expectation.  College level
learning requires operation
beyond simple recall of facts.  
The ability to demonstrate
comprehension, application,
and analysis of learned
material becomes increasingly
more important.
By offering 4-week college level mini courses the VUI
provides opportunity for students to experience college
expectations.  These courses are narrow in scope to
maximize practice of higher level learning.  Emphasis is
placed on learning skill development.  College credit is
not offered for these courses.  This low stakes strategy
is specifically designed to emphasize skill development
and college readiness.  The service learning
component associated with each course allows for a
more practical interaction with learned material as
students initiate projects that address community
issues.
Academic Skills
Writing & Research
In one semester, college
students are often expected to
produce multiple expository,
descriptive, and/or persuasive
writing products that are well
supported and researched.
Oftentimes, high school
students have not had
sufficient opportunity to hone
their writing and research
skills sufficient to the level
required for college success.
Not only do the VUI mini courses include writing
assignments, there is at least one course that
specifically addresses rhetoric and effective persuasive
and descriptive writing.  Further, the VUI website
includes an Online Writing Laboratory (OWL) that links
to customized video presentations on the writing
process.  The website also includes a Research
Assistant component that provides important research
and citation tips.
Academic Behaviors
Self-Monitoring     
Study Skills
Self-monitoring refers to
students' ability to assess their
own level of understanding
and mastery of a subject.  
Students proficient in self
monitoring are able to select or
change learning strategies
when faced with difficulties,
transfer or modify successful
strategies, and identify
learning difficulties early.  
Certainly study skills go well
beyond simply completing
readings and assignments.  
Important study skills include
time management, instructor
communication, learning
styles alignment, and other
factors.
The extracurricular nature and narrow focus of the
academic components of the VUI provide students
opportunity to assess their level of understanding of the
subject matter.  Further, following each course students
participate in a service learning component designed to
apply course content to address a community problem
or issue.  Students therefore have enhanced
opportunities to interact with larger themes and
become more sensitized to acquired knowledge.  
Additionally, in an effort to maximize academic success
potential, all students complete a comprehensive
learning styles and preferences survey and receive
one-on-one counseling designed to explore strategies
that exploit unique styles and preferences.
College Readiness*
and the
ETL Education Foundation
Virtual University Initiative
*
(derived from "Redefining College Readiness (2007) by David T. Conley)