Educational Testing Service

May 23, 2011 12:19 ET

ETS Experts to Address Ways to Increase Success of Native American Students in Higher Education

NORMAN, OK--(Marketwire - May 23, 2011) - Two researchers from Educational Testing Service (ETS) will address educators, policymakers, and other experts gathering to address the challenges and opportunities for promoting success in higher education for Native American students during the Third Annual Native American Student Advocacy Institute May 23-24, 2011. The conference is co-sponsored by the College Board and the University of New Mexico, with support from ETS.

The theme of this year's conference is, "Strengthening Connections for Access and Equity in Education." The organizers describe it as a call to action. Over two days attendees will focus on, "... building connections between K-12 schools, higher education institutions and Native American communities, keeping Native American students at the forefront of campus diversity agendas and sharing effective teaching strategies that will help Native students build bridges to success in higher education."

Rich Roberts, Principal Research Scientist at ETS, will present on "The Importance of Psychosocial Factors to Academic and Workplace Success." He will review recent studies on the importance of noncognitive factors to academic and workplace success. Such nonacademic factors include qualities like persistence, dependability, motivation, the ability to work with others and intercultural sensitivity. Roberts will conclude with discussion of plans by ETS to pilot both assessments and interventions with American Indian and Alaska Native students.

"Systematic research on noncognitive factors remains a relatively neglected topic in education," Roberts says. "I'll discuss ongoing research to develop and validate a range of these noncognitive assessments as well as efforts to gather feedback, create action plans, tools, and sometimes even curricula, to enhance these psychosocial factors."

Debbie Kline, ETS Senior Program Administrator, will present on the "Results from the 2009 National Indian Education Study." The National Indian Education Study (NIES) is designed to describe the condition of education for American Indian and Alaska Native students in the United States. Its purpose is to assist these students in meeting the challenging achievement standards of the No Child Left Behind legislation.

"I'll review the findings on the academic performance of fourth- and eighth-grade American Indian and Alaska Native students on the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress," Kline explains. "I'll also examine the survey data on the experiences of the students, teachers, and school administrators who participated in the assessment and demonstrate some of the tools available to the public to better understand the data collected. This includes data not contained in the general report."

For further information on ETS research and policy reports, visit our website at

About ETS
At nonprofit ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English language learning, and elementary, secondary and post-secondary education, as well as conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually -- including the TOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE® test and The Praxis Series™ assessments -- in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide.

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