Predictors of Postsecondary Success: Tools focused on Postsecondary Enrollment and Completion

Predictors of Postsecondary Success: Tools focused on Postsecondary Enrollment and Completion
Predictors of Postsecondary Success: Tools focused on Postsecondary Enrollment and Completion


Building on the brief, Predictors of Postsecondary Success, which summarizes research that identifies student skills, behaviors, and other characteristics that predict future academic and workplace success, this webinar explored the development and use of the National College Access Network’s Common Measures. Presenters include Becky Smerdon, Deputy Director, College and Career Readiness and Success Center at AIR, MorraLee Keller, Director of Technical Assistance, National College Access Network, Bill DeBaun, Program Analyst, National College Access Network, and June Giddings, Post-Secondary Coach & GCPASS Program Coordinator, Houston A+ Challenge.


Presenters Included:

Bill DeBaun, Program Analyst, National College Access Network June M. Giddings, M.Ed, Post-Secondary Coach & GCPASS Program Coordinator MorraLee Keller, Director of Technical Assistance, National College Access Network Becky A Smerdon, PhD, CEO/Managing Director, Quill Research Associates, LLC, Deputy Director, College and Career Readiness and Success Center at AIR

Presenter Biographies

debaun-photo formattedAs NCAN’s program analyst, Bill DeBaun researches and writes about college access and success programming that demonstrates significant results for students’ college enrollment and graduation rates. He works with the Common Measures Learning Community, a group of NCAN members dedicated to using data to improve program performance and scale services. Prior to joining NCAN, Mr. DeBaun worked with the Alliance for Excellent Education in Washington, DC and Westat in Rockville, MD. Mr. DeBaun has a bachelor’s degree in political science, with a minor in education studies, from American University and a master’s degree in public policy from the George Washington University.


Giddings formatted

June Giddings joined Houston A+ Challenge in 2012 and currently provides coaching and implementation support for the eleven K-12 school districts and eight community colleges participating in the Gulf Coast PASS initiative, in partnership with the University of Texas-Austin and the Institute for Evidence-Based Change. She also provides post-secondary success resources and technical support to A+ Coaches who work with educators in A+’s Leadership Academy and Challenge Network. June comes to A+ from Houston Independent School District, where she was most recently Manager of P-16 College Readiness. Her work at Houston ISD included planning, implementation, and evaluation of career and college readiness services designed for all students. She developed and monitored transition programs for Pre-K, elementary, middle, high school, to college and ensured that their design would help to bridge previous successes, remove barriers to learning and promote academic and social/emotional success for all students. June previously worked as program director for I Have a Dream Houston, and she has spent years in the Houston region developing relationships with education institutions and service providers. For the past four years, June has served as chair of the Houston National College Fair, working to connect students with admission representatives from hundreds of colleges and universities at no-cost. In October 2013 she begins a three-year term on the Standing Committee on National College Fairs for the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC).  She also serves on the Executive Board for the Texas Association for College Admission Counseling (TACAC) and is actively engaged in Houston FAFSA Day, Houston Hispanic Forum Career and Education Expo, and the City of Houston’s Follow Your Path Career Expo.

emh5 formattedMs. MorraLee Keller
serves as Director of Technical Assistance and provides professional development to both direct service providers and managers to help ensure the success and sustainability of new and existing college access programs. She offers consultation services with advice on governance issues, programming, data collection, research and best practices and also develops comprehensive training materials. Mrs. Keller has a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in higher education administration, both from The Ohio State University. A former financial aid coordinator at OSU, Mrs. Keller has extensive experience in student financial aid. In her time at the Columbus, Ohio-based NCAN member program, I KNOW I CAN, Mrs. Keller developed a program with K-12 early college awareness programming and developed a comprehensive college advising program and last dollar grant program. Mrs. Keller is the past president of NCAN and served as the treasurer of the Board of Directors of NCAN.

Smerdon_large formattedNORC Senior Fellow Becky Smerdon is a nationally recognized expert in high school reform. Over her career, Smerdon has built a body of domestic education research and evaluation, with particular focus on socially disadvantaged youth and education reform. During her 15 years in the field of education research and evaluation, she has designed and led numerous studies, including: a formative and summative evaluation of Baltimore’s high school reform initiative, a study of the math/science pipeline in North Carolina’s reforming high schools, and a project developing indicators of high school reform implementation funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She was also founding director of the U.S. Department of Education’s National High School Center and Principal Investigator of the national evaluation of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s small school initiative. Smerdon recently completed the prestigious Senior Urban Fellowship working with Washington, D.C, public schools to develop early warning indicators, and was previously a First Focus Fellow providing policymakers with research-based recommendations on policy briefs and draft legislation.

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Presenter Information:

Bill DeBaun

Program Analyst

National College Access Network

1001 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 632

Washington, DC 20036


June M. Giddings, M.Ed

Post-Secondary Coach & GCPASS Program Coordinator

Houston A+ Challenge

2700 Southwest Freeway, Suite B

Houston, TX 77098


MorraLee Keller

Director of Technical Assistance

National College Access Network

1001 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 632

Washington, DC 20036


Becky A Smerdon, PhD

CEO/Managing Director

Quill Research Associates, LLC

Deputy Director

College and Career Readiness and Success Center at AIR

1020 Fowler Street

Falls Church, VA  22046





The American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF), a nonprofit, nonpartisan professional development organization based in Washington, DC, provides learning opportunities for policy leaders, practitioners, and researchers working on youth and education issues at the national, state, and local levels. AYPF events and publications are made possible by contributions from philanthropic foundations. For a complete list, click here.