Current Programs

As we examined in the last blog post on background information, many students do not feel prepared for life after high school. In order to better prepare students for college and career, many entities have designed or established different programs to combat this issue. Here are a few current programs to prepare students for college and career while in high school:

  1. Some schools provide labs in which students can talk to a college and career guidance counselor, apply to universities and learn about alternatives to college. In addition to being available to students during the school day, the College and Career Lab at Lake View High School in Chicago provides a website with links to three different resources for students: Naviance, Common App and Choose Your Future (available to Chicago Public Schools’ students only). These resources help students figure out what their best option is after high school, apply to colleges, and set goals for their post-high school life. View Lake View’s College and Career Lab page here.
  2. The State of Washington’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction created the High School & Beyond Plan. The HSBP is designed to get students thinking about their future goals and understand how to accomplish them starting in eighth grade. This plan also includes a one-year plan after high school, a career goal, an educational goal, a four-year course plan for high school, and identification of required assessments. To view the available HSBP resources, click here.
  3. The Alliance For Excellent Education, provides multiple ways to prepare students in three areas: college, workplace, and rigor (or academic preparedness). To read more on the various programs, click here.

These are only some programs in place at high schools. Does your school provide different programs to improve college and career outcomes of high school? Comment below.

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College Readiness Initiatives

In this blog, we have discussed ways in which teachers can “nudge” students to further their education after high school; but how are we academically preparing students to take on college? Here are some examples on how to aim for college readiness.

Some high schools have concentrated their efforts in providing help for college entrance exams. With assistance from the University of Richmond, a Richmond, Virginia high school teacher founded The College Readiness Initiative. This initiative provides free online tests and study materials for the SAT test, as well as the SOL (Standards of Learning) or Virginia state test. Check out The College Readiness Initiative at www.collegereadyrva.org.

The Colorado Department of Education has worked towards college readiness by implementing the ICAP, Individual Career and Academic Plan. This program guides students into learning more about themselves and deciding on their post-high school plan. This is a great method for students to know or have a general idea of what major they would like to pursue. To learn more and view the ICAP Toolkit, visit www.cde.state.co.us/postsecondary/icap

Other options include providing college courses during high school, assigning group work/projects, teaching time management skills, and assigning research papers. What is your high school doing to academically prepare students for college? Share with us on the Twitter poll found here

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College Transition and Persistence

Did you know that 28% of students drop out before they even become a sophomore?

At Future Institute, we provide two programs that directly impact college transition and persistence for all Concept Schools alumni.

  • College Liaisons are Concept Schools alumni who are now in college. These liaisons reach out to Concept Schools graduates who enrolled in their university in order to provide a smooth transition into the collegiate environment.
  • FIRM, or Future Institute Road-to-Success Mentorship, provides alumni with mentors who are professionals in their chosen career fields to guide and motivate them to achieve their goals.

A university that also provides programs to ease the transition and promote college persistence, especially for new students, is the University of Illinois – Chicago. The Office of the First-Year Initiatives focuses on this topic exactly and builds a welcoming environment for students. This is only one of many programs offered by this university to ensure student success.

Join us at World Future Forum for research findings and best practices in college transition and persistence!