WHAT IS COLLEGE BOUND?
College Bound is a year-round college and career readiness program that provides individualized academic advising, mentoring, and resources to high school students to ensure they graduate high school with a customized post-secondary plan. The program is open to all high school students and offers a holistic approach to help them build a customized academic, personal, and professional aptitude with individualized support that fits with their unique goals and aspirations.
Our College Bound program introduces high school students to the idea and attainability of a higher education degree, providing guidance and resources, and preparing them for success after graduation. This includes building a plan for financial sustainability to cover the costs associated with higher education. The program also includes workshops and support for parents, since many of our graduates are the first in their families to pursue education beyond high school.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
College Bound targets five core areas of development for students: Academic & College Support, Career Exploration & Management, Emotional Intelligence, Parent Engagement, and Financial Education. Our academic advisors deliver the program through individual meetings with students, small group workshops and trainings, parent education sessions, community service events, and college and university field trips. Subject areas cover: SAT and ACT test prep, assisting with financial aid and college applications, scholarship notifications, preparing to transition to life at college, stress and time management, career exploration, self-care, and more. Members must commit to meet with their academic advisor once a month and attend one workshop each month.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Since launching the program in 2016, our College Bound program has served thousands of students, 98% of whom are Hispanic/Latino and 100% low income. Most of our members, despite being first generation, second language learners, are motivated students with relatively high GPAs who cite financial concerns as a much greater barrier to higher education than grades. The cost of higher education disproportionately impacts socio-economically vulnerable populations and can prevent them from pursuing it at all. Therefore, College Bound provides financial literacy training and financial planning aimed at helping students acquire the financial support necessary to pursue their higher education goals.
Our program is successful. When we compare data from the general population with that of College Bound, it shows that, on average, College Bound students have higher high school graduation rates, college enrollment and retention rates, and receive higher financial aid packages.
WITH MENTORSHIP A KEY COMPONENT OF THIS PROGRAM, HOW HAS THE CLUB ADJUSTED TO SOCIAL DISTANCING?
While our state and local communities are under Safer-At-Home orders, our Clubs are ensuring continuity of support for our College Bound members. The program’s Academic Advisors are continuing to provide mentoring services and resources for high school students, especially juniors and seniors as they work toward their college and career goals. This is a critical time in our students’ academic careers, and we have to ensure that this crisis does not affect their chances of moving on to higher education.
From the onset of the social distancing orders, we immediately started offering small group academic advisement via Zoom meetings to help keep students on track and assist with any challenges they may be experiencing as a result of the abrupt changes caused by the COVID-19 health crisis. We are also conducting daily Zoom webinars on a variety of relevant topics such as virtual learning tips and tools, stress and anxiety management skills, financial aid guidance, filing for unemployment and applying for jobs, time management, and more.
HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?
To learn more about you can support our College Bound students through virtual mentoring, hosting a workshop, financial support, please contact Juan Carrillo, Director of College and Career Development, at [email protected].