"I also ask this Congress to support our efforts to enlist colleges and universities to reach out to disadvantaged children starting in the sixth grade so that they can get the guidance and hope they need so they can know that they, too, will be able to go on to college." --President Clinton, State of the Union address, January 27, 1998
Helping More Students Prepare for College Through GEAR UP
High Hopes Talking Points
Description of Initiative
Evidence of Need and Effectiveness of Solution
Examples of Mentoring and Early Intervention Programs
High Hopes Endorsements
TELLING FAMILIES EARLY: COLLEGE IS WITHIN REACH. Families need to know that college is affordable regardless of their income. High Hopes would provide children and their families at middle and junior high schools in low-income communities with a 21st Century Scholar certificate, an official, early notification of the amount of their eligibility for Federal college aid.
COLLEGE-SCHOOL PARTNERSHIPS PROVIDE CHILDREN WITH MENTORING AND OTHER SUPPORT. It takes more than money to go to college and succeed. To make the hope of a college education a reality, degree-granting colleges (including 2-year institutions) would be encouraged to establish partnerships with middle and junior high schools with large concentrations of low-income children. Working with parents, community and religious groups, and businesses, the partnerships would provide information about what it means and what it takes to go to college, as well as support services -- such as mentoring, tutoring, college visits, summer programs, after-school activities, and counseling -- to help the children stay on track. The partnerships will help ensure that children have access to the rigorous core courses that prepare them for college and let parents know how they can help their children prepare for college.
STAYING WITH THE CHILDREN THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION. This new initiative will be flexible, allowing partnerships to design their own efforts based on local needs and resources. But to be most effective in increasing college attendance by low-income youth, the programs must be based on experience with strategies that work, and must:
HIGH HOPES COULD REACH 2,500 MIDDLE SCHOOLS, MORE THAN 1 MILLION STUDENTS. The President's Budget calls for a $140 million investment in new High Hopes partnerships in 1999, and an additional $70 million for new partnerships in each of the years 2000 and 2001 (as well as continuation funds for the original partnerships). If each project begins with one sixth or seventh grade class, this would fund partnerships with up to 2,500 middle and junior high schools. If each project adds an incoming class each year, more than 1 million students would be served over five years.
The Need for a College Education: College graduates today can expect to earn at least $600,000 more over their lifetime than high school graduates; this amount has doubled in the past fifteen years, and is likely to continue to grow [Census Bureau, 1993], making a college education even more important than ever before. Yet:
The Importance of Academic Information: To get into and complete college, more low-income middle and junior high school students and their parents need to learn about the importance of taking key courses as early as the 8th grade:
Evidence Supporting Proposed Strategy: Studies show that successful programs helping low-income students at the middle or junior high school level include tutoring, counseling, and mentoring, as well as information about college, financial aid, and careers. [Consuelo Arbona, First Generation College Students: A Review of Needs and Effective Interventions. Decision Information Resources, 1994] These strategies are employed in such programs as:
Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID): AVID joins colleges with middle or high schools in developing classes to provide low-income students with academic assistance, information about college preparatory courses and financial aid, tutoring, and other supports to encourage them to go to college. Several independent evaluations of AVID (including the state of California, the state of Kentucky, the University of California at San Diego, and the Guthrie-David Research Group, which are available through the AVID Center in San Diego) have found that:
- Nationwide, 93 percent of AVID graduates enroll in college and 60 percent are accepted in four-year institutions. In San Diego, 89 percent of AVID graduates are still enrolled in college after two years. [AVID Center]
- In San Diego, 55 percent of African American AVID students and 43 percent of Latino AVID students enroll in 4-year colleges compared to national averages of 33 percent and 29 percent, respectively. [AVID Center]
- In 1996-97, 90 percent of high school AVID students nationwide were enrolled in college preparatory courses. [AVID Center].
I Have A Dream (IHAD): Eugene Lang's IHAD program provides an entire grade of low-income students with a comprehensive set of services, including intensive mentoring and academic support and an early guarantee that their college tuition will be paid for by a combination of public and private resources. Studies collected by the IHAD Foundation show that:
- The original IHAD class of Dreamers exceeded expected educational outcomes: in a school where the projected graduation rate was 25 percent, 67 percent received high school diplomas, 17 percent received GED certificates, and 62 percent entered college. [IHAD Foundation]
- 75 percent of Chicago Dreamers in the class of 1996 graduated from high school, compared to only 37 percent of control group students. [Univ. of Illinois at Chicago, 1997].
- In Denver, 80 percent of IHADs first class of Dreamers graduated on time in June 1995, and another 7 percent graduated in 1996. By contrast, the Denver Public Schools estimate that the on-time graduation rate for all its students is about 60 percent. Some 60 percent of the IHAD graduates then went on to college and another 8 percent entered the military or vocational studies [IHAD Foundation].
Upward Bound: The U.S. Department of Educations Upward Bound program reaches out to low-income and disadvantaged youth at the high school level. Studies show that Upward Bound is effective in getting students to take more academic coursework. For example:
- Upward Bound students took 17 percent more academic course work than members of a control group, notably in English, science, math, foreign languages and social studies. [The National Evaluation of Upward Bound: The Short-Term Impact of Upward Bound: An Interim Report. U.S. Dept of Ed, May 1997]
- Upward Bound students achieve similar grades as those in a control group while undertaking a stronger academic curriculum. [The National Evaluation of Upward Bound: The Short-Term Impact of Upward Bound: An Interim Report. U.S. Dept of Ed, May 1997]
During the school year, high achieving UW students from similar backgrounds serve as role models and provide tutoring and mentoring. The ESOP provides these 6th, 7th, and 8th-graders with visits and overnight stays on the University campus, where they visit academic departments, hear presentations from faculty, participate in study skills workshops, and interact with UW students in a variety of settings. A series of workshops are held for parents to help families establish home environments that promote academic achievement. As a bridge to high school, incoming 9th-grade participants take part in a six-week summer enrichment program that provides training in reading, writing, language arts, mathematics, computer applications, and study skills.
Since 1987, 2,855 students have participated in ESOP. A UW study indicates that between 1992 and 1995, the grade point average of participating vs. non-participating ESOP students was 2.90 and 2.26, respectively. Ninety-seven percent of ESOP student graduate from high school, and 77% of those tracked report attending a 2-year or 4-year college. To date, of the 53 accepted to the University of Washington, 30 are currently attending.
Contact: Lette Hadgu, Associate Director
Office of Minority Affairs, University of Washington
Program data indicate that more than 92% of AVID graduates enroll in college (60% in four year institutions), with 89% still in college after two years. Also, 55% of African-American AVID students, and 42% of Latino AVID students enroll in 4-year colleges. In 1996-97, 90% of high school AVID students nationwide were enrolled in college prep courses, and 28% of middle school AVID students were enrolled in at least one honors level course.
Contact: Mary Catherine Swanson, Executive Director
San Diego, CA
The HMSEI is currently in its 7th year. The program has measured its effectiveness by the number of HMSEI students electing science and math courses in high school (81%), the number completing high school (100%), and the number entering college (75%).
Contact: Ethel Lynch Machen, Director
Early Outreach, University of Illinois at Chicago
College student volunteers in Campus Partners are required to attend a three day training session designed to introduce the volunteer to the dynamics of working with students labeled "at-risk." Required bimonthly meetings are designed to allow volunteers to reflect on their past experiences and plan appropriate workshops for the entire Campus Partners program. Required Journal entries allow volunteers to keep a log of the experiences with their mentee and also allow the Coordinator of Volunteer Services to ensure a productive relationship between the mentor and mentee.
Campus Partners serves approximately 50-60 6th- through 8th-graders per year. Youth are matched with college student volunteers using an interest survey. The mentor and the youth develop goals for the relationship. Each month, mentors and youth meet twice one-on-one and once as a group for "rap" sessions on such themes as goal-setting, personal relationships, communication, and personal health maintenance. Other activities include life planning activity sessions and tutoring. Pre- and post-surveys have indicated attitudinal changes toward academics, enhanced employment outlook, and improved self-concept through working cooperatively with others and relating in new, constructive ways.
Contact: Nedra Jasper-Alcorn, Associate Vice President for Student Services
Xavier University Campus Partners Mentoring Program
New Orleans, LA
IHAD serves its Dreamers with services that include counseling, mentoring, tutoring and cultural and recreational activities, personally involving thousands of sponsors and volunteers with enriching inputs from businesses, community groups and over 200 colleges and universities. One of many creative examples: MBA students at Stanford University's Business School joined to raise funds for, launch, and conduct the IHAD-East Palo Alto in 1992. Support activities included an entrepreneurial venture called Kidz in Biz-- a greeting card business, in which Dreamers created the logo, designed the cards, and planned and carried out production and successful marketing strategies. Similarly, older Dreamers of IHAD Chicago, in association with college students, spent the summer building playgrounds in vacant lots in inner city neighborhoods in addition to their remedial coursework.
The success of IHAD is reflected in many studies. Results of a national survey of Dreamers found that: 69% got high school diplomas, 17% got GED certificates, and 62% entered college. In Chicago, 75% of 1996 Dreamers graduated from high school, compared with only 37% of control group students.
Contact: Mark Maben, Director of Communications
"I Have a Dream" Foundation
New York, NY
(212) 293-5480 x14
Passport to College involves teachers, students and parents in a continuum of activities from the 5th to 12th grades, including campus tours, classroom presentations, teacher training workshops, parent meetings (in English and Spanish), financial aid workshops and other activities. Mentors include Riverside Community College student ambassadors, and community, business, and civic leaders who participate in the program. Riverside Community College guarantees admission to all 11,500 participants in the program who graduate from high school, and for the class of 2004, last-dollar scholarships (after grant aid and other scholarships) for two-years of full-time tuition and fees at RCC. Four area four-year institutions of higher education--University of California-Riverside, La Sierra University, University of Redlands, and California Baptist College--have agreed to offer additional scholarship support for Passport students to complete their undergraduate degrees after completing two years at RCC.
Contact: Amy Cardullo, Assistant Director
Riverside Community College Foundation
Through the pledge, over forty schools with high-minority, low-income populations receive targeted services for teachers, students, and parents, as well as assistance with curriculum enrichment. These programs include one-on-one and group activities for students, as well as in-class support to the teachers. Mentors and tutors serving in this program are UC faculty, staff and students, as well as community volunteers.
There have been significant gains in mathematical student achievement in participating elementary and middle schools, as well as increases in enrollment and performance in college preparatory mathematics and advanced math classes. Future evaluations will measure literacy gains, individual and class grade point averages, standardized test scores, in-house assessments, college prep course enrollments and grade performance in these courses, college applications and enrollments.
Contact: Anita Madrid, Berkeley Pledge Coordinator
University of California- Berkeley
EIP selects minority students with academic potential and provides year-round tutoring and other support throughout high school. EIP features a mandatory Summer Academic Academy prior to 9th grade, taught on the GMU campus by a staff of 14 outstanding local teachers, university professors, and local business men and women. Special projects in math, English, science and computer science encourage active class participation and critical thinking, develop confidence and motivation, and serve as a preview of upcoming fall courses. During the school year, GMU students hold tutorial sessions after school at local high schools and at GMU. Mobil Corporation funds the program's math review days, which take place once a month for 4 hours on GMU's campus. In addition to tutoring, EIP has a small mentoring component with Booz Allen and Hamilton that is in its third year. Students also attend Saturday Workshops every eight weeks on the GMU campus, which provide academic and cultural enrichment and educational field trips. Detailed student information is maintained on courses, grades, SAT scores, attendance, and college-application status.
Parents and students sign a contract specifying parental and student responsibilities regarding attendance, academic effort and parent participation over the next four years. The parental contact is maintained through regular correspondence, workshops, and an active Parent Council. Parents are required to participate in 2-1/2 hour Strengthening the Family workshops over the course of 4 weeks. The Strengthening the Family curriculum was designed by the National Coalition of Social Services and Mental Health Organizations (COSMOS) as part of the Concerned Parents Project. The workshops, which are taught in Spanish and English, are designed to increase parents' understanding of the educational system, in the hopes that parents become more involved in their children's schoolwork. Parents also learn communication skills and better methods of child discipline.
The program reports that they have graduated 6 classes from high school, and have a 71 percent retention rate. Of those who completed 4 years in EIP, 95 percent go on to college.
Contact: Hortensia Cadenas, Director
George Mason University Early Identification Program
The students were economically disadvantaged and drawn from neighborhoods with high concentrations of poverty. They attended schools mired in failure-- less than half of the high school students graduate in four years. TTWAR provided a broad range of intervention services to the students during their middle and high school years including mentoring, tutoring, parental workshops and a students' club. The intervention services were geared to address and eliminate major barriers to student success, such as family difficulties, the lure of the streets, poverty, teenage pregnancy and low expectations of both school and family.
A comprehensive evaluation of the program after nine years provides evidence of the success. For example, a significantly greater percentage of the students in the program graduated from high school compared to a similar comparison group. In addition, the tuition incentive generated the involvement of parents and public school and university educators to provide the support and guidance seen as critical for disadvantaged children at-risk for failure.
Contact: Trevor E. Sewell, Dean
Temple University College of Education
Each year the program places 70 or more university students from migrant or low-income families as mentors, the majority of whom enrolled at St. Edward's through a program for children of migrant or seasonal farm workers. Mentors develop a school-based relationship with a minimum of 5 children under the supervision of an elementary school classroom teacher. Each mentor provides 450 hours of service during the academic year and receives a stipend. These CMP participants are considered a "Service-Learning Corps" and conduct their service as Americorps members.
CMP is a partnership between St. Edward's University, seven local elementary schools and several other community agencies. The program currently receives financial support from the Corporation for National Service as well as numerous local, state and private foundations. Outcomes of the program include improved academic performance and classroom behavior for children mentored in the program, and a higher graduation rate for CMP mentors compared to a comparison cohort of SEU students.
Contact: Donna Hagey, Director
St. Edwards University Community Mentor Program
PREP is designed to help middle-school students-- beginning in their seventh grade year-- and their parents make timely and informed decisions regarding higher education and career goals. It serves as a safety net for students who may need academic intervention and other support systems to meet heightened admission requirements which go into effect in 2001 for the state's 34 public colleges and universities. The program targets students at-risk students and guides them toward admission into Georgia's public colleges, universities and technical schools, broadening the choices they will have after high school graduation. Visits to college campuses, tutoring and mentoring, career exploration, technology instruction and leadership development are a few of the advantages that students receive from participation in PREP.
PREP has admitted a new group of seventh graders each year since the program's inception in 1995 and currently serves three classes of students in grades 7-9. Last year, more than 6,000 students actively participated in PREP, and another 33,000 students visited the University System's 34 campuses during Middle School Visitation Days. The program has the potential to touch 200,000 students by 2001. Beginning this academic year, close to 300 college students and high school honors students have been enlisted to provide morning, after-school and Saturday one-on-one or group mentoring. Also new this year, PREP students perform community service, including working with senior citizens in nursing homes, planting urban gardens, and working with non-profit agencies such as the Red Cross.
Contact: Arlethia Perry-Johnson, Assistant Vice Chancellor
University System of Georgia Board of Regents
The Pre-College Enrichment Academy provides low-income minority students daily accelerated classes, special activities and projects designed to help them acquire the academic skills necessary to succeed at the university level. Students who fulfill the Academy's requirements from middle through senior high school and qualify for admission to USC will be awarded a four-and-a-half year tuition scholarship to complete an undergraduate degree. Seventy seventh-grade scholars (35 from each of two local middle schools) who are capable of "C" work in all subjects are admitted each academic year. Tutoring is offered on the USC campus or at school, and scholars attend the USC/Aetna Saturday Academy for 4 hours each week for instruction in communications, computer skills, math and science.
USC's Family Development Institute (FDI) implements programs in adult literacy, parenting and other areas to help low-income families prepare themselves and their children for educational, occupational and social success. Current and retired faculty provide required workshops, classes and field trips to help parents to reinforce principals taught in the Academy.
The two other components of the program are: a Retention Program to help former Academy scholars who attend USC through tutoring, counseling, peer/ faculty mentoring and faculty instruction; and a Research and Evaluation component which evaluates the overall effectiveness of NAI programs.
Contact: Dr. James C. Fleming, Director
USC Neighborhood Academic Initiative
Los Angeles, CA
Results of a 1995-96 study of 54 PHOP participants found that students who participated in the program: experienced a smooth transition to the White Plains school system from the schools of their country of origin; received higher grades than comparable non-participants; and were more involved in community activity. In addition, the study found that all the program's graduating students are planning to attend college. PHOP students emerge as community leaders, with many of them becoming tutors at other schools in the district to "give back" to the community.
Contact: Malula Gonzalez, Coordinator
Pace Hispanic Outreach Program
White Plains, NY
There are 17,400 Crusaders in the third through ninth grades. Program activities take place during the school day, after-school, on weekends and during the summer. The RICCHE AmeriCorps program provides mentors who serve as role models and advocates for youth. They provide support on a day-to-day basis as they see Crusaders in the schools, meet with parents and teachers, undertake service projects with the students, and link them to community resources. RICCHE's NEISP project matches college mentors with middle schoolers in weekend and summer adventure education programs that build leadership, teamwork and communications skills. The Crusade has also established relationships with Upward Bound, Education Talent Search and others to take advantage of support programs that help Crusaders learn about educational options, financial aid, and required courses for entrance into higher education institutions.
Contact: Mary Sylvia Harrison, President and Executive Director
Rhode Island Children's Crusade for Higher Education
Still in its first year, UPCS serves only seventh grade students, and will enroll a new group of seventh graders each year until the school has the full grades 7-12 format. The 35 students in the school's first class are mostly low-income and from diverse backgrounds. Students attend UPCS from 7:45 to 4:00 Monday through Thursday, and participate in community service and special seminars on Fridays from 8:30 to 3:00. In addition to their regular courses, UPCS students have daily, targeted review sessions; take special classes with Clark professors and students; and everyone, including the teachers, must read during a half-hour of silent time each morning. Many parents volunteer regularly at UPCS, and adult education courses are offered at the school during the evening. In addition, many Clark work-study students serve as tutors and mentors during after-school sessions.
According to Education Week, "in August 1997, school opened a full month early for students who wanted extra enrichment. Attendance was optional, but when the doors opened, every student showed up. Likewise, most of the students arrive early every morning and stay for an optional hour of after-school tutoring three days a week." The UPCS receives funding and support from a variety of sources, including the Worcester Public School system, local private foundations, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's office of university partnerships.
Contact: Jack Foley, Executive Assistant to the President