Creating a College Culture

The Need

In today's economy, a high school diploma just isn't enough.  By 2025, 60% of all jobs in Mississippi will require some type of high-quality credential beyond high school. Today only 37% of students in Mississippi have a college credential or degree.

Our pilot school program is designed to increase college access and success using nationally identified best practices and the National College Access Network's (NCAN) common measures and benchmarks.

A small number of Mississippi high schools have been selected to participate in our new model college access program. This pilot program is designed to empower students to get into college and be successful there.

Launched in 2015, this program was created as a unique partnership to enhance the college-going rate of students through intensive, on-site support of the school’s current efforts to help students graduate and continue their education. Get2College counselors assist the schools’ counselors, teachers, and administrators in giving students the time, tools, and professional advice it takes to strengthen their schoolwork and do everything necessary to enroll in college. The comprehensive program begins with students as they enter the 9th grade and follows them through high school and college.

Our Program

Since the fall of 2015, the Get2College Pilot School Program has supported administrators, counselors, teachers, students, and parents to create a college-going culture. Our three-pronged approach includes workshops, special events, and individual counseling in an ongoing, multi-year partnership.

Student & Parent Workshops - Topics include college exploration, career and major fit, college admissions and applications, resumes, essays, interviews, and financial aid.

Application Days - Assistance with college applications can remove a barrier to enrollment, and Get2College staff visits pilot schools to help students apply.

Counseling Days - Get2College staff members meet one-on-one with students to create a personalized college plan, create resumes and essays, and apply for financial aid.

FAFSA Days - The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required to receive federal aid and many others sources of aid. Get2College staff and our partners assist students with FAFSA completion, then review the students’ estimated aid and steps to receive it.

ACT Workshops - Get2College offers free ACT work-shops to all students at pilot schools. ACT scores are not only for college admission, but also play a critical role in receiving college scholarships and avoiding developmental college coursework.

Campus Tours - Visiting a college campus is one of the key factors that can lead students to enroll in college. Get2College hosts multiple college tours to introduce pilot school students to college campuses.

                          

Goals & Impact

Our long-term goal is to increase the rates of college enrollment and graduation of students at pilot schools. Since its inception, Get2College has submitted student level data to the Mississippi State University Social Science Research Center to evaluate the program. Our goal is to share results of the project with other high schools across the state as the program is continued through the 2020 school year.

 

BENCHMARKS OF SUCCESS

  • Increase the number of students who apply to college, as well as the number of colleges to which each student applies.

    • 91% seniors completed college applications (2018)

  • Identify potential HELP grant eligible students early in high school. The HELP grant pays full college tuition in Mississippi.

    • 93 students were HELP eligible fall 2018

    • 63% increase since 2016

  • Increase completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) & state aid application.  

    • 62% 2018 seniors completed their FAFSA by March 31 making them eligible for more financial aid, including the HELP grant

  • Expand opportunities for students to go on campus tours.

    • 63% 2018 seniors attended a college tour

  • Coach students, parents and educators on college admission and financial aid processes.

    • 100% of the pilot schools hosted Get2College staff to present student workshops, parent events, and professional development for faculty

                                 

 

 

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