K-12 Schools

K-12 and K-20 College Going Best Practices

College-going best practices (K-14) UCB, Center for Educational Partnerships  The following are resources and best practices created through the Center for Educational Partnerships at UC Berkeley.

They include the Realizing the College Dream curriculum, checklists for 9-12th graders, examples of posters to motivate students to take the a-g requirements necessary for application to California’s public four-year colleges and universities, the “Fast Forward to College” newsletter, and a checklist to prepare students for the community college transfer path.

Counselors

Atlantic Cities: Place Matters

A Key to Getting More Low-Income Kids to Go to College: Better Advising

Most teenagers in Erica Elder’s hometown of Bassett, Virginia, don’t think they’re college material. The county’s median household income is $33,600—about half the Virginia average—and only 11.3 percent of residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Elder graduated from the University of Virginia this year, becoming the first in her family to obtain a B.A. She probably wouldn’t have applied to UVA, a highly ranked flagship school, without the encouragement of her college adviser in high school. Despite less-than-stellar SAT scores, “he never told me I couldn’t go to college,” Elder says. “He just gave me hope.” This fall, she’s heading back to Bassett High to serve, in her mentor’s shoes, as a member of the National College Advising Corps.

The college-applications process can be overwhelming for any high school student. But for low-income minority students like Elder with no graduates in their families to guide them, it is often paralyzing. Many such students choose two-year schools by default, or they decide not to go to college at all. The National College Advising Corps gives underserved students better information about their options by placing recent college graduates in high schools across the country to serve as college advisers.

“The people who really got pummeled by this recession were people with a high-school degree or less,” says Nicole Farmer Hurd, founder and executive director of NCAC. Higher education continues to be a powerful weapon against inequality: Low-income students who earn a four-year degree, reports the Pew Economic Mobility Project, become nearly four times more likely to catapult into the top fifth of earners. Yet low-income students are 30 percent less likely to go directly to college than their wealthier peers, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.