College Prep in Afterschool
Communities Empowering Youth
Social Servies and
College Prep in Afterschool
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Young people from low-income communities disproportionately lack access to the critical supports and services that help prepare them for college admission and success. Afterschool has a crucial role to play in ensuring that youth graduate from high school prepared not only for admission into but for success in and graduation from college.
Since 2007, PASE has made strengthening the college preparatory services available in New York City’s afterschool programs a top programmatic priority. PASE supports agencies that specifically gear their programs toward college preparation as well as those that integrate college preparation activities into programs whose focus lies elsewhere.
The Role of Afterschool in College Persistence
A study on helping students persevere, stay in, and graduate from college
From June 2012 through February 2013, PASE conducted a study of the experiences that afterschool programs who offer college prep services have had in supporting their college-bound alumni as they navigate the complexities of college persistence. We documented the challenges that these programs, who serve predominantly first-generation, low income and historically underrepresented youth, saw among their alumni, as well as the strategies, formal and informal, that they have found to be successful in helping their alumni persevere, stay in, and graduate from college.
PASE explored the relationship between afterschool programming and college matriculation and persistence using several methods including:
- Conducting a Literature Review of the research and findings published to-date;
- Moderating a Strategic Discussion with current college students (PASEís Summer Learning Teaching Corps) to explore what they saw as obstacles for both themselves and their peers in their goal of persisting through college, to discover where they see afterschool programs offering supports, and to get their views on what further supports afterschool could offer to students,
- Reaching out to six Youth-Serving Agencies to gain insight into their studentsí challenges, and effective strategies they employ in addressing those challenges;
- Interviewing ten College Students who have remained in close touch with, or are employed by, their afterschool agency to understand what they view as challenges and how they describe the supports they need or would like to have; and
- Speaking with three Colleges and Universities to gather their experiences in retaining first-generation, low income, or historically underrepresented students.
PASE anticipates that the final study will help: youth agencies, funders, and higher education institutions gain a greater understanding of the challenges faced by first-generation, low income, and historically underrepresented students in completing college; and youth agencies to better assess their own strengths and abilities, and use the knowledge gained therein to structure their programs to have the greatest possible positive impact on their youth. This work can inform community based groups on how they can modify their program design to more effectively prepare their youth to complete and be successful in college, and higher education institutions can learn more about the supports that may be available if they collaborate with afterschool programs to assist this population throughout their time in college. A full report will be available in spring 2013.
PASEís College Persistence study was made possible through the generous support of the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust.
College Prep in Afterschool: A Practitioner’s Guide to Effective Programming
The College Prep Afterschool: A Practitioner’s Guide to Effective Programming for Middle and High School Youth includes best practices, strategies and resources for integrating key college preparation elements into existing programs. The Guide was developed in 2008 as part of PASE’s College Prep Capacity Building Project, funded by Time Warner Corporate Philanthropy. During this project, PASE worked closely with 14 afterschool programs to help them strengthen their college preparation components.
College Prep Milestones: A Guide for Afterschool Practitioners
Using existing literature and research, PASE created College Prep Milestones, age-specific milestones for use by afterschool programs. The Milestones charts are organized by a studentís stage in the college prep process and outline the academic and social-emotional readiness knowledge, skills, or preparedness critical to college success. The Milestones also includes activity ideas and sample lesson plans that afterschool programs may incorporate to support achievement of these benchmarks.
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