How To Increase The Percentage Of Underserved Youth Graduating From College in Boyle Heights

submission by CollegeTrack

About Your Organization

Organization name(s):

College Track

Organization website:

http://collegetrack.org

Organization Twitter handle:

twitter.com/collegetrack

Organization Facebook page:

www.facebook.com/iamCollegeTrack

Organization Instagram:

instagram.com/iamcollegetrack

Describe your organization (check only one):

Nonprofit organization

For-profit organization

Government

Individual

Please describe yourself (check only one):

Solo actor (just us on this project!)

Proposed collaboration (we want to work with partners!)

Collaboration (partners are signed up and ready to hit the ground running!)

In one sentence, please describe what your organization does.

:

CT empowers underserved students to graduate from college working intensively with them from 9th grade through college graduation.

In one sentence, please describe your idea or project.

:

College Track (CT) will increase the number of adults with college degrees in Boyle Heights.

Please write a sample tweet to describe your submission.

:

Boyle Heights sees big increase in the # of adults with college degrees. See how College Track did it! #collegegraduationforall

Does your project impact Los Angeles County? Check only one.

Yes (benefits all of LA County)

Yes (benefits a region of LA County)

Yes (benefits a population of LA County)

No

Which area(s) of LA does your project benefit? Check all that apply.

Central LA

East LA

South LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South Bay

Westside

Other:

If other, please specify.:

Boyle Heights

What is your idea/project in more detail?

:

College Track, a non-profit organization, works to increase college graduation rates among low-income students. Starting the summer of 9th grade through college graduation, a CT student receives 8–10 years of support.

In high school, CT offers students intensive academic, college prep and social emotional growth opportunities. In college, CT provides mentors to each student. There is no other program like this in the United States. CT students attend more than 75 four-year institutions including Harvard, Stanford, MIT, University of California (Berkeley, Los Angeles, Riverside), Howard University, Spelman College, and Columbia. CT is continuing its successful program in Boyle Heights and opend a center in 2012.

What will you do to implement this idea/project?

:

CT’s successful model is currently being implemented in Boyle Heights. The model is innovative in 3 key ways: 1) it supports students continuously from the summer before 9th grade through college graduation, 2) it provides multi-dimensional support, and 3) it provides intensive, ongoing, individualized support. The program wraps students with long-term, comprehensive relationships and services. CT’s has 5 service areas:

1) Academic Summer Advancement Program (ASAP) provides a positive transition from 8th to 9th grade through strengthening English and math skills, reinforcing effective study habits, and developing personal awareness. Students attend workshops, participate in field trips and community service projects.

2) Academic Affairs helps ensure that students graduate from high school prepared to succeed in college. CT provides students with tutoring, homework help, study skill workshops, standardized test preparation, and academic coaching 2 - 3 days a week. CT’s uses an integrated academic approach that includes computer-based supports that maximize students learning. Students who are struggling receive “on-track” intervention services and individualized plans to meet mental health, personal, family, as well as academic needs

3) Student Life provides students with the opportunity to explore their passions and constructively engage in their communities. Student Life programs offer workshops that cultivate a students’ creativity and passions. Workshops include performing arts, field trips to cultural institutions, and international study and more. Students fulfill 25 hours of community service each year.

4) College Affairs gives students the support and guidance in everything related to college admissions including the selection and application process, assistance applying for financial aid, grants and scholarships. Each senior is also matched 1:1 to a college advisor who helps him or her apply to scholarships and complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and other forms.

5) College Success connects with every CT student it sends to college, ensuring that students are able to graduate within 4 to 6 years. CT provides academic guidance, transitional and emotional support, financial planning and awards, teaching self-advocacy, and tips on finding a community on campus. Each CT student has a 1-1 mentor the first two years of college, when low-income students are most at-risk for drop out.

HOW WILL YOUR IDEA/PROJECT HELP MAKE LA THE BEST PLACE TO LEARN TODAY? IN 2050?

:

In 2012, CT began programming in Boyle Heights. The Boyle Heights community is predominantly an immigrant community with low education levels. Only one-third of Boyle Heights residents 25-years old or older have a high school diploma, and only 5% of Boyle Heights residents 25 and older have a college degree. Additional data reveals that close to 50% of students from Boyle Heights never complete high school. We intend to change this.

CT's services are linked to a proven model of college preparation and completion. Over the past 17 years, in the Bay area, 100% percent of CT seniors graduate high school, over 90% were admitted to a four-year school compared to15% of students of the same demographic, and 80% of students who completed our high school program have graduated from, or are still attending college.

Over time, CT will increase the number of college bound students of color in Los Angeles. For example, in 2008 when CT opened our center in San Francisco’s Bayview Hunter’s Point neighborhood, only 6 African-American students graduated from the neighborhood high school eligible to attend a 4-year university. CT is poised to increase the San Francisco Unified School District’s college bound African-American students by 30% by 2016.

Specifically, College Track Boyle Heights (CTBH) will benefit Los Angeles by:

1) Positively impacting academic outcomes for Roosevelt HS, Boyle Heights, and in time, the LAUSD.
2) Creating a clear and measurable pathway to a 4-year degree for underserved students in Boyle Heights.
3) Transforming Boyle Heights into a community where it is the expectation, not the exception, for students to pursue and obtain a 4-year degree.
4) Contributing to the economic vitality of the city, by creating a strong, educated work force in one of the city’s most vulnerable neighborhoods.

By 2050, LAUSD will be using CT’s model and having direct impact on low-income students across Los Angeles. Communities will be transformed and college degrees will be the norm. CTBH will continue to work in collaboration with LAUSD and others to build and grow best practices and develop and grow relationships with colleges and universities to better support underserved students in Los Angeles through college. Our city will see the direct results in a thriving educated workforce. By 2050, all students in Los Angeles will have the tools, role models, support and resources to finish college and pursue their dreams.

Whom will your project benefit? Please be specific.

:

CTBH is located in Boyle Heights. 100% of our enrolled students are Latino. 90% are from low-income households. 93% will be the first in their families to graduate from college.

Our program benefits students from two schools; Roosevelt High School and the Math, Science & Technology Magnet Academy located on Roosevelt HS’s campus.

Our three classes are comprised of freshmen, sophomore and junior students from these schools. By 2015-16, our Boyle Heights center will be fully enrolled with 240 students.

Our program changes the cultures in the schools whose students we serve. Randy Romero, former Math, Science & Techology Magnet Academy at Roosevelt HS in Boyle Heights said “CT is raising the bar not only for our students, but also for the teachers at our school. There is now a higher expectation.” Other principals have noted a culture shift in their school due to CT’s presence - that it is now “cool” to get good grades and attributes that to the CT students’ focus on learning and doing what it takes to get into college.

Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.

:

To significantly impact the communities we serve, College Track collaborates with partner organizations to build a network of coordinated and complementary services, share best practices and professional development, and leverage joint resources.

With the support of former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, CTBH acquired a space for our center a half-mile from the Roosevelt campus, in the newly renovated Boyle Heights City Hall. The space has been leased to CTBH by the City of Los Angeles for $1 per year for 10 years. Our center is specifically designed to be independent of the school district, while working in alignment with the district.

In an unprecedented move and with the support of Superintendent John Deasy, LAUSD has granted CTBH access to attendance, progress report and final semester grades. CTBH also has a unique collaborative relationship the principals at Roosevelt HS, Math, Science & Technology Magnet Academy, and the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools (PLAS), granting CTBH access to teachers’ online grade books, ensuring the CTBH staff has the most up-to-date academic information about its students, which in turn allows CTBH to proactively support its students.

Other support comes from Boyle Heights native will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas who provides opportunities for CTBH students in STEM education, music and arts education, and study abroad opportunities. Other partners include the the Wasserman Foundation, JP Morgan Chase and continued collaborations with Homeboy Industries, 826LA and PUENTA Learning Center, in order to maximize opportunities for students.

As a grantee of the California Endowment, CTBH is part of the Boyle Heights Learning Collaborative. The Collaborative is made of California Endowment grantees who collaborate to positively impact the Boyle Heights community as a whole.

The 3 factors that are critical to the success of our collaborations are:

1. The partnership with LAUSD and PLAS gives CTBH access to information that allows CTBH to monitor, intervene and support our students’ academics increasing successful academic outcomes for our students.
2. Our collaboration with the City of Los Angeles shows that LA is deeply invested in making sure that students in Boyle Heights succeed.
3. As part of the Boyle Heights Learning Collaborative, and through our relationships with other CBOs, CTBH coordinates with other non-profits who support our students’ non-academic and social/emotional needs.

How will your project impact the LA2050 "LEARN" metrics?

Percentage of children enrolled in early education programs

Percentage of community college students completing a certificate, degree, or transfer-related program in six years

Youth unemployment and underemployment

District-wide graduation rates

HS student proficiency in English & Language Arts and Math

Academic Performance Index scores

College matriculation rates

Student education pipeline (an integrated network of pre-schools, K-12 institutions, and higher education systems that prepares students for seamless transitions between high school, higher education institutions, and the workforce) (Dream Metric)

Suspension and expulsion rates (Dream Metric)

Truancy rates in elementary and middle school (Dream Metric)

Students perceived sense of safety at and on the way to school (Dream Metric)

Other:

Please elaborate on how your project will impact the above metrics.:

College graduation rates for low-income students.

Please select which other LA2050 Goals are relevant to your project or organization (check all that apply):

LA is the best place to CONNECT

LA is the best place to CREATE

LA is the best place to PLAY

LA is the healthiest place to LIVE

Please explain how you will evaluate your project.

:

CT’s primary measure of impact is graduation rates. We track students’ college status and progress through college graduation and compare results to national and regional averages for similar demographics of students.

In the 2014-2015 school year, CTBH will measure success in the following areas:

1) Retention: CTBH will retain 90% of its students.
2) Attendance: 90% of CTBH students will attend at least 80% of their CTBH programming, compared to 84% of students in 2013-14.
3) Academic Affairs Program: 65% of students will earn a GPA of 3.00 (minimum GPA required to be eligible for a California State University), compared to 59% of students in 2013-14.

In order to achieve our goals, staff monitors CTBH students closely. Indicators used to track students’ success include daily attendance, academic performance, and test scores, retention. Also included is demographic information and college readiness information. CTBH also measures leadership, extracurricular interests, and community service hours.

In addition, CT collects and uses a range of assessments to track student progress and to create individualized interventions when students are in danger of not reaching their goals of high school graduation and college acceptance. These assessments include: report cards, standardized test scores, diagnostic tests, teacher evaluations, IEP and SST assessments, college preparation and entrance exams, school and program attendance, and observations from classroom instructors and tutors. Progress is measured on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, by semester, and annually.

What two lessons have informed your solution or project?

:

First, through CT’s 17 years (38 semesters) of experience working and learning from our program model, we have learned that simply supporting students through high school does not work. If we, as a country, desire to drastically change college completions rates for underserved youth, we need to support students through high school and college.

Second, it is not enough to just prepare students academically. An ongoing organizational challenge is addressing the significant personal, family, and/or systemic obstacles, hardship, and trauma that many of our students face in day to day life. Students need to have GRIT to address these other, often daunting, situations in their lives. GRIT, which is an acronym for Guts, Resilience, Integrity, and Tenacity, is infused throughout our program. CT students start their GRIT education in the summer before their ninth grade year and continue through college. GRIT offers students the coping skills to deal with the trauma and injustice that are often a part of their young lives and at the same time, bolsters self-esteem and self-confidence.

Explain how implementing your project in the next twelve months is an achievable goal.

:

College Track Boyle Heights opened in the fall of 2012 and currently works with 177 students; 57 freshman, 60 sophomores and 60 juniors. CT has 17 years (38 semesters) of experience that guides our work at CTBH. We use a replicable national model that currently has placed students in more than 75 four-year colleges and universities.

Please list at least two major barriers/challenges you anticipate. What is your strategy for ensuring a successful implementation?

:

First, through CT’s 17 years (38 semesters) of experience working and learning from our program model, we have learned that simply supporting students through high school does not work. If we, as a country, desire to drastically change college completions rates for underserved youth, we need to support students through high school and college.

Second, it is not enough to just prepare students academically. An ongoing organizational challenge is addressing the significant personal, family, and/or systemic obstacles, hardship, and trauma that many of our students face in day to day life. Students need to have GRIT to address these other, often daunting, situations in their lives. GRIT, which is an acronym for Guts, Resilience, Integrity, and Tenacity, is infused throughout our program. CT students start their GRIT education in the summer before their ninth grade year and continue through college. GRIT offers students the coping skills to deal with the trauma and injustice that are often a part of their young lives and at the same time, bolsters self-esteem and self-confidence.

What resources does your project need? (check all that apply)

Money (financial capital)

Volunteers/staff (human capital)

Publicity/awareness (social capital)

Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)

Education/training

Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)

Community outreach

Network/relationship support

Quality improvement research

Discussion
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Award topvotedidea 5a5ae14e3d56a10363ea2a398cece46cf4df891213cbe68677c19d8903a1932a
$100,000
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Submission Began
Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Submission Ended
Thursday, July 31, 2014
at 07:00 PM UTC

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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Voting Ended
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
at 07:00 PM UTC

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Winner Announced
Tuesday, September 30, 2014