Where to Go for More: on How Essential Schools Prepare Students for Higher Education Achieve
Sponsor of the periodic National Education Summits, Achieve is a bipartisan national organization that works at the state level to identify standards for successful education reform. With 22 states, Achieve leads the American Diploma Project Network which identifies and advocates for benchmarks, assessments, and data systems for successful transitions from high school to postsecondary education. Reports such as “Closing the Expectations Gap 2006: An Annual 50-State Progress Report on the Alignment of High School Policies with the Demands of College and Work,” available on Achieve’s web site, help schools and support organizations evaluate their efforts and contexts from a national perspective.
1775 Eye Street NW, Suite 410
Washington, DC 20006
www.achieve.org Black Excel: The College Help Network
Black Excel aims to increase access to college for African-American students with a cascade of resources on scholarships, overviews of and tips for succeeding in the college admissions process, guides to Historically Black Colleges (HBCs), advice on getting into medical and law school, and for-fee personalized help packages for individuals and groups. Black Excel also provides current lists of HBC tours and college fairs. Black Excel says that it’s “the optimal site for all cultures,” and its deep and detailed information provides a powerful view into the world of higher education from a Black perspective that is useful to all college-going students and their advisors.
244 Fifth Avenue PMB H281
New York, NY 10001-7604
www.blackexcel.org College Results Online
College Results Online, an Education Trust product, is a web-based tool that allows users to look at 4-year college and university graduation rates in multiple ways using data from the National Center for Education Statistics. Searches can be done using disaggregated ethnic, economic, and other demographic data, providing ways to see how successful (or unsuccessful) particular higher education institutions have been with various groups of students. Well designed and easy to use—it allows searches both by institution name, by similar institutions, and/or by student characteristics—College Results Online is a powerful way to gather more data about student experiences in higher education.
www.collegeresults.org Colleges that Change Lives
Colleges that Change Lives is both a book by education journalist Loren Pope (the second edition was issued by Penguin Books in 2000) and an accompanying website. Colleges that Change Lives are a group of 40 four-year colleges, 39 private, one public, that in Pope’s estimation emphasize collaborative learning, are values-driven, provide community and connection through the college experience and beyond, value learning in and out of the classroom, and are student-centered—particularly undergraduate-centered. The Colleges that Change Lives clearly have the potential to be good fits for students coming from Essential schools. The web site provides profiles, resources for financial aid, scholarships, college admission and college persistence, and information about nationwide free-of-charge Colleges that Change Lives events.
email: Virginia Buege, CTCL Project Director
Though teachers, advisors and counselors working with college-bound students likely already know about and use FastWeb, a comprehensive internet-based scholarship search service, any list of resources aimed at increasing college access for all students would be empty without it. FastWeb provides information about a wide range of scholarship types including institution-based aid from more than 15,000 colleges and universities. Searches can be personalized and saved on the site and the service is free of charge.
444 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 3100 Chicago, IL 60611
phone: 1-800-FASTWEB (toll free)
www.fastweb.com Jobs for the Future
Jobs for the Future (JFF) aims to understand the barriers that keep people from participating fully in the economy, to determine what works, and to advocate for “policies that drive our nation’s educational and training systems to improve economic opportunity for those who need it most.” Much of its work and many of its resources focus on creating continuity between secondary and postsecondary education systems, showcasing dual enrollment and early college initiatives and other programs that increase high school graduation and promote post-high school success for low-income young people. JFF is a useful source of information and inspiration for schools and support organizations seeking to increase such success among their own students.
88 Broad Street Boston, MA 02110
www.jff.org National College Access Network
161 organizations in the National College Access Network (NCAN), located in 43 states, work to provide local college access programs in their communities. Local college access programs get students involved in the steps toward college in the elementary and middle grades, advise families, run college resource centers, provide mentors, peer tutors and career advisors, administer scholarships including “last dollar” grants to help with any financial gaps students may encounter, and support students enrolled in college. NCAN serves as a support center and information clearing house; it’s a useful first stop if you want to locate a local college access program. If you seek to start a college access program, NCAN’s Building Blocks section guides you through the process; the direct URL for Building Blocks is www.collegeaccess.org/NCANBB.
1422 Euclid Ave., Suite 1548
Cleveland, OH 44115 USA
phone: 216/241-6122 or 1-866-941-6122 (toll free)
NCAN also has an office in Washington, DC; see its website for more information.
www.collegeaccess.org/NCAN Pathways to College Network
Launched in 2000, the Pathways to College Network is a partnership of over three dozen big-name organizations committed to improving preparation for and access to college among underserved students. The Pathways to College Network serves as an excellent, up-to-the-minute information clearinghouse for most data, reports and analyses that demonstrate the challenges and possible solutions to all students entering and finishing college. Its College Readiness for All Toolbox is useful to teachers and advisors who serve as college counselors and want to learn more about the field; the direct link to the Toolbox is www.pathwaystocollege.net/collegereadiness/toolbox.
31 St. James Ave., 4th Floor
Boston, MA 02116
email: Karen Cheng, Project Director
www.pathwaystocollege.net Postsecondary Education Opportunity
Higher education policy analyst Tom Mortenson has created a website around his newsletter Opportunity, published since 1996, which focuses on ensuring postsecondary education opportunities for low income and all students. The site overflows with detailed information about the barriers to postsecondary educational success that many students face along with related data and policy recommendations. The site features posters that demonstrate in colorful, vivid detail the financial, social and other benefits of higher education attainment. Navigating Postsecondary Education Opportunity takes some time—the information is prolific and complex—but it’s time well spent if you are looking for data designed to persuade policymakers to create better conditions for good transitions from high school to college, or to make the point to students, families, and communities that higher education is crucial.
P.O. Box 415
Oskaloosa, IA 52577-0415
www.postsecondary.org/home/default.asp The Education Conservancy
Founded in 2004, The Education Conservancy (EC) is a consortium of colleges, high schools, and other organizations dedicated to taking hype and madness out of the college admissions process. EC aims to restore college admissions as a process of learning and growth, with an emphasis on “educational authority, equity, and access” and “educationally appropriate admissions practices.” EC’s values align closely with CES values, with an emphasis on the skills, thoughts, and attributes of individual students and the beliefs that “colleges can be assessed but not ranked. Students can be evaluated but not measured.” EC offers consulting, public speaking, advice, and resources to students through its website and through the book College Unranked: Ending the College Admissions Frenzy published by Harvard University Press.
805 SW Broadway, Suite 1600 Portland, OR 97205
email: Lloyd Thacker, Executive Director