Friday, May 22, 2020

Feel Good Friday - College Track

Last week's Feel Good Friday blog focused on high school graduation. This week, we take the College Track.

Founded in 1997, College Track "is a unique, comprehensive 10-year college completion program that empowers students from underserved communities to graduate from college". They started with a group of 27 students in East Palo Alto, California and now have over 3,000 students around the country on the path to college graduation and beyond.

The mission of College Track is "to remove the academic, financial, and social-emotional barriers that prevent low-income and first-generation students from earning their college degree." They start working with students in 9th grade and stay with them through high school, college and post-graduation.

During their high school years, students attend one of the 12 College Track centers and participate in programs focused on academic affairs such as tutoring and SAT prep, student life engagement in service projects and wellness programs, and college completion where they are advised on filling out college applications and applying for financial aid.

While in college, students work with an advisor on academic and financial issues, and on building social-emotional skills. Students also participate in corporate residency programs, mentorships and internships. Post-graduation, College Track helps connect students with the resources they need to further their careers.

So, does it work? Yes! 79% of students are employed within 6 months of graduation and 95% have a job with employer-provided benefits. 75% borrow less than $30,000 in loans and the median salary for graduates age 25-34 is $62,500.

If you know a student who would benefit from this program, have them apply at this link. If you'd like to support all the students in College Track you can volunteer, donate, and spread the word on social media by liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter @collegetrack.

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