Struggling Students Have a Pathway to College

Christina A. Samuels, Chicago District Focusing on Pathways to College, Education Week (2008).

There are high school seniors without the academic foundation or understanding of the financial-aid application process that they need to enter and succeed in college. The Chicago School District, which has over 400,000 students, is trying to provide a path for struggling students to gain access to higher education. The district is focused not just on getting students to graduate from high school, but on changing the expectations for the students, and making the transition from high-school to college as “seamless” as possible. The district created a postsecondary department, which deploys secondary counselors into high-schools. They work with the students on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). There is also a focus on visiting the University of Chicago, where groups are taken there several times, such as on spring break. The work is assisting under-represented students and others with the barriers to college that they face. They are also trying to collect and look at data on the barriers students face in attaining higher education.

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