College Possible is launching three new pilot programs this fall to reach low-income students in foster care, in suburban or affluent communities, and across the state of Minnesota. College Possible–a national nonprofit dedicated to coaching promising low-income students to and through college–has achieved unmatched success in creating more graduates. The program, locally known as College Possible Twin Cities, is becoming College Possible Minnesota to reflect its growth across the state.
New Tech-Connected pilot program
The Tech-Connected pilot program, launching this fall, will serve 300 high school students across the state of Minnesota through video workshops, one-on-one phone check-ins with coaches, eNewsletters and other personal outreach. The program is open to students in greater Minnesota or the metro area who don’t have a College Possible coach at their school. College Possible is seeking high school partners, and student applications are being accepted through December 1 at JoinCollegePossible.org. Programming begins in January 2016.
The Fostering Graduates program
The Fostering Graduates program is creating a community among 20 new College Possible students in foster care. Students will receive College Possible’s comprehensive college coaching, and attend monthly sessions with fellow foster youth to engage in discussions about identity and success guided by specially trained program staff. The program will grow to serve 40 students next year.
In addition, a two-year pilot program is underway this fall serving 22 students at Edina High School, funded by the Edina School District and community. The pilot is exploring the unique challenges and needs of low-income students in suburban or affluent areas. These students can feel isolated and have access to fewer resources tailored to their needs. The pilot will also allow program staff to evaluate the individual components of College Possible’s high school program to determine the strongest drivers of student success.
College Possible is also expanding its traditional programming in the metro area, adding North High School in North St. Paul as a partner, and doubling its reach at Burnsville High School, Roseville Area High School and North Community High School in Minneapolis. In total the program is serving 2,300 high school students at 25 Twin Cities high schools, and 4,500 college students on campuses across the state and the country this year.
College Possible Minnesota Executive Director Sara Dziuk is eager to bring College Possible programming to students who previously couldn’t participate.
“We know 15,000 students on free or reduced lunch are graduating from Minnesota high schools each year, and we’re reaching just 2,000 of them through our traditional programming,” she said. “I’m thrilled to grow our reach and serve capable low-income students wherever they live. We must expand the opportunity for more students to enroll and succeed in college, especially students who may not have programs providing these services in their local community.”
“As we learn more about the unique needs and barriers low-income students face in suburban or affluent areas, greater Minnesota and in foster care, we’ll also use that knowledge to fine-tune our programming in other communities. In some communities we hope to maximize the number of students each coach can support to increase our impact in these schools,” said Magdalena Wells, Director of College Access at College Possible Minnesota.