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3 Institutions from the Middle States Region Win CollegeKeys Innovation Award
Thursday, April 1, 2010
The Hispanic College Fund and Reach For College! in Washington, D.C., as well as Westchester Community College in New York, have been honored as regional winners of the first CollegeKeys Compact™ Innovation Awards.
The winners have initiated innovative, effective best practices that help low-income students get ready, get into and get through college. Each winner receives a $5,000 award to be used to expand or sustain its program.
College Board President Gaston Caperton said, “The College Board’s CollegeKeys Compact Innovation Award winners are to be congratulated for the difference they have made in the lives of students. Their innovative programs will serve as models so that others, by adopting these successful strategies, will be able to help more students successfully pursue a college education.”
Three exceptional initiatives — one each in the categories of Getting Ready, Getting In and Getting Through — received special recognition.
The Hispanic College Fund was honored in the Getting Ready category for its Hispanic Youth Institute, a program that targets rising sophomores and teaches them about the college application process while also addressing other issues, such as academic performance, self-esteem and an understanding of the significance of schooling to future success. The institute addresses these diverse needs through a collaborative effort with schools, businesses and nonprofit organizations. In the long term, the initiative aims to enhance college-going culture at the students’ high schools as well.
Reach for College! was awarded the prize for a Getting In innovation. It targets low-income high school students who will be the first in their families to go to and graduate from college. The Reach for College! goal is to promote equity in education by greatly increasing the number of low-income students who enroll and succeed in college. The program has created a getting-ready and getting-in curriculum for grades 9–12 that is provided to high schools. Teachers receive training in college readiness through Reach for College!, and the organization offers further support with on-site presentations, guest speakers and college tours.
In the Getting Through category, Westchester Community College took the prize for its work with students whose grade point averages fall below 2.0. Through a variety of outreach methods, the college works to retain academically at-risk students and help them succeed academically and personally.
The Innovation Awards celebrate some of America’s most powerful efforts to improve the academic success of students from low-income backgrounds. Many of the best practices can be replicated, adapted and expanded in other education settings to promote policies and practices that have far-reaching impact for low-income students who need help to get ready for, get into and get through college.
The following Middle States institutions are also commended by the College Board for effective initiatives within the regions:
* Delsea Regional High School, New Jersey
* Mercer County Community College, New Jersey
The CollegeKeys Compact was launched in October 2007 following a two-year review of independent research, policy and practices in academic preparation and planning, admission, financial aid, and retention. A report issued by the College Board found that nearly one-half of all low- and moderate-income high school graduates who are qualified to go to college do not enroll in a four-year college program because of a combination of poor preparation, low expectations and financial barriers. The goal of Compact participants is to see that students from low-income backgrounds are represented in, and graduate from, colleges and universities at the same rate as their more affluent peers.
For more information about joining the CollegeKeys Compact, or to learn more about the CollegeKeys Compact Innovation Awards, please visit www.collegeboard.com/collegekeys.