When you’re in your junior and senior high school years, preparing for college can be quite stressful and downright confusing. The Texas Tech Today blog covers a Texas Tech-funded program to help high school students prepare for college:
A culture change at Lubbock’s Estacado High School may find more of its graduates showing up on college campuses, thanks to a service grant project conducted by Texas Tech’s College of Education.
The federally funded $99,000 College Access Challenge Grant (CACG) was awarded by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in 2008 to help change the college-going culture at Estacado High School.
With this program, more and more students will be given the chance to aim for a college education and improve their chances when out in the real world.
Texas Tech Today goes on to explain what the objectives of the project are:
The main focus of the grant was to educate students at Estacado High School (EHS) on what it means to go to college and what processes are involved, as well as how to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), Jones said. Numerous day and evening college knowledge sessions were held during the past two years for students and parents, to help inform them of the processes involved in going to college.
It would be nice if this became a nation-wide program, with colleges and universities around the country working closely with high school institutions.
Proof of success
The program looks to be having a significant impact on students so far, as Texas Tech Today discusses:
We continue to nurture the culture at Estacado, as it has the most under-resourced student populations. When speaking with counselors and students at this high school, they have seen a change in the culture to one that is more focused on going to college, Jones said. We believe that we have made significant impact in providing students opportunities to learn about the benefits and processes involved in going to college after high school. Many of the students were not knowledgeable of the college-going process, which can be overwhelming.
Perhaps the biggest difficulty of making this program a nation-wide effort is how to standardize the program. It seems that the people behind this Texas Tech-Estacado program are truly passionate about what they are doing, and that passion is a driving force behind their success.
Programs such as these are a testament to the importance of a secondary education, just as the Gates Foundation explains:
That leaves only one path out of poverty: a college education and college application essay. A postsecondary credential is the best bridge between poor students and good jobs. Unless we dramatically increase the number of students who earn a postsecondary degree, it will be difficult for students from all backgrounds to get jobs and attain middle-class lifestyles.
It is hoped that more and more universities adopt a program similar to what the TTU has just done and that more organizations should be able to help financially challenged students to achieve higher education.