learn / 2015

College Access Initiative

College Access Initiative

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by Boys & Girls Clubs of Carson

We will expand and enhance our College Access Initiative in Carson and South Los Angeles. Students (6th to 12th grade) will receive a wide range of college access services and career prep and exposure activities through our comprehensive, high-quality, outcome driven program designed to keep middle school and high school students on the path towards their college and career goals.


In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • South LA
  • South Bay
  • LAUSD

How do you plan to use these resources to make change?

  • Expand a pilot or a program

How will your proposal improve the following “Learn” metrics?

  • District-wide graduation rates
  • HS student proficiency in English & Language Arts and Math
  • Academic Performance Index* scores
  • Students perceived sense of safety at and on the way to school (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the best place to learn.

The COLLEGE ACCESS INITIATIVE will make LA the best place to learn by improving the academic outcomes of youth. We will improve grades, increase high school graduation rates and the pursuit of post-secondary education and ensure youth are college and career ready after high school. The Initiative will expand and enhance our College Access Programs in three schools in Carson and four schools in South Los Angeles.

We will provide age and grade appropriate college pathway services at 4 middle schools through our AIM (ACHIEVEMENT IN MIDDLE SCHOOL) FOR COLLEGE component. AIM provides activities to help middle school students begin developing their college and career path. ACADEMIC CASE MANAGEMENT focuses on academic course work, study habits, preparing for high school and an introduction to college. WORKSHOPS introduce youth to college, the college pathway and what they need to begin doing now to achieve their academic goals. Youth build life skills that will help them succeed academically (study skills, time management, note taking etc.) and in their careers (mock interviews, professional etiquette and networking). AIM transition activities at our elementary school sites prepare incoming 6th grade students and parents for middle school.

Through COLLEGE BOUND, we provide academic support, academic case management and college pathway services to high school youth. ACADEMIC SUPPORT includes tutoring, homework help and writing workshops. Students receive a vast array of COLLEGE PATHWAY PROGRAMMING from SAT, ACT, and CAHSEE prep, to assistance in preparing college, scholarship, and financial aid applications. ACADEMIC CASE MANAGEMENT focuses on preparing for high school graduation, post-secondary options and preparing for success after high school. COLLEGE EXPOSURE activities include college visits, conferences and guest speakers; inspiring youth to pursue post-secondary education. WORKSHOPS cover a vast range of topics from choosing the write college to financial aid. Targeted workshops for 12th grade youth cover topics that help to develop life skills, prepare for success in the workforce and build skills to make appropriate educational and career choices.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Carson’s College Access Initiative will provide at-risk, underserved youth with the tools, support and resources to develop the skills and confidence they need to reach their goals and achieve their full potential.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.

We are committed to continuous quality improvement and regularly measure the effectiveness of our programs and their impact on youth. Director of Operations, Veronica Jimenez, is a leader in evaluation within the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and was named 2015 National Professional of the Year. Our evaluation process collects data on: 1) Number of youth served; 2) Participation rates; 3) Grades; 4) Grade progression; 5) High school graduation rates and 6) Improvement in competencies and skills. Registration forms document enrollment numbers. Sign-in sheets and rosters record participation. Case management files track academic progress. Our data sharing partnership with LAUSD enables us to receive transcripts and report cards. Parents/guardians sign consent forms allowing schools to release their child’s information to us to track academic outcomes. Pre-/Post-tests measure changes in skills and knowledge.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money (financial capital)
  • Volunteers/staff (human capital)
  • Publicity/awareness (social capital)
  • Education/training
  • Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)
  • Community outreach
  • Network/relationship support