learn / 2016

Camino to College: Paving the Way To and Through College for Urban Youth

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by Camino Nuevo Charter Academy

Camino Nuevo Charter Academy will expand upon Camino to College, our existing college access and alumni support program. The focus of the program is getting more students to and through college.


Please describe your project proposal.

Camino Nuevo Charter Academy, will expand upon our Camino Through College (CTC) program, which focuses on preparing students for success through exposure to different colleges and careers, skill-building, parent engagement, and support throughout the college-application process, enrollment and beyond.

Which of the learn metrics will your proposal impact?​

  • College completion
  • College matriculation rates

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

  • Central LA

Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to learn?

Camino Through College (CTC) will help make LA the best place to learn by helping more students get to and through college.

CNCA students reside in some of the most historically underserved areas of Central Los Angeles, including the communities of MacArthur Park, Pico-Union, Wilshire Corridor, and Echo Park – a region that holds the second densest neighborhood in the U.S., where the annual family income is among the lowest in the city. Latinos in California have lower rates of college matriculation directly from high school. In fact, approximately 41.3% of MacArthur Park’s population never graduated from high school.

CNCA is determined to reverse those statistics. Even though 99% of our students from the class of 2016 enrolled in a two or four-year college, we continue to build our CTC Program. We are working hard to provide our students and families the support they need to succeed in college and beyond, and to ensure that by 2022, 90% of our students are accepted into, 80% enroll in, and 60% complete college within six years of graduating from high school.

CTC focuses on preparing students for success through exposure to different colleges and careers, skill-building, parent engagement, and support throughout the college-application process, enrollment and beyond. All high school students participate in a class where they learn about college preparation, explore college and career options and prepare for entrance exams, applications, and financial aid opportunities. Students also participate in career exploration activities, like projects around career options, job shadowing, and a 50-hour internship.

While exposing students to college and career options, we provide parents with the information they will need to help their students get to and through college. A series of “College Knowledge” workshops are provided for families, which emphasize academic requirements for college acceptance, financial preparation, and the social-emotional aspects of sending a child away to college. A parent support group is also available to prepare families for this life transition.

As students begin to narrow down their college and career interests, college counselors help students identify which colleges will be best suited to their needs and desired field(s) of study. Students participate in college visits to public and private universities in California and nationally. Then, college counselors help students complete their college applications.

As students move toward graduation, enrollment and their first year in college, the program helps to remove financial barriers for the most disadvantaged students by providing college scholarships to 25% of the senior class through a CNCA scholarship fund. Additionally, we work to match mentors with students to help address barriers by providing personal and academic support and connecting students to resources on campus. Our staff provides individualized support to high-risk students.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

Camino Through College aims to provide our students and families the support they need to succeed in college and beyond, and to ensure that by 2022, 90% of our students are accepted into, 80% enroll in, and 60% complete college within six years of graduating from high school.

We will measure our success based on the following: -Number of college trips provided -Number of students who attended college trips -Number of students provided ACT/SAT Prep -Number of students enrolled in a 2 or 4 year college -Percent of students graduating from college -Percent of employers interested in providing internships to our students -Number of peer mentor matches

We will continue to survey students, internship employers, staff, and parents before, throughout and after going through our program. Additionally, we will gather feedback through our alumni focus groups and one-on-one conversations with program participants.

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

  • Money
  • Volunteers
  • Publicity/awareness
  • Education/training
  • Technical infrastructure (computers etc.)
  • Quality improvement research