University of Michigan Report Finds that CFES Has Significant Impact Helping Low-income Student Get to College
ESSEX, N.Y., Nov. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A report prepared by the University of Michigan found that the core practices of College For Every Student (CFES)—Pathways to College, Mentoring, and Leadership through Service—were aligned with the academic curriculum of the New York City schools, resulting in improvements in students' economic, academic, and social knowledge for college.
CFES is a nonprofit organization that prepares underserved students—most of whom are low-income minority students who would be the first in their families to attend college—for academic success in college.
CFES "provides a compelling model for small urban schools to compete for students in a market-based system" which exists in New York City, said Dr. Edward P. St. John, a professor of higher education at the University of Michigan who authored the report.
St. John has written more than a dozen books addressing educational opportunity and access, including Refinancing the College Dream and Education and the Public Interest. The CFES study will be incorporated into St. John's newest book, College Prep: Transforming Urban High Schools, Overcoming Failed Public Policy.
According to St. John, "The core practices of CFES are very much part of the process of NYC public schools improving their college preparation curriculum and enhancing their ability to attract students who will then attend and flourish in college."
St. John and his doctoral students visited four schools:
- A. Philip Randolph Campus High School
- Collegiate Institute for Math & Science (CIMS)
- Pelham Preparatory Academy
- Richard R. Green High School of Teaching
Through numerous school visits and interviews with high school students, teachers, and principals, the University of Michigan team found that, among other positive outcomes, CFES programs offered:
1. Financial Aid Resources. Concerns about college costs are a major factor inhibiting early college aspirations for prospective first-generation students. CFES familiarized students with aid applications, encouraged students to seek out financial aid from prestigious schools, and taught students to evaluate financial aid packages.
2. Trustworthy Information. Students gain trustworthy information about colleges, college applications, and about themselves in relation to the potential challenges of colleges through CFES. The network of people emerging from the college partnerships facilitated by CFES—including graduates, other students, and college officials—became a trusted network of support and care so that "students can envision a life on campus."
3. Navigational Skills. CFES encourages students to develop navigational skills through a multi-dimensional mentoring process involving students as both mentors and mentees. The college networks gave students the mechanisms to align academic and college prep support. "This multi-layered approach built a strong culture, with care-giving as a core element of the school organizing strategy."
4. College Knowledge. Students acquire college knowledge—the personal knowledge and skills needed for navigation of college applications and degree attainment—through their high school experiences with CFES. "There was strong evidence that CFES at these schools enabled students to overcome economic, social, and academic barriers to college."
"Educating our underserved students is America's greatest challenge," said Rick Dalton, president and CEO of College for Every Student. "We are deeply committed to guiding low-income students on a successful path to college."
CFES is a nonprofit organization located in Essex, NY, that has helped more than 100,000 students get to and through college. For more information, please visit www.collegefes.org, or call 518-963-4500.
SOURCE College For Every Student