Program Purpose and Description
For three summers the West Charlotte High School (WCHS) College and Leadership Academy has addressed the lack of college preparedness for low-income students. According to the report: “The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2013: Students From Low-Income Families” published by the ACT, over half of did not meet any of the four key ACT College Readiness benchmarks compared to 31% of all students. The study also shows that 96% of low-income students indicated they planned to attend college which is higher than the 86% of all students. The ACT College Readiness benchmarks specify the minimum scores students must earn to have a 75% chance of earning a grade of C or higher in a typical first year college course. Research suggests that students who meet the benchmarks are more likely than those who do meet the benchmarks to remain enrolled and earn a degree in college.
Our program continues to encourage collaboration and teamwork through peer-learning, small group, individualized instruction and guided practice from instructors. Students are taught through daily instruction how to enhance their critical thinking skills in the areas of reading, sentence completion, grammar, usage, pre-algebra, algebra, biology, chemistry, physics, history, and earth science in order to become more adequately prepared to take the SAT or ACT tests. Students are also introduced to the problem-solving, creativity, and critical-thinking skills needed for successful college living through campus tours and pre-matriculation programs held on college campuses. Family income and educational are strongly correlated so bringing more attention to improving the academic quality of college readiness instruction that low-income students receive will positively impact them and the future generations of their families. By increasing their chances of obtaining a college degree, they will have access to more career opportunities that generate higher incomes for themselves and their families.
The WCHS College and Leadership academy aligns with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools Strategic Plan 2018 Goal 1- Maximize academic achievement in a personalized 21st-century learning environment for every child to graduate college- and career-ready.
The program also aligns with the overall vision of our principal, Dr. Barnes-Jones, as well.
The project is designed to offer FREE college readiness instruction and preparation for
low-income students. The average cost of ACT/SAT prep programs is $24/hour. The WCHS College and Leadership Academy provides over 150 hours of instruction for student participants at no cost. The program also provides students access to college campuses which can sometimes be a challenge for low-income students who have transportation limitations. The program is held in the summer which offers low-income families access to educational resources to strengthen academic skills outside of the calendar school year and allows low-performing students additional practice to master academic content. It also provides a safe place that provides free meals and transportation for students during the summer months as many low-income neighborhoods have increased crime rates during that time of year.
Desired Program Outcomes
For three years now we have met the desired outcome of the project is a 100% college acceptance rate for WCHS College and Leadership participants and 100% of program
participants meet all four college readiness benchmarks in English, reading, math, and
science as outlined by the ACT. The projected enrollment of the program is 25 students who are in grades 9th-12th.
Mock ACT/SAT assessments will be given at the beginning and end of the summer sessions to determine student progress. These scores will be recorded in a spreadsheet and analyzed to determine where students need additional support. Students’ official ACT/SAT scores as well as college acceptance letters will be recorded on a spreadsheet to determine the success of the program. This year, our scholars will be enrolled in an online SAT preparatory course through Edgenuity, in which they will receive a high school credit for.
● Deveron Harper – Program Administrator
● Cassandra Martin – Program Academic Facilitator
● Albertia Burgess – Literacy/Writing/College Readiness
● Kia Andrews – Literacy/Writing/College Readiness
● Mariah Alexander – Math Specialist
● Chelsea Roberts – Match Specialist
● DeLes Green-Morris - World Language (Spanish)
● Theresa Walther - World Language (Spanish)