About Our Program
There are three levels of how Road to College supports our scholars and families in grades six through sixteen. We prepare students to go to college, help them pursue the right fit college, and support them as they persist at college in order to graduate. We believe every scholar must hit all three levels in order to successfully complete college within six years. Within each level are goals that have to be hit in order to achieve success. These goals are used to guide our RTC counseling teams as they work with our alumni, scholars, and families.
Goal 1: Early college exposure: Our goal is to ensure that our scholars are exposed to several different types of colleges before they begin their college admissions process the second semester of their junior year. We accomplish this by ensuring that 100% of our 6th, 9th, and 11th graders participate on college visits. Additionally we help our juniors and seniors apply to specialized college overnight visitation programs such as our fall Texas Tech trip, summer Grisham Fellows Program, junior Aspiring Senior Ambassador Program, UTA’s Camp College program, and other fly-in programs sponsored by top colleges/universities from around the country. These college trips provide unique opportunities for students to experience college life and to explore the different college options that will ultimately help them select their best fit college.
Goal 2: College readiness: Our goal is to holistically prepare our scholars for college through lessons learned in and out of the classroom. We guide our scholars to apply to enrichment activities such as the Mayor’s Intern Fellows Program, UT Southwestern STARS Internship Program, Discovery Corps Program at the Perot Museum, UT Arlington Engineering / Math Camps, National Hispanic Institute, etc. These enrichment activities provide our scholars with the opportunity to explore different career paths and gain valuable professional skills. We have also expanded our regular academic curriculum by offering specialized Road to College courses that combine the International Baccalaureate (IB) Learner Profile, Approaches to Learning, College Readiness Standards and Conley’s College Readiness Model.
Goal 1: College acceptance goal: Our goal is to match each scholar with their best fit college to ensure the greatest chance for college persistence and graduation. We measure fit as a combination of academic, financial, and social factors. A school is academically fit for a scholar when the scholar can meet the demands of the school’s academic rigor without remediation and the school offers programs that match the scholar’s interest. Financial fit is determined by financial affordability. Extracurricular activities, comfort within the school’s community, and sufficient student support services determine social fit. We recommend that scholars apply to a minimum of 1 safety school, 2 target schools and 2 reach schools in order to maximize their college options.
Goal 2: Financial aid goal: Our goal is to ensure that scholars with high financial need are able to receive enough funding to attend their best fit college without taking a significant amount of loans outside of federal subsidized and unsubsidized loans. We aim for every scholar who is eligible for free/reduced lunch to have over 60% of their tuition, room, and board covered by scholarships and grants. Our Road to College counseling teams provide individualized support to every scholar and their families through the financial aid and scholarship process.
Goal 1: College persistence: Our goal is to ensure that scholars successfully matriculate and remain enrolled in college and are on track to graduate. We aim to provide our alumni with the tools, knowledge, and support system needed to successfully navigate college. We accomplish this through individualized guidance and counseling, campus and network wide programming, and peer support networks for our alumni. Additionally, we motivate our alumni to stay in college through peer engagement facilitated by our Uplift Alumni Coordinators and Ambassadors, career exposure through our Alumni Bridge workshops, and opportunities that highlight them as role models to younger Uplift scholars through various Uplift campus and network programs.
Goal 2: College graduation: Our ultimate goal is to ensure that Uplift alumni graduate from college within 6 years. We believe that this goal can be accomplished only through successful implementation of the aforementioned goals. We are also working on strategic initiatives to keep our alumni enrolled full time through partnerships with colleges that provide additional monitoring, student support services and academic advising targeted for Uplift alumni.