On February 23 at its Western Regional Forum, the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center announced three regional winners of the 2013 CollegeKeys Compact Innovation Awards. Fourteen awards will be given out in total across the country. Initiatives in the categories of Getting Ready, Getting In and Getting Through were selected for their innovation and demonstrated efficacy in increasing the percentage of low-income students who get ready for, get into or get through college successfully. Each winning submission received an award of $5,000 to help expand or sustain the program.
Winning programs include:
- Getting Ready: College for Me (C4ME), Helix Charter High School, La Mesa, CA
- Getting In: Clarence T.C. Ching PUEO Program at Punahou School, Punahou School, Honolulu, HI
- Getting Through: College Access and Success, Bright Prospect, Pomona, CA
“Guided by the College Board’s principles of excellence and equity in education, the Advocacy & Policy Center works to ensure that students from all backgrounds have the opportunity to succeed in college and beyond,” said Christen Pollock, Vice President, College Board Advocacy & Policy Center. “The winning programs embody the mission we seek to fulfill, and we are proud to support them as we work towards a common goal.”
The CollegeKeys Compact was launched in October 2007 following a two-year review of independent research, policies and practices in academic preparation and planning, admission, financial aid, and retention. A report issued by the College Board found that too many college-qualified low- and moderate-income high school graduates do not enroll in a four-year college program because of a combination of poor preparation, low expectations and financial barriers. The goal of the CollegeKeys Compact is to see that students from low-income backgrounds are represented in and graduate from colleges and universities at the same rate as their more affluent peers.
The submissions were judged on the following criteria:
- Relevance: Alignment to the principles and priorities outlined in the CollegeKeys Compact.
- Innovation: New, creative and sustainable strategies for advancing the goals of the CollegeKeys Compact.
- Impact: Demonstration of meaningful progress toward stated goals of the initiative.
- Potential: Opportunity for replication and adaptation by other educators, institutions and policymakers.
The CollegeKeys Compact is driven by College Board members’ commitment to the belief that all underserved students have a right to an affordable, accessible and successful college experience. The Compact invites schools, colleges, nonprofit organizations and state education agencies to accept this call to action. The initiative proposes a number of possible activities, which include: creating partnerships to provide more mentors for young people; ensuring the availability of rigorous high school curricula; waiving the fees for college applications for these target students; educating administrators, counselors and teachers to understand the reality of financial aid needs; providing additional tutoring and supplemental instruction, as well as culturally relevant programming; and improving course alignment and acceptance agreements between two- and four-year institutions.