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Sat Feb 13, 2016, 05:13 AM

Getting Low-Income Kids Ready for College Means Skipping the Test Prep Status Quo


Besides lacking the resources for quality college preparation—Advanced Placement courses, up-to-date computer labs, or a fully staffed guidance office, for example—underserved schools typically don’t have systems that can help bring students up to speed in the classroom, he said.

“What the research is showing over and over is it’s going to take more than the status quo,” he said, noting that NCCEP has used federal grants to enact an initiative, called GEAR UP, designed to help low-income students get to college. “More than likely, it will take a pretty serious rethinking of how we go about doing our business. It will probably require some resources.”

That includes “nonacademic supports” to help students engage in planning their academic path from high school to college, including the classes they’ll need to take to qualify, as well as advice on college applications and financial aid.

“The end game is making sure they are motivated to go on to higher education and have the requisite academic foundation” for college, Chough said.

If this is done properly and in a timely fashion, he said, “you can see some pretty transformational outcomes.”

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