College and Career Readiness Initiative
District State: Pennsylvania
District Website: http://www.edline.net/pages/ChichesterCSD
The Chichester School District’s college acceptance rate increased 19 percent after administrators launched an initiative designed to steer economically disadvantaged students toward higher ed.
In 2010, many students in the district along the I-95 corridor did not consider college or trade school a possibility. The first step in the College/Career Ready Climate program was creating a freshman seminar class that helped students identify their interests and set career goals. Parents were then invited to join their children at college-career conferences led by school counselors.
In high school, all students receive laptops and have access to more rigorous courses. And the district now covers the costs of PSATs and SATs, which are offered during school hours. Students can also earn college credits through dual-enrollment courses offered through a local university.
To surround students with the higher education mindset, teachers hang college banners on their doors and students are encouraged to wear college T-shirts on Fridays. Students can also take field trips to local colleges.
In 2015, 76 percent of Chichester’s students were accepted to a two- or four-year university, compared to 57 percent in 2010.