Quick Bites of APIE: College Readiness 2014-2015
- 62% of Central Texas high school students graduated college ready.
- 679 students were served in APIE’s College Readiness Program.
- 200 APIE students became fully college ready in math and English Language Arts (ELA).
- 180 APIE students became partially college ready in math or ELA.
- 35 freshman in APIE’s pilot program became college ready in ELA.
The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation is one of APIE’s longest-standing supporters. Since 2007, the foundation has awarded more than $1.2 million to ensure APIE can continue serving Austin ISD students in the classroom. APIE shares the foundation’s goals to “improve the lives of children living in urban poverty.” As we focus on College Readiness this month, we asked Virginia Potter, Program Officer at the foundation, to answer a few questions about education in Austin and planning for life after high school.
Why is the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation so passionate about supporting education programs in our community?
As the area grows by leaps and bounds, we’re seeing two very different Austins evolve: a thriving economy but many being left behind; more wealth, but also more poverty. The nonprofit sector is at the center of this tension, and we believe that supporting strong, impactful organizations in education is the key to economic prosperity and a thriving life for first-generation college students and their families.
What makes Austin a unique city in terms of education?
Austin is home to many institutions of higher education, including one two-year college system, two public four-year universities, and five private four-year universities. And, E3 Alliance’s data tells us that half of Central Texas high school graduates enrolled in higher education within the Central Texas region. That means that our students are staying close to home, aiming to positively impact their local communities.
Why does the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation encourage students to become college ready and seek higher education?
Students need to view higher education as preparing them to be successful in our ever-evolving world. The majority of jobs that will exist 15 to 20 years from now haven’t even been invented yet. The research demonstrates that attaining a post-secondary degree/credential, and specifically a bachelor’s degree, offers the best pathway to career and employment opportunities that help break the cycle of poverty for first generation college students.
What advice does the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation have for students considering college enrollment?
Start early! Understand the classes you need to take to be college ready and get connected with the teachers, counselors and advisors who can help you navigate the college application and financial aid processes. Also, try to connect with someone who is already in college. Current college students can share what their “student” experience has been like and offer tips to help you be better prepared.
APIE’s College Readiness Program prepares high school students to meet state standards for college readiness and guides seniors through the college application process. The program is supported by College Readiness (CR) Advocates who go through comprehensive training to advise and tutor students throughout the school year. Advocates have described their job as a “humbling and inspiring” experience.
Read below as returning CR Advocates share their insight:
“A lot of the students I have worked with in the past came to me with little or no self-confidence and little or no direction in regards to their post-secondary education. Witnessing those same students take initiative in their futures and push themselves outside of their comfort zones has been both humbling and inspiring.” – Samantha Kimmel, CR Advocate
“It’s really great to be around and help out through the difficult and intimidating process that is applying for college. When everyone starts getting in to schools or realizing their plans, it’s just really fulfilling!!” – Kynan Murtagh, CR Advocate
“The most rewarding thing is getting to see the development of a senior throughout the year. From the beginning, when college is just an option to the end of the year after receiving acceptance letters and making the big decision of where to go to college and in what city, etc.” – Yesenia Yanez, CR Advocate
APIE’s College Readiness program is underway at 10 Austin ISD high schools, providing academic support and college advising to students from the very beginning of the school year.
That’s not all. Classroom Coaching programs launch in less than 3 weeks, and volunteer opportunities are filling quickly! Every child needs a caring adult. That adult is you. What are you waiting for? Register today to become a Coach and affect positive change in students’ lives.
As part of the registration process this year, you will be invited to make an optional donation to help offset registration related costs and support our programs. You may choose to register without donating by clicking the link at the top of the registration page.
Thinking of becoming an APIE Donor? Now is the time! We have exclusive events planned just for our APIE Donor Family this fall.
Sept. 29 – Lunch & Learn Speaker Series with Dr. Meg Moore
Oct. 22 – Donor Celebration & Silent Auction
Oct. 28 – Lunch & Learn Speaker Series with Dr. Judy Jennings
APIE’s very first Lunch & Learn Speaker Series is a 3-part presentation led by influential Austin leaders and focuses on topics, including volunteerism and curriculum engagement. This is a great way to meet like-minded community members and get insider knowledge of current issues facing nonprofits while enjoying a delicious complimentary lunch. The first Lunch & Learn is Tuesday, September 29 from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. at Mitte Carriage House Downtown. APIE Board Member Dr. Meg Moore is presenting on Giving and Volunteerism. This event is free of charge for donors, but space is limited, so please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org before Tuesday, September 22.
Donors are also invited to our inaugural Donor Celebration and Silent Auction event on Tuesday, October 22 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Olive and June. This event is our way of showing gratitude to donors whose support makes our work possible. Enjoy delicious food while bidding on exciting auction items, including Austin Spurs tickets, Alamo Drafthouse certificates, and brewery tours. Know someone who should join the APIE Donor Family? Bring them along, too! Development staff will be on hand all evening to answer any questions or concerns. RSVP to email@example.com to reserve your spot.
The 2015-2016 school year is finally here. Help support our programs with your generous gift of $15, $25, or $35. Click here to donate.