With 70% of today’s jobs requiring a college degree, college readiness programs are popping up all over the country. The Charting for Success program at Communities in Schools of Lake County (East Chicago) is the local program that is working to keep East Chicago students competitive with those from other areas when it comes to college admissions and completion.
Communities in Schools of Lake County is a nonprofit organization that has been bringing after school programs to local students since 2002. However, the Charting for Success program just started in 2011.
This program helps to prepare East Chicago teens and their parents for the process of applying for and being successful in college. The program runs throughout the school year and includes 50 East Chicago students from grades 8 – 11.
Student acceptance into the program is based on a variety of factors. First, students must perform well academically in core study areas and be on track for college acceptance. Secondly, they must be referred or recommended by teachers or principals as individuals who would benefit most from the program. If a student who has not been academically successful wishes to join Charting for Success, he or she will be encouraged to first complete the Communities in Schools of Lake County Youth PLUS tutoring program to improve their grades. The goal of the program is to help East Chicago students who plan on attending college to be successful once they get there.
This goal is achieved through a variety of program offerings. Charting for Success not only provides academic support to students, but also college advising, career exploration, community service opportunities and the option to go on college visits.
Participation in the program does not require that students attend all Charting for Success events. They are given the opportunity to pick and choose which events they attend. However, the more events that students participate in, the more Charting for Success rewards they can earn. For example, students who attend 80% of Charting for Success events in one month will earn $25 in incentives. These incentives can include local gift cards or Charting for Success credits that can go toward the student’s cost of attendance on a trip. This system not only provides students with the opportunity to get some of their college visits paid for, but also teaches them responsibility that is a valuable tool in college. The more time and effort they put into something, the more they can get out of it.
To learn more about Charting for Success or other college-readiness programs available to East Chicago students, visit www.FoundationsEC.org.