YouthBuild programs are committed to the success of all students and work towards providing supports to ensure post secondary completion, career success and ongoing learning. Students' postsecondary plans are connected to their life and career goals.
Postsecondary readiness skills are provided to all students whether or not they have decided to attend college.
- Building partnerships with postsecondary institutions is an executive function.
- Program staff make a concerted effort to ensure college and job placement and success. The program creates a culture that promotes postsecondary enrollment and supports students in preparing for a range of options such as certification programs and
two-year and four-year colleges.
- A significant percentage of one or several staff members is dedicated to assisting students in preparing for college and careers, or staff may involve and supervise graduates, community members, and other volunteers to support postsecondary and
career preparation and success for all students as long as the overall responsibility sits with program staff.
- Students are inspired to take college seriously as an option for themselves. A program-wide college-preparatory component begins during intake and Mental Toughness. This component forms an integral part of the daily and weekly life of the program and
includes such activities as current college enrollees advising students, and in-depth and individualized assistance with the application and financial aid, scholarships, and loan processes and options. Sessions are provided, college visits are held, and
students are prepared for college placement tests.
- Programs create rituals and celebrations related to college-oriented activities. For example, they celebrate a student's acceptance into college or provide a healthy breakfast for students who are taking an entrance or placement test.
- Programs research, identify, and partner with organizations that provide resources for the entire postsecondary preparation, application, acceptance, and completion process. Programs help students assess the risks and benefits, pros and cons of
different kinds of postsecondary institutions and programs.
- Programs include -in addition to meeting the academic requirements-the completion of postsecondary and career-related portfolios and completion of service hours to earn AmeriCorps Education awards (where available) as part of students' graduation
- Programs also provide additional resources such as Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) and help students access appropriate grants, loans, and scholarships to maximize financial resources for graduates in postsecondary institutions. The terms and
use of all financial aid options are explained clearly to students and graduates.
- Leading up to college entrance, students learn credit-building skills, and create multi-year budgets that help them balance their income and expenses. Instruction includes an assessment of how many hours a week they need to work in order to meet
their tuition and living needs. Staff emphasize the benefits of grants over loans where available.
- The program builds institutional partnerships with postsecondary institutions. For example, staff build relationships with postsecondary education personnel including admissions and financial aid officers and student services personnel and faculty;
they develop co-teaching and faculty-sharing agreements and strong articulation agreements, or agree on joint representation on boards and advisory committees.
- The program creates college-readiness measures that all staff buy into. Examples of these measures are:
- All graduates read and write at at least a ninth-grade level.
- All graduates are able to do math at a high enough level to enter college.
- All graduates use technology; including e-mail, Web-based research, and Microsoft Word, Excel, and Power Point.
- Every student applies to a postsecondary institution and completes a financial aid application before graduation.
- Programs follow up with graduates who are not enrolled to remind them of their postsecondary options and to encourage them to enroll.
- The program provides each graduate access to community mentors who provide supports and guidance towards successful completion of a postsecondary credential.
- Graduates are encouraged to enroll in college as a group to provide ongoing academic and social support to each other.
- Programs support graduates who are in postsecondary education by providing space for graduates to complete their school work, offering regular tutorial support for postsecondary enrollees, and developing proactive systems for tracking and supporting
student progress towards completion of postsecondary credentials.