CARA’s programs confront the gap in post-secondary guidance faced by first-generation to college students in New York City. They help transform the cultures of educational institutions by training a wide range of people within those communities to support all of their students to and through college, and by providing curricula to help young people build knowledge about college, strengthen navigational skills, and develop multicultural college-going identities.
CARA is serving over 60 school and community based organizations in NYC with their programs. In addition to providing resources and coaching to educators, CARA programs utilize the talent of the youth themselves, training them as peer to peer mentors for several of their programs.
CARA on ABC NY Viewpoint, Oct. 2015 - Video Segment
"These Students Have Been Accepted to College. Will They Show Up For Class in The Fall?" www.nyc.org (Up to 1/3 of graduating seniors who are already accepted into college and plan to enroll fail to do so in the fall. WOW! WHY?What are the obstacles, and what is in place to make sure that they get there? Read true student stories in the article linked above. The College Bridge Program, outlined below and mentioned in the article, addresses this issue.)
- College Inquiry
- Right to College
- College Bridge
- Strive For Success.
CARA works with schools and organizations to develop comprehensive, inquiry-driven college access programs. Working with teachers, counselors and administrators, we use organizational structures strategically to embed post-secondary exploration throughout students’ high school years. Through College Inquiry, CARA offers:
- Coaches for teachers
- A comprehensive curriculum for grades 6 - 12 with lesson plans
- Resources for school leaders including professional development for staff
- College office resources to support counseling of students in grades 11 and 12
A program that positions Youth Leaders in high school to engage with their peers in the college planning process. The 4 key ingredients to this approach are:
- Youth leaders are given a clearly define role with achievable goals.
- Youth to youth connection - time and space are devoted for this.
- Youth training and support via adult supervision.
- Compensation - Demonstration that this work is valuable. Student leaders are compensated via academic credit or payment.
Current college students are employed as "coaches" to current students in their Alumni High School. Coaches support high school students during their senior year and the summer before college as they navigate through applications, financial aid paperwork and multiple tasks during this critical time period.
This is a peer to peer model that helps students transition into college and persist through their first year. Second year college students are trained to work with first year students. The program works to ensure that first year students develop skills to:
- Integrate onto campus
- Access available support resources on campus
- Develop relationships on campus