Unit 1: Building Relationships to ensure that the program will be supported.

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Part 1: Locating College Partners and Creating Relationships



Having a college partner is not mandatory for a successful program. That being said, a college partner can be an integral part of creating a program aimed at inspiring students to attend college and preparing them for the process. College partners can prepare field trips, train college students to mentor your students, develop programs on campus and to come to your school. They have access to an amazing variety of on-campus resources that will make your program exponentially more valuable to your students. Additionally, many colleges have departments that focus solely on outreach and these types of departments could do the majority of the work required for a program like this to be successful.

Objectives and Prerequisites:

In a variety of settings, teachers will demonstrate the ability to locate, analyze and connect with local colleges by researching them, determining their offerings. contacting them and creating an agreement that the teacher will collaborate with the college to implement a college aspirations program using email or telephone.

Task prerequisites:

- Ability to locate local colleges.

- Ability to contact with appropriate staff and faculty.

- Ability to articulate goals of the program with college partners.

- Previous relationships with college faculty, staff and students (s)


1. Identify local colleges. You can use this site http://nces.ed.gov/ to help you identify all the local colleges in your area. It is likely that there are far more than you'd expect. For example: there are 43 colleges within 50 miles of ithaca. To do this, enter your Zip code and select a distance, I suggest selecting the 30 or 50 mile radius options. This site will allow you to identify all different types of colleges including community, public, private and vocational. Do not enter your city name, as this will limit you search results, only use the zip code and preferred distance.

2. Consider the various colleges listed and determine the one(s) that would be most beneficial for your students to engage with. It could be advantageous to partner with a number of different schools as they each have unique opportunities and having a variety of schools will show students how ubiquitous the options and opportunities are.

Considering the following when deciding which schools to connect to:

a. Community Colleges - Typically these are two-year, public institutions with open enrollment, all you need is a GED to attend. Community colleges often cost thousands of dollars less than private and even public four year colleges. This can be a good option for students who students who need to save money, intend on earning a two year degree or who need to get their grades up so that they can attend the college they really want to attend.

b. Vocational Schools - These schools teach specific trades or jobs, including, but not limited to; electronics, contracting, nursing, cosmetology, message therapy and culinary arts. These schools are a great choice for students who are looking to get into the specific career that the school offers. Vocational schools may be public or private and are often two year schools, but this is not always the case.

c. Public Universities - These four year colleges are partially funded by state education agencies. These schools range from very small liberal arts colleges to large, prestigious research universities. Often there are public universities located relatively close to most towns and cities.

d. Private Universities -In terms of educational options, these schools are often very similar to public universities. At the top end, they are often more academically prestigious. While the sticker price or these schools is much higher than that of their public counterparts, many of these schools offer substantial financial aid packages which can make them equally or even more affordable for certain students.

3. After schools have been selected, the next step involves reaching out. While it may seem daunting to try to figure out who to contact, the best bet is to contact the schools department of education, civic engagement center, service fraternities, work-study program or the dean of student activities. These offices will, at the very least, help you find the appropriate contact to help you create the connection you need. Ideally, a staff member to monitor the student works would be ideal, but is not absolutely necessary.

4. An agreement should be drafted that outlines the specific roles of the college students and university, depending on the specifics of the program created.

Part 2: Building a Team of Co-workers



Having a team of co-workers to collaborate with is critical to the success of a program like this. Having a good working group is more important if you don't have a college partner to shoulder the brunt of the work for you. This group will allow you easier access to field trip, support in creating the program and they will also help you implement the program into their class time.

Objectives and Prerequisites:

In a school setting, teachers will demonstrate the ability to connect and work with same grade level teachers and administrators, teachers will meet regularly with this group and discuss program goals, outcomes, needs and roles.

Task prerequisites:

- Ability to communicate effectively and professionally with coworkers and administrators.

- Ability to schedule meetings.

- Ability to delegate jobs and determine next steps.


1. The first step to getting other teachers on board is to discuss the need of the program at the school, discuss what the role of each teacher would be and to determine the dates that would be the easiest to have all of the students gone on field trips.

2. Determine a set of district goals for the program and develop a way to insert those goals to fit the overarching goal of the program. An example of this could be integrating literacy into the program because your school has been cited as one in need of increasing the reading and writing levels. After determining local goals to add to the program, create an objective with require prerequisites and suggested activities to add to the overall goals of the lesson, an example is below.

Example goal - literacy:

Teachers will integrate literacy lesson plans into the program to meet local literacy standards skill into course. The is be demonstrated by giving the students the ability to preform appropriate writing tasks.

Task prerequisites:

- An understanding of the literacy standards.

- The ability to create literacy lessons that fit the program model.

- A complete knowledge of district literacy standards (s)

- A complete understanding of literacy teaching (s)

Suggested activities: Essay writing as both practice for writing a college essay and as an assessment of student understanding.

Part 3: Building Parent and Community Support



In many of the the areas where there are low levels of college attendance and graduation, there families where neither of the parents attended college. First generation college attendees have the lowest success rate out of any group. There are a number of reasons that they have this low success rate. One of those is their parents' ignorance to what needs to be done to get their child to the right school, to get the maximum amount of financial aid, what majors are available and what needs to be done to assure that their child is prepared for college. Including parents in the program you develop will help alleviate many of these problems and will allow them to help their children.

As for communities as a whole, they have a vested interest in how well the students do. Collaborations with local businesses and government agencies can provide opportunities for students to find out about different career paths, give parents incentives to attend college programing and provide you with assistance in developing a program that allows the student to be active in the community.

Objectives and Prerequisites:

In a community setting, teachers must be able to engage with parents and community members to create a mutual understanding about goals and possibilities for the students. Parents will work with teachers to push students towards college admittance. Task prerequisites:

- An understanding of community expectations of students.

- The ability to reach out to and connect with parents.

- A good relationship of trust with parents (s)


This part is extremely important as parents who did not attend college often do not know the process and that makes it exponentially more difficult for their children to navigate all that it takes to find, apply to and attend the right college. Additionally, this part is heavily dependent upon the town or city so this part is very general and will have to be customized to fit individual needs.

1. Keep parents informed about every aspect of the program. This can be done either by sending the information that the students are going to learn home to the parents to have them read through or talking about it to them individually during parent teacher conferences.

2. Ask for input and answer questions. Some parents are going to be worried that the teacher is either setting their child up for disappointment, because they can't afford college or that the teacher is pushing their student to attend a university or select a program that the parent is not happy about. Be sure to let the students know that all types of colleges and majors will be considered and that more information about the financial aid process will be discussed with their students. Some students may have parents who are connected to certain colleges and can help enhance the program by working with the school to provide lunch, guided field trips or activities that may not be available to people

3. Attempt to get parents involved with the program. This can be done in a number of ways.


-Invite parents to chaperone the field trips to colleges. Hold the field trips during a variety of times to give the parents the ability to attend, even if they have jobs that would normally keep them from participating.

-Hold activities during events that the parents would attend otherwise such as: award ceremonies, parent-teacher conferences or sports games.

-Offer services during college visits or activities. This is where a good connection with the university will come in. Many universities offer service-learning courses that their students participate in or have professors who are engaged in outreach. These professors could offer things such as doing free tax returns as long as the parents then used the tax return and attended a course on FAFSA or free car inspections at a vocational school as long as the parents take the tour with their students. While these services may seem unrealistic, I have seen such things offered for similar programs.

Links to College Departments

These departments all do significant outreach and would most likely be willing to collaborate in a way that would help you make your project into something that would help meet the needs of all your students. These are just a few quick examples but they also show a good range of what is available. You can most likely find something similar to one of these departments at the schools that are local to you.

http://www.psc.cornell.edu/ - Cornell University's Public Service Center

http://www.geneseo.edu/education - SUNY Geneseo's School of Education

http://www2.binghamton.edu/cce/ - SUNY Binghamton's Center for Civic Engagement

http://www.studentaffairs.columbia.edu/ocae/kennethcole Columbia's Civic Engagement Center

http://www.tc3.edu/student/student_activities.asp - Tompkins Cortland Community College's Student Activity Center which sponsors service and volunteer programs.


ETAP 623 Fall 2011 Homepage


Course Homepage

Needs Assessment for College Aspirations Course

Outcomes, Objectives and Sequencing of Unit

Unit 1: Building Relationships to ensure that the program will be supported.

Unit 2: Program Development

Unit 3: Evaluation and Progress