New Report on Successful College Mentorship Program and Closing the Achievement Gap Released by Alliance College-Ready Public Schools

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The program presents a replicable, scalable model to improve college success among first generation college student and provides recommendations to high schools, districts, and colleges who serve those students.

Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, a non-profit network of high-performing public charter schools in the Los Angeles area, announced today the release of its report outlining the peer-to-peer program making a significant difference in the college completion rate of Alliance scholars: ALLIANCE MENTORSHIP PROGRAM (AMP): PAVING THE ROAD FROM COLLEGE ACCESS TO COLLEGE SUCCESS.

AMP matches Alliance mentors – usually students in their sophomore or junior year of college – with mentees, Alliance high school seniors matriculating to the same college. The mentors work with counselors and other Alliance staff to provide personalized, direct support for their peer mentees on issues ranging from financial aid paperwork to the emotional toll of being a first-generation college student.

“95% of Alliance scholars graduate from high school and attend college. We’ve always been proud of our scholars’ accomplishments, most of whom are first-generation college students from low-income communities,” said Dan Katzir, CEO of Alliance College-Ready Public Schools. “Once we noticed that our college-bound scholars were at times not showing-up for the first day of school, a phenomenon known as ‘summer melt’ or not persisting to sophomore year, we knew we needed to continue to support our scholars after high school.”

Now entering its sixth year, AMP is designed specifically to help move Alliance scholars beyond college access – merely getting into a degree-granting institution – and towards college success. Of Alliance alumni who attend a four-year university, 43% earn a bachelor’s degree. Up to 87% of Alliance mentees persisted to their sophomore years compared to 67% for Alliance alumni at the same university who are not part of AMP.

“Hopefully I get to mentor future students and make their transition to college easier, just like my mentor, Blanca, did for me,” said Jose Luis Herrera, Alliance Smidt Tech High School class of 2016, UCLA class of 2020.

On March 20th, Alliance hosted a legislative briefing in Sacramento for members and staff to learn about this program. Routinely named a Best Place to Work by US News & World Report, Alliance is committed to innovating and developing best practices that can be shared and scaled across the country.

“This report is written for teachers, counselors, leaders, and school districts, as well as for college admissions officers, first-generation program administrators, and education policymakers. I hope they will find it helpful and replicate our peer-to-peer program, offering more first-generation students the support they need to earn a bachelor’s degree,” added Katzir.

The full report can be seen at https://www.laalliance.org/CollegeSuccess/Alliance Mentorship Program_ Report_03_05_18.pdf.

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Joshua Goodman

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