College Preparatory Program
The penultimate step in our pipeline, HCZ’s College Preparatory Program provides comprehensive academic enrichment year-round to students across all of our high-school sites. Services include one-on-one tutoring, standardized test prep, and assistance with college essays and financial aid applications. Students also take trips to visit college campuses and participate in a host of extracurricular activities, including robotics, chess, fashion design, music and video production, creative writing, and much, much more. In building on our students’ passions, these activities also help them gain confidence, discover the rewards of commitment, and even get exposure to potential career paths.
At the heart of our College Prep programming is our unique Academic Case Management (ACM) approach. Through ACM, all middle-school, high-school, and college students are assigned a Student Advocate. Whereas guidance counselors in New York City public schools have an average caseload of 400 students, Student Advocates advise an average of 25 students, working closely with each and every one to create individualized action plans with concrete, targeted strategies to help advance both academic and personal development.
Like everything we do at HCZ, helping our students’ achieve college readiness is a team effort. In order to better foster and track their progress, Student Advocates collaborate with parents, teachers, tutors, social workers, and other stakeholders. It is also a multi-pronged effort. College readiness calls for a robust knowledge base in core subject areas, certainly. Yet it also calls for strong study habits and academic behaviors, as well as non-cognitive skills, such as curiosity, grit, persistence, and resourcefulness. Across sites and grades, we help students develop both the character traits and the soft skills they need to face the many challenges that college brings and achieve their long-term academic, professional, and personal goals.
Ultimately, our College Prep Program consists of far more than campus visits and case management. Throughout our pipeline, HCZ’s dedicated staff consistently aim to cultivate a college-going culture in which each and every child is empowered to aim high and is equipped with the resilience and tools to follow through.