Students need three things to achieve postsecondary success: academic preparation, academic tenacity and college knowledge. However, most teachers are not equipped with the resources to teach college knowledge: the non-academic soft skills and knowledge needed to understand and pursue the options available after high school. As a result, students often move through middle school to high school not knowing the key steps needed for them to achieve their aspirations. Vital questions on the value of a GPA, ways to obtain financial aid, how to build a resume and types of high schools are neither addressed nor answered.
A student’s typical resource would be their guidance counselor in high school. However, at an average school in Texas, 1 counselor is responsible for 449 students. As a result, a student will only get 38 total minutes of college guidance during their academic career. Consequently, students do not acquire the knowledge and skills needed to purposefully navigate their futures.
The Solution: Education Opens Doors Foundations
Students need access to this information early enough to make informed decisions throughout their high school career and beyond. To meet this need, Education Opens Doors equips students, beginning in middle school, with college knowledge via the Education Opens Doors Foundations program (formerly the Roadmap to Success program). We provide schools with a comprehensive college and career program that raises self-expectations, increases confidence and builds skills in students who lack access to this critical information. By primarily partnering with school districts and other educational institutions, we are able to embed our curriculum directly into classrooms. That 38 minutes of guidance time over four years becomes 900 minutes in just one year. Our team trains and supports teachers who integrate these vital lessons into their academic curriculum. This, in turn, leads to systems-level change, cultivating a college-going culture in every school we serve.
The Foundations I program includes six units designed to introduce students to key college information and soft skills. Topics covered include GPA & class rank, types of high schools, resume and interviewing, reasons to attend college and financial aid.
The Foundations II program builds upon the skills students learned in the Foundations I program. Topics covered include growth mindset, internships and jobs, mock interviews, choosing a major, financial literacy and applying to college.