help Improve College-Readiness in the Bay Area

Inspire a child to attend college and help them succeed once they get there.


Help Bay Area Students Gain Critical, Core Skills For College and Life with College Readiness Academic Mentoring.

College Readiness Academic Mentoring

Everything Begins With Readiness

Inspire a child to attend college and help them succeed once they get there. College readiness academic mentoring will help.

The process of successfully applying to and enrolling at college does not begin in the fall of a student’s senior year of high school.

Students and families must begin learning about its various bits and pieces, including the opportunities it provides, the application and recruitment process, and financial aid, as early on as possible, ideally before the child is even born!

For short, College Readiness Academic Mentoring, or CRAM, strives to provide the required information for young students and parents to prepare them for the college journey.

What is “college readiness”?

It is the set of skills, knowledge, and behaviors a high school student should have upon graduating high school and ahead of their freshman year of college.

Traditionally, it has been determined by a student’s coursework, class rank and GPA, and standardized test scores.

The essential skills are essay writing, scientific methods, mathematical formulas, critical thinking, problem-solving, time management, and communication. At the same time, knowledge involves the Common Core subjects: math, language arts, science, and foreign language.

Finally, behaviors are habits that are mature, self-motivating, efficient, and effective. This is a program for students of all backgrounds to reach higher education in mind.

Most of the students aided through college readiness academic mentoring this program are first-generation college students, and many come from disadvantaged backgrounds, particularly financially disadvantaged circumstances.

We partner with San Jose State University, the Evergreen/San Jose Community College District, the San Jose Public Library System, and other community allies such as local middle and high schools to provide this program.

Professional counselors and BATA staff educate families through interactive workshops on what they need to be successful:

  • Short-term and long-term goal setting
  • Different careers available
  • What colleges are looking for
  • How to find the right college
  • How to afford college
  • Many other essential topics.

Students are educated on college applications AND on the college experience.

Students also participate in various projects like:

  • Creating timelines to chart their journey to college
  • Plotting their prospective class schedules from the information they learned
  • Other projects so that when the time comes, they know exactly how to achieve their goals.
  • Inspire and provide confidence to a student to attend and succeed at college.

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If We Could Only Hear All of Their Dreams

In the last two decades of the twentieth century, high schools saw a significant transition. Likewise, the aspirations of students for postsecondary education have shifted because of some improvements in economic realities. As a result, college readiness academic mentoring has become more critical than ever before.

In the past two decades, the number tenth graders who said they wanted to get a bachelor’s degree has more than doubled.

The rise in aspirations was seen across racial and ethnic groups, with low-income kids seeing the most growth. Not unexpectedly, the percentage of high school graduates who enroll in college right away is increasing across all racial and cultural groups.

The percentage of high school graduates who enrolled in college in the fall by family income, race, and ethnicity have increased slowly. Despite significant racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities, all groups have witnessed dramatic gains in college attendance following graduation. In recent years, four-year colleges have seen more growth than two-year colleges. However, rising college enrollment has not translated into significant gains in the percentage of African American and Latino students earning four-year degrees.

In the end, eliminating the aspirational achievement gap necessitates more than simply raising the number of students who enroll in college. It will eventually require increasing students’ chances of completing degrees, necessitating rising college completion rates among those who enroll.

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What Does “College-Ready” Truly Mean?

This new focus on college preparedness necessitates a grasp of what it means to be “college-ready” and where high school students now stand on that scale. To answer these issues, we must be clearer about which sets of knowledge and abilities impact college access and performance and how to quantify those skills best.

Content knowledge and basic skills, core academic skills, non-cognitive skills, performance standards, and “college knowledge” are four significant elements contributing to college readiness. The first two types of abilities are widely regarded as essential components of high school education. As a result, they are regularly employed in descriptions of what it means to be college-ready. Content knowledge and basic abilities are essential for understanding academic disciplines and are typically subject-specific, such as recognizing distinct literary methods in the field of English.

Analytic thinking and writing are examples of core academic talents that are not subject-specific. These core academic talents allow students to work in a variety of fields. Admittedly, it can sometimes be challenging to tell the difference between essential academic skills and content knowledge. Many English standards involve crucial academic skills that are also not unique to English, such as analytic thinking, oral communication, research, and writing.

This distinction is critical because high school classes like algebra can teach topics like factoring equations rather than introducing more profound uses of problem-solving, which can help develop deeper knowledge and a better grasp of logic and analytical thinking skills.

Colleges place great importance on core academic skills, which students and college professors frequently recognize as high school’s weakest preparation areas. As a result, the most significant variation in skill needs between college and high school classes are in these essential academic skills, especially the amount and type of writing and reading required and the emphasis on thinking and analytic skills.

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The Complexity of Country-Wide College-Readiness Assessment Strategies

Students must have high levels of core academic skills, non-cognitive skills, and content knowledge to gain access to and succeed in college—skills that colleges traditionally assess by looking at students’ high school coursework, achievement exam results, class ranks, and GPAs. In addition, colleges look at students’ coursework to see if they’ve been exposed to knowledge that would help them succeed in initial college courses.

They generally use accomplishment assessments to assess students’ cognitive ability, basic skills, content understanding, and core academic abilities. In addition, course grades are used to determine if students have mastered class materials and have gained core academic skills and content understanding.

Non-cognitive skills, the third element of college preparedness, are similarly assessed through grades, emphasizing whether students have shown the study skills and work effort required to meet the rigors of a college setting.

As a result, colleges frequently employ a variety of markers to measure college preparation. State and district policy measures, on the other hand, have mainly concentrated on two of these indicators: coursework and test results over the last decade. To begin, several states and districts have increased high school graduation requirements, increased access to college preparatory curriculum such as Advanced Placement (AP), and linked state curricular standards with college expectations. Students are considered college-ready by some academics and policymakers if they can meet the minimum requirements for a four-year program, on top of complying with acceptance criteria.

This means they have completed the required courses and exhibited fundamental competency skills. Another way to determine college readiness is through student achievement on high school exit exams. Today, such exams are administered in twenty-two states, encompassing 65% of the country’s students.

However, high school exit exams are rarely used to determine college preparation. Instead, they establish minimum graduation requirements. Moreover, because children may require numerous attempts to pass the exit exams, most states require kids to begin taking them in tenth grade. As a result, exam criteria are often matched with tenth-grade standards rather than twelfth-year standards, covering only 10th-grade materials.

Help Bay Area Students Gain Critical, Core Skills For College and Life with College Readiness Academic Mentoring – Donate Today


Help Bay Area Students Gain Critical, Core Skills For College and Life with College Readiness Academic Mentoring.