Aligned in every way with the school’s mission to graduate college-ready and civic-minded students, the importance of college readiness is understood very well at SASCS. In addition to high quality instruction and curriculum, programs during school, after school, and during the summer that have been already developed and practiced to make sure that every student has an opportunity to attend college. The school has a college-bound culture in all its school building and provides extensive and targeted curriculum aimed at college preparation. SASCS has 91% or higher college acceptance rate over five consecutive years, which is a culmination evidence of all our efforts and programs in creating and promoting a college going environment at SASCS. In addition, 92% of 2012 cohort enrolled in a college compared to 79% national average according to National Student Clearinghouse report. The same class had also 92% 1st year college retention rate, compared to 75% national average, which shows their preparedness to college. We envision that college-prep culture will not start and end in school, but rather become an entire lifestyle, including aspects such as homework and managing time wisely.
Board members who are college faculty members and leaders at higher education create several opportunities and collaborations at SASCS to provide exposure, guidance, and involvement between the SASCS students and staff and programs at local colleges. Involvement will range from field trips and college visits to inviting college staff members to participate at the school as keynote speakers, judges in academic competitions, and valued guests at special presentations and events.
Here are some specific examples of college related program titles implemented at each school of SASCS: (a) Elementary School: College visits, “college themed” classrooms, guest speakers from local universities, annual college week with various activities (b) Middle School: College visits, “college themed” classrooms, guest speakers from local universities (c) High School: College fairs, extensive college visits, summer residential college programs, after-school and Saturday SAT/ACT programs, guest speakers from local universities, college courses, programs at SUNY ESF and Syracuse University, and more.
One of the main issues for colleges is that a high percentage of entering students are not ready for college level math. SASCS takes this problem seriously, and seeks to ameliorate it by preparing our students for advanced math earlier so that these accelerated students will be able to take more AP and/or college level courses. Our target is also to send our students to colleges with SUNY college credits already earned. Several courses are offered through OCC, SUNY ESF, and new programs are under developments with other colleges. Our goal is to be able to send our students to college already having earned between 9 and 30 college credits.