College Summit was founded nearly 20 years ago by Yale alum J.B. Schramm in Washington DC. Working as a teen center director, Schramm saw how college transformed the lives of young people in the neighborhood, and how peer influence pushed some students off the college path while spurring other students to thrive. From a modest college immersion workshop program, College Summit has grown to serve more than 50,000 students in grades 9-12 annually in 180 partner high schools across 15 states and the District of Columbia by providing a comprehensive system for improving college-going and success rates.
In Connecticut, programming launched in 2008 and College Summit has since served 19,000 students enrolled at partner high schools serving predominantly low-income populations and striving for greater access to higher education. In each school we have helped improve college enrollment rates by building school-wide college-going culture. Our program is especially successful for young people who are college-capable but lack the knowledge, role models, and support systems that could help them achieve their college aspirations. Each capable young person who is empowered not only to dream of college, but to achieve those dreams, becomes an agent of change in their school, family, and community.
Today, College Summit is the country's largest high school-wide college access provider, contracted to serve 50,000 students at 180 schools in 15 states. Consistently, CS schools achieve significant college enrollment rate (CER) boosts over baseline- 12 -18% on average. Connecticut Regional Accomplishments
College Summit Connecticut has worked with each of the New Haven high schools to provide resources, tools, and a curriculum that promote a college-going culture, and we have succeeded in our mission. Since taking root in Connecticut in 2008, we have served more than 16,000 students in New Haven. Of the 187 New Haven Scholarships awarded in 2014, 41 (22%) were awarded to College Summit Peer Leaders.
College Summit's work centers around helping high schools create a culture where college is the expectation not the exception. We focus on low-income, minority, and oftentimes first generation college-goers. For these students completing college is a complete game-changer. On average they will enjoy an extra $1 million in life-time earnings, and their children will likely attend college, thus breaking the multi-generational cycle of poverty. Two unique features of our program is empowering students to be their own agents of change as well as utilizing the positive peer pressure of peer-to-peer mentoring because we believe the most influential person to a 17-year old is another 17-year old. With the right guidance for our programming at College Summit, students will be well on their way to changing the lives of those around them, not just their own life. We are the only organization with a comprehensive system for low-income high schools that: - Trains and mobilizes student peer leaders to spark a school-wide interest in college-enrollment. - Provides an in-school structure and curriculum for every senior to develop a post-secondary plan. - Builds college-going culture by serving students starting in 9th grade and continuing through 12th grade. - Delivers professional development and support for teachers and counselors. - Adheres to rigorous performance-based metrics. - Achieves consistent, verifiable results. - Uses data to manage, evaluate, and continually improve programming to drive success.
As a national organization with operations in 11 regions, College Summit has a rigorous process of selecting new sites based on ability to sustain programmatic operations via a combination of fee-for-service (FFS) and philanthropy. Since 2010, the Connecticut Region has achieved a solid financial base from FFS revenue and philanthropic support. As we enter our first year of partnership with Bulkeley High School in Hartford, we are leveraging the success we have achieved in other cities (New Haven) as an example of what multi-year partnerships can achieve.
In addition to the successful results of our school partners in New Haven, there have been structural changes that have helped strengthen the leadership and direction of this College Summit region. In April of 2013, Veronica DeLandro was appointed the Executive Director of the Connecticut Regional Office. During that same year Veronica formed the Connecticut Regional Advisory Board, charged with raising funds, offering strategic guidance, recruiting partners and allies, building the organization and board, and helping to raise the profile of the region. Board members include myself as Board Chair (Dean of Undergraduate Admissions at Yale University); Annie Abram, Psychoanalyst, Fairfield County; Kanicka Ingram-Mann, Director, Multicultural Recruitment, Quinnipiac University; Patricia Melton, Executive Director, New Haven Promise; Lori Charlton, Partner, Deloitte; Yamuna Menon, Director of Research and Policy, ConnCAN and John Papas, Senior Manager, Financial Accounting Foundation.
With leadership in place and an advisory board on hand, the Connecticut office is on its way to becoming one of the top performing College Summit regions.
The high schools within the New Haven Public school district implement the launch 9th – 11th grade curriculum within their advisory period. This allows for teachers to connect with a group of students outside of the realm of their subject matter. Through this connection faculty educate their students on post-secondary college and career planning.
College enrollment rates among our Peer Leaders (the students who attend a summer workshop) averages 80%. The nearly 100 Peer Leader trainees who attended a 2014 summer workshop at Yale University agreed or strongly agreed that they had accomplished the goals of the workshop, as seen in the sample student evaluation responses below: Evaluation Question: Agree/Strongly Agree *Prepared to be a peer leader in high school: 100% *Overall I think this workshop was good/excellent: 98% * Rap Sessions promoted their unique skills and accomplishments: 98% *Learned about colleges matching interests: 97% * Alumni helped me understand college and deal with challenges: 94%
6,000+ New Haven low-income youth have received our tools and services, to date. For the 2013-14 school year, 90% of 12th grade participants submitted at least one college application.
Throughout the 2014 -15 school year the College summit Connecticut
region has trained nearly 600 teachers to be both college savvy and college-positive
and equipped with curricula and state of the art tools to manage all of their
students post-secondary planning to guide nearly 6,000 students during the
2014-15 school year. We project similar
numbers during the 2015-16 school year.
Using our yearlong college
advising curriculum and online technology we have increased the effectiveness
of the 9th through 12th grade advisory periods helping to
lead more students to apply to and attend college. We will continue to support schools throughout
the 2015-16 school year.
“Having College Summit within our school provides students the opportunity to begin their post-secondary plan earlier rather than later.”
“The experience that I had at the College Summit Educator Training was one that afforded me the opportunity to understand resources provided to our school that will allow me to assist my students in their post-secondary education and career planning journey”
Born and raised in the Midwest, Veronica moved to Connecticut fifteen years ago to begin her career with ESPN. After working at ESPN for six years, her passion for helping students go to college led her to a career in the nonprofit arena. Veronica currently serves as the Executive Director for College Summit. As Executive Director, Veronica is responsible for the growth, sustainability, fundraising initiatives and program implementation for the Connecticut Region.
Aside from work, Veronica is very active in her community. She currently serves as the President of the Hartford Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and scholarship chair for the CT River Valley Hampton Alumni Chapter. She is long-time supporter and board member for the Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity Affiliate and the John E. Rogers African American Cultural Center in Hartford, CT. In 2007 Veronica was appointed by the former Governor M. Jodi Rell to represent Connecticut at the African American Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. In 2011 Veronica was selected to be a fellow in leadership development roundtable program at Fairfield University and in 2012 Veronica was selected by Connecticut Magazine as a “40 under 40” honoree.
Veronica earned her Bachelor’s degree with honors in Mass Media Arts with a concentration in Broadcast Journalism from Hampton University in Hampton, VA, and her Master’s in Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from the University of Connecticut.
Nearly 6,000 high school students in 13 New Haven high schools engage in post-secondary planning. School Partners for SY 2014 -15 in Connecticut:
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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When families, schools and communities take the view that children and youth are valued and respected assets to society, they necessarily support environments that nurture youth development. Children raised to embrace positive social values, to seek self-understanding, and to value their self-worth grow to become community-minded young adults with a sense of belonging and a belief in their resiliency. See how you can help our community's children grow into tomorrow's leaders.
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