Self-paced learning and individualized instruction in math will boost academic achievement scores
Saint Paul College was one of nine colleges and community-based organizations that received a College Ready grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation. A total of $311,643 will fund two full years of rigorous instruction in math for a cohort of 125 high school students who enter their junior year testing below but within striking distance of reaching college readiness standards.
"The lack of academic preparation among college freshmen is a persistent problem we are determined to address," says Richard D. George, Great Lakes’ President and Chief Executive Officer. "The goal of our new College Ready grant is to learn whether and how an additional year of support and instruction can move even more students closer to college readiness—before they arrive on campus. We’re eager to see the results that Saint Paul College and its students can achieve in the next two years."
Saint Paul College program, called College Within Reach, will provide five hours per week of academic instruction on three high school campuses in partnership with Saint Paul Public Schools. Starting in the junior year, the program helps more students to achieve college readiness benchmarks on the ACCUPLACER test by the time they graduate. ACCUPLACER is the assessment used to by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) to place students into math courses.
"With this College Ready grant, Saint Paul College strengthens a pathway to post-secondary education for high school students who would otherwise enter college unprepared," said President Rassoul Dastmozd. Students who complete this College Ready Program while attending high school will earn three credits of college-level math and will be better prepared to take on college-level math courses.
College Within Reach has a history of delivering results, with over 75 students progressing through the self-paced model and improving math competencies in 2014-2015. Reflecting on the experience, one participant said, “I enjoyed that I had both the computer and the teacher to help me improve.” Results from the 2014 cohort confirm this sentiment, with over 83% of participants improving in two or more areas on the ACCUPLACER in math.
Great Lakes’ first two-year College Ready grants, totaling $4.2 million, were awarded to nine colleges and community-based organizations in Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin through 2017. Their established programs will expand to help more than 800 high school students reach college readiness benchmarks on the ACT, ACCUPLACER or Compass tests. Doing so will help these students improve their math and English skills so they are prepared to pass the gateway classes needed to earn their degrees.
About Great Lakes: Dedicated to making college education a reality since 1967.
Knowing that education has the power to change lives for the better, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates was established as a nonprofit group focused on a single objective: helping students nationwide prepare for and succeed in postsecondary education and student loan repayment. As a leading student loan guarantor and servicer, Great Lakes has been selected by the U.S. Department of Education to provide assistance and repayment planning to nearly 9 million borrowers – as well as assistance to colleges and lenders nationwide. The group’s earnings support one of the largest and most respected education philanthropy programs in the country. Since 2006, Great Lakes has committed nearly $130 million in grant funding to promote higher education access and completion for students of color, low-income students, and first-generation students. For additional information, visit