11th Graders Get Boost on College Application Process!

College fairs, Parent University among strategies aimed at engaging parents and students around college planning and succeeding in school
As part of New Haven School Change and the district’s commitment to ensuring every student can go to college and succeed, New Haven Public Schools is embracing new strategies for getting students firmly on the path to college – early and with support from school, parents and the community.
On Wednesday, Assistant Superintendent of Schools Garth Harries, Supervisor of Guidance Lola Garcia-Blocker and New Haven Promise Executive Director Patricia Melton gathered at Hill Regional Career High School with students, college recruiters and Parent University workshop presenters to announce new efforts to engage parents on college-going and to give students an early boost in applying for college. Also speaking at the event were three 11th-graders from Career High School as well as Parent University workshop presenter Doreen Abubakar, of Believe in the College Dream and the National Council of Negro Women, and William Johnson, of Fairfield University, who is leading a forum at Parent University about what college admissions officers are looking for in applicants.
The new efforts include three major college fairs this week, including a regional College Fair at Career High School on April 4 and a parent-focused College Fair and college-planning workshops at Parent University New Haven on April 6 at Gateway Community College. In the schools, teachers and guidance counselors are working with New Haven Promise and College Summit to get students thinking about college, picking out colleges and applying for college earlier than ever before.
“School Change is about giving our students the ability and personal strength to achieve success not only in school, but also in college, career, and life,” said Assistant Superintendent Harries. “We are helping our students to make game plans for applying to college and creating check lists for completing their Promise application. We are also working through Parent University and other ways engage our parents as advocates for their kids pursuing college dreams.”
“During this Spring Semester, we are focused on getting our 11th-graders moving on the college application process,” said Dr. Garcia-Blocker. “Giving our students access to college readiness supports like SAT prep and coaching on writing college essays gives our students a boost when it comes in the application process. And for the first time, we are offering parent-focused College Fair at Parent University to give parents of students from kindergarten on up the tools and knowledge they need to help their kids succeed in college.”
As part of overall efforts to give students a head start on the college application process, all 11th graders participate in SAT School Day, which allows our students to take the SAT during a school day designated by the College Board.  This year, our 11th graders took the SAT – most for the first time – on February 27th, at no cost to the student. For the first time, the school district will offer free SAT prep summer sessions to rising seniors. Additionally, other initiatives for 11th graders include special coaching on how to write college essays and personal statements through the English department by their English teachers and access to college fairs inside New Haven high schools.
The following college fairs and Parent University sessions are offered this week:
College Fair at Career High School - Thursday, April 4
Regional College Fair at Hill Regional Career High School from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 4. This event is free and open to students from any high school in the region.
Parent University New Haven - Saturday, April 6
Parent University New Haven will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 6, at Gateway Community College, downtown New Haven. Parent University offers more than 45 free workshops and a fun, innovative learning experience for parents to share information and ideas to help their children succeed in school and in life. Free breakfast, lunch and child care for parents who register ahead. The College Fair component of Parent University will include panel discussions with college admissions officers and resources for parents of students of all ages. The goal is to provide New Haven Public School parents with valuable information in the areas of college planning, the college application process, and financial planning. Space is limited, so New Haven Public School parents should register soon at www.punh.org.
Parent University is made possible through partnerships with organizations, such as New Haven Promise, the United Way of Greater New Haven, Boost!, Gateway Community College, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and many others. New Haven Promise is a scholarship and support program created to promote college education as an aspiration for all New Haven Public School students; assist graduating students from NHPS to pursue education after high school; and enhance the growth, stability, and economic development of the City of New Haven.
Additionally, New Haven Public School will host a series of internal college fairs for 11th graders in the district during school hours on April 4-5. College recruiters from around New England will be here for two days to meet with students and answer questions. In order to provide the students with a truly meaningful and enriching experience with these college recruiters, the college fair is being moved around to six of our high schools (Wilbur Cross High School, James Hillhouse High School, Hill Regional Career High School, Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School, Metropolitan Business Academy, and New Haven Academy) over the course of two days.  The 11th graders in the smaller high schools will be bused to one of the participating high schools. The college fairs have been organized in partnership with the New England Counselors of Color Bridging Access to College (NECBAC).