Dixon Middle School recently hosted its first College Day, with Dixon's school halls becoming a...
Each year, approximately 1.3 million American students fail to graduate high school. To combat the issue, our high schools offer a specialized course for intervention known as Student Success Class. The class lives up to its name.
Student Success is hosted by a non-profit organization called Teens Act. Teens Act also offers a parent support program and after-school tutoring but uses the Student Success course as the primary tool to get kids to graduate.
There’s a lot that sets the Student Success Class apart from other intervention courses offered, which is neatly summed up on the Teens Act website:
“Our program is unique in that it focuses on students who are most at risk of dropping out, including those who have already dropped out of regular attendance, even from other support programs. The student’s Teens Act typically works with first-generation college-bound students, who have a GPA of 2.5 or less, and come from low-income environments (qualify for free or reduced lunch).
“We use an educational triple focus with a specialized curriculum for academic and personal development, near-peer support from college-age students, and other practices and methods to get students interested in graduation, such as motivational speakers, campus tours, and third-party partnerships with colleges, universities, community businesses, and partner organizations. We ensure that students in our program have the best possible chance to succeed.”
Before students begin coursework, Teens ACT members conduct one to two home visits to learn more about their students’ lives. Members receive background information from the school counselors and dedicate their time to understanding each student’s culture, background, and barriers impeding academic success.
While most intervention classes offer only tutoring, Student Success consists of a mini-lesson followed by a tutoring session. The curriculum is research-based and geared to develop interpersonal/intrapersonal skills and job/college readiness. But more than anything, the goal is to get students to graduate.
Once students join the class, they can expect to meet guest speakers from different career paths to get them interested in graduating. During our visit, students spoke with the CEO of the Daily Herald, who shared the highs and lows of their job, and the school requirement required to attain their position.
As mentioned in the Teens ACT website summary, students work with mentors to guide them through schoolwork. Teens ACT members try to keep a 5:1 ratio of mentors to students, ensuring more one-on-one face time with mentors.
Teens Act reported recent pass rate results, noting that in their last measure of pass rates, pass rates jumped from 61.83% to 84.45%, decreasing the fail rate of measured students from 38.37% to 15.56%.
In their previous report in 2016-2017, the Teens Act reports that the average Pass Rate for Teens Act students at Provo High began at 40% per student reporting. The average Pass Rate for Teens Act students at Provo High ended at 78%.
Our secondary schools make graduation their primary goal. Student Success Class is one very hand tool amongst the many that Provo City School District used to increase graduation rates to 90%, surpassing the state and national average.
While we’re still some way off from the end of the year, we want to ask students struggling with pass rates to speak to their academic advisor or counselor about possible aid. We want to ensure every student works hard, graduates, and lives the post-graduate life they envision for themselves– and it starts here.