Aspiration & Access

Strategic Principle

Raise students’ college and career aspirations, readiness, and success by offering well-designed services and support, particularly for low-income, first-generation, and students of color; encourage and facilitate students’ thinking about and planning for learning beyond high school; educate families and communities about the value of postsecondary learning; and develop a common approach, language, and understanding regarding the options available to students and families in Central Ohio.

What We Know

Deciding whether to go to college, choosing the right school, and finding the resources to pay for it are critical decisions in any student’s life. In most families, parents help their children make good choices. But too often, young people lack these family supports, particularly when their parents have themselves not had the benefit of higher education. Also, research shows that most of the young people who seek advice from their high school guidance counselors don’t find the information they get to be particularly helpful.

Strategic Actions

  • Expand school counseling to intentionally focus on college and career planning as early as the middle school years and continuing through high school graduation.
  • Involve parents and guardians in the “aspiration process” as early as elementary and middle school so that they become knowledgeable and continuing partners in understanding student achievement and planning for postsecondary enrollment.
  • Develop a set of common metrics to track improved student access and success from high school through post-secondary education, specifically noting low-income, first-generation, and students of color.
  • Conduct district-level and regional public education campaigns to show students, families, and communities the value of pursuing college degrees and certificates.