College Track New Orleans

College Track is a college completion organization that empowers students from underserved communities to graduate from college. Our 10-year program removes barriers that prevent students from marginalized communities from earning their 4-year college degree by providing them with comprehensive academic, social-emotional, and financial support for success in high school, college, and beyond.

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In 2008, College Track New Orleans opened its doors to an inaugural class of 50 freshmen. Today, we serve almost 400 high school and college students, and have grown into the largest completion program in the City of New Orleans. Now in our 8th year of operation, College Track New Orleans is making a marked difference in the academic and life outcomes for some of New Orleans' most vulnerable students: 100% of our five cohorts of students graduated from high school program. 98% were admitted into a 4-year college, and 92% are currently enrolled in a 4-year college. Targeting the highest risk students with the poorest statistical outcomes, College Track New Orleans is working to serve a critical mass of students, and with our partners, helping to transform New Orleans into a community where college graduation is the norm.

College Track actively engages students in their 9th grade year and supports them through college graduation. Our holistic approach to student success is achieved through three, interconnected areas:

1. Academic Affairs: Low-income students, disproportionately, attend low performing schools, incapable of preparing them for optimal academic success. As a result, our students receive intensive support that strengthens their academic skills. Through the use of data gathered from individual assessments, we build personalized academic plans for each student that are aligned to the admission requirements of their dream college. These comprehensive academic plans include 1:1 tutoring, academic workshops, ACT prep courses, and study groups.

2. College Completion: The vast majority of our students (76%) are the first in their families to graduate from a 4-year college. As a result, they often lack the critical support needed to navigate the complexities of gaining access to and graduating from college. We provide an advisor for each high school student to help them complete the college application and selection process and to create comprehensive financial aid packages. Once enrolled, however, low-income students are particularly vulnerable to the initial setbacks all students encounter. To ensure our students persist through college, they are assigned a college advisor who provides 1:1 academic advising, coaches them through the financial aid system, provides organizational need and merit-based scholarships year after year, and helps them address the social emotional challenges often associated with college life. This customized support is in partnerships with college personnel.

3. Student Life: To prioritize the development of a successful mindset, students engage in experiential learning and community service to explore the arts, STEM, activism, creative writing, leadership, entrepreneurship, and community development creating networks and developing interests that propel them through college and beyond.