HOW TO SUPPORT STUDENTS BETWEEN THE END OF SCHOOL AND THE START OF POSTSECONDARY OPTIONS
HOW TO MAKE IT HAPPEN
Ideally, public school districts will collaborate with partners in higher education and employers to address these needs. The following are some possibilities.
~ Many colleges now offer summer bridge programs for admitted first-generation students. Make sure that students are aware of these opportunities and encourage them to take advantage of them.
~ Use a system of targeted, individualized text messages (such as the “Pounce” system pioneered at Georgia State) that help walk incoming students through the steps needed to enroll.
~ Extend some high school counselors’ contracts into the summer months for ongoing outreach to assist and encourage graduates in pursuing their postsecondary plans.
~ Hire part-time peer mentors (first-generation college sophomores, juniors, or seniors) to encourage and advise incoming freshmen.
~ Consider district- or state-level policies to help students close gaps in unmet financial need.
EXEMPLARS IN PRACTICE
What it Takes to Thrive: Reflections from a First-Generation College Student
American Youth Policy
This AYPF video features the stories of several first-generation college students and graduates, and explores their challenges, sources of support, and recommendations for policymakers.
First in my Family: Supporting First-Generation College Students
American Youth Policy Forum
These are the stories of several first-generation college students and graduates, and explores their challenges, sources of support, and recommendations for policymakers.
New Tools to Fight ‘Summer Melt’: How One University’s Texting Campaign Is Keeping Incoming Freshmen on Track
The 74 Million
This story highlights how Georgia State University developed a text message system to help students navigate the length form submission process prior to getting to school.
- Summer Melt: Supporting Low-Income Students Through the Transition to College
Harvard Education Press, October 2014.
This resource is invaluable; it explores the dimensions of summer melt as well as strategies to address it at different levels.
How an Artificially Intelligent Virtual Assistance Helps Students Navigate the Road to College
SSRN, Lindsay C. Page, Hunter Gehlbach
This report takes a closer look at “Pounce,” the text-messaging program used by Georgia State University to help reduce summer melt.