Our College Bound program was recently evaluated by Dr. Todd Franke, Professor and Chair in the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, Department of Social Welfare. The evaluation was funded by the MacFarlane Family Foundation. This third party report evaluates the program components which have made our College Bound program so successful in helping increase our graduation rate from below 50% in 2002 to 98% in 2013 with 97% of those graduates enrolling in a two or four year university.
In 2002, we launched the College Bound program to help our youth overcome the barriers that prevent them from graduating high school and going to college. Since then, the program has expanded considerably within our own organization and is now open to all youth members in grades 4 through 12. We have supported and continue to support the replication efforts of College Bound at 55 Boys & Girls Clubs nation-wide, 11 of which are in Los Angeles County. The Clubs that implement the program with our guidance are experiencing the impact.
Dr. Franke’s Evaluation of the College Bound Program was conducted through interviews and surveys of alumni who completed the College Bound program in 2011 and 2012. Of the participants, 70% identified as Hispanic, with 15% of 2011 alumni participants and 35% of 2012 alumni participants having indicated that they were the first in their families to graduate from high school.
The evaluation noted the areas of our program which alumni indicated as proving most crucial in helping them graduate from high school and attend college. The one-on-one mentoring, intensive case management and individual assistance with scholarship and college applications that our program emphasizes, proved to be the most successful components. (Franke, 2013, p. 38)
The executive summary of the evaluation also notes the lasting effects of the College Bound program:
Over 96% of the 2011 and 2012 cohorts indicated that they believe they will successfully obtain a Bachelor’s degree. Notably, there were several participants in each cohort who thought they would earn a Master’s degree. Without the support of the College Bound Program, students indicated that they would not have been as successful in navigating the college application process and the transition to college life. Students in each cohort overwhelmingly agreed (85%) that the College Bound Program staff, “listened to what [they] had to say” and “believed [they] could do well in school.” (Franke, 2013, p. 3)
Read Dr. Franke’s full evaluation at www.bgclaharbor.org/programs/college-bound.