BetterGrads Program Overview
The goal of the BetterGrads Program is to provide excellent college advising, preparation resources, and peer support to students at partner high schools, by connecting them to recent alumni (college students and recent graduates) who support their college and career-going aspirations.
Our mentors share their knowledge (human capital) and connections (social capital) with current students at their alma mater. Our mentors are able to offer a real-world perspective on all facets of college, including financial aid, admissions, academics, social life, and life beyond college.
Other organizations try to create social and human capital where it does not exist; we seek to reinvest capital where it began. By harnessing the knowledge and networks of alumni, we offer public high schools a mechanism by which to benefit from their own past success.
We partner with alumni associations and administrators at public high schools to recruit recent alumni as mentors and to create student/mentee-run clubs as local hubs of college information. Mentors and mentees are paired according to similar interests. Each pair receives a private space on our website to log textual and video communications, and work through a simple curriculum focused on college.
Mentees are able to use the website to solicit answers to college and career-specific questions from their mentor, from their school community, and from all of the BetterGrads participants across the country. Club meetings provide an in-person component to the curriculum, facilitated by a school counselor. All mentees are encouraged to serve as peer mentors at their school.
After a student graduates, we track their success and ask them to sustain the community by serving as a college mentor to the next class. To measure success at each participating school we look at college application and admission rates for their students, attrition and job placement rates among program alumni, and numbers of alumni returning to serve as mentors.