The College Knowing and Going Project (CKG) is a partnership led by Education Forward Arizona to develop a comprehensive, data-driven, student-centered approach to college readiness at 15 high schools in Arizona. This past year the project has also been supported by partners Earn to Learn (EL), Northern Arizona College Resource Center (NACRC), and most recently Education Forward Arizona. The program aims to create a school-wide culture in which stakeholders work collaboratively to encourage low-income, first-generation, underserved Arizona students to graduate high school ready for college.
Education Forward Arizona establishes strategies with CKG schools focused on increasing students’ postsecondary outcomes through the development of College Readiness Teams (CRTs), which provide an organizational framework for ongoing implementation of school-wide goals, strategic planning, and assessment of postsecondary outcomes. CRTs are responsible for increasing access to standardized test preparation, the percent of students completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and the number of students who apply to, matriculate at, and succeed in 2- and 4-year colleges.
CRTs leverage AdviseAZ AmeriCorps members, serving as College Access Advisors, and influential high school students, serving as Student Ambassadors, to support school-wide college access initiatives and provide direct services to students. For the 2020–2021 academic year, 14 AmeriCorps members were selected to serve across 12 CKG schools and 23 Student Ambassadors were selected to serve across 14 CKG schools.
CKG’s ultimate goal, or impact, is:
To increase the percentage of Arizonans completing college and to decrease postsecondary educational inequity in the state, leading to a higher quality of life for all Arizonans.
This is the desired result, 10 to 15 years out, of the program. The other long-term goal for the CKG program is to promote educational equity by increasing the number of Arizona’s most underserved students who attend and succeed in college.