SAT Boost for First-Generation College Students

 

Founded by Stanford University grad and former SAT tutor Garrett Nieman, CollegeSpring (formerly SEE College Prep) is a non-profit organization launched in 2010 designed to help first-generation college students prep for the SAT in hopes of earning scores high enough to gain admission to elite colleges and universities.

CollegeSpring is funded in part by revenue from high schools who team up with the organization to give their students a better shot at the SAT. It also receives funds from philanthropic organizations such as the Packard Foundation, the Keck Foundation, and more. Although CollegeSpring currently operates only in California, Nieman and his co-founder Jessica Perez plan to expand the scope of the organization over the coming year.

What is different about this test prep program?

Nearly every high school in the country offers some sort of ACT or SAT test prep class. CollegeSpring provides extra help for first generation students through its intensive syllabus–80 total hours of class time, and four full-length, proctored practice exams. The program emphasizes the importance of the test to kids that haven’t had many college-educated role models growing up and shows them how a good score can enhance their futures.

Nieman says, “We employ mission-driven people and people of color who care about first-generation kids. Our vision is for students to be equipped to go on to college” (Education Week).

How helpful are SAT prep courses?

Studies conducted since the 1950s have concluded that traditional standardized test prep courses “have a statistically significant effect on the changes of SAT and ACT scores for students taking the test at least twice. The magnitude of this effect is relatively small,” about 100 points on the SAT (answers.com).

CollegeSpring is about twice as effective at prepping its students for the SAT, with an average 200-point increase in scores for students taking the test at least twice.

After nearly two years of success, CollegeSpring is ready to expand and help even more students succeed. They hope to double the size of the program in the next two years.

Alberto G.

23 comments

Rose L.
Rose L.4 years ago

The American public education system is in such a mess. If I had young children, I would not put them in the system, even if it meant I had to home school them.

That being said, this program to boost SAT scores for first generation college students is discriminatory from the sounds of it. Look closely at the words of tutor Garrett Nieman:

“We employ mission-driven people and people of color who care about first-generation kids. Our vision is for students to be equipped to go on to college”

Please explain why it was necessary to declare that they employ "people of color"? The phrase "people of color" basically means any race with skin pigmentation different from the white race. Why not just employ people? What do they specifically put an emphasis on "people of color"?

Why? Because there is growing discrimination against anyone & anything white. And what the fine print means is that CollegeSpring intends to employ mission-driven, non-whites in their program to assist children "of color". Exactly like what our countries universities & community colleges are doing!

Hey, I have a novel idea. Hire PEOPLE who care about kids to work with ALL young people - red, yellow, black & white - to achieve success. Children "of color" are not the only children that need help.

The phrase "people of color" be damned. And the same to anything or anyone that excludes any race of people. By the way, "white" is a color.

Deborah F.
Deborah F.4 years ago

Thanks.

Jim F.
Past Member 4 years ago

Part of going to college is getting ready to do high quality "work" and preparing for it makes good sense. It also makes for a better way to insure success, preparation is always a part of doing a good job, lifelong.

Sam M.
Sam E M.4 years ago

Can't do any harm to put in the extra work. As to whether this test prep program is better than others, we'd need to compare methods and results.

Nicole Weber
Nicole W.4 years ago

thanks

Marie W.
Marie W.4 years ago

Just 'dumb down' the test like everything else.

Dave C.
David C.4 years ago

there is lots more to being prepared for college and life and work than just an SAT score.....having said that, anything to help those who want and could benefit from it.....we should all be encouraged to be the best we can and do what we can to make the world better for everyone....

Mark K.
Mark Kahle H4 years ago

“We employ mission-driven people and people of color who care about first-generation kids. Our vision is for students to be equipped to go on to college”

Now THAT is racist....

federico bortoletto

Grazie per la condivisione.

Jen Matheson
Past Member 4 years ago

Sounds like a good little product to me. I'm glad they're expanding.