College Access For All


The College Access for All Middle School Initiative

In fall 2015, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chancellor Carmen Farina announced an ambitious set of goals for New York City schools: By 2026, 80% of our students will graduate high school on time, and two- thirds of our students will be college ready.

Through the Mayor’s Equity and Excellence reforms, NYC will address our students’ academic, social, and emo- tional needs from the first book they successfully read by themselves until their high school diploma and col- lege acceptance letter are in hand. As part of this plan, the City has put forth a brand new initiative, College Access for All – Middle School, to ensure that every middle school student will be exposed to a college going culture and will have the opportunity to visit a college campus at least once in grades 6-8. College Access for All – Middle School will promote high school, college, and life success.

College of Staten Island Trip 12/19/19

What is the Goal?

Every student will have the opportunity to visit a college campus at least once in middle school, exposing them to college and starting conversations about college earlier in students’ academic careers. The campus visit will be embedded in a broader set of student and parent workshops focused on planning for high school and college.

Why does it Matter?

Middle school sets the foundation for success in high school, college and beyond, and creating a college-going culture in school and at home makes it more likely that children – especially students who will be the first in their family to go to college —internalize the message that college is their fu- ture. College-focused conversations in middle school give students an opportunity to make better decisions in high school and about their future.

What is the Need?

Today, fewer than half of NYC high school students graduate ready for college. Additionally, the postsecondary enrollment rate is only about 55%, showing that there is a long way to go to ensure college readiness for all graduates. Too many students decide early in their academic career that “college is not for them.” This initiative will make college feel real and accessible to thousands of stu- dents each year.

The Program Model

Schools and Vendors will partner to deliver the following services to their school community:

  •  One college trip for every 7th grade student
  •  Early college awareness workshops
  •  Family engagement/school wide events
  •  School-wide special events
  •  Professional development workshops for school staff and faculty