All Richmond High School students are eligible to participate in College is Real provided they met certain criteria.
All Richmond High School students are eligible to participate in College is Real provided they met certain criteria, successfully complete the application and interview process and confirm parental support of their participation. The program started with the Richmond High soccer program participants as its base, but has grown to include many non-soccer players. Almost all of the program’s members are mostly Latino, consistent with the school student body, but the program serves a diverse ethnic mix. Most are from families where English is the second language. Almost all qualify for federally-funded school meals programs. With few exceptions, the students will be the first in their families to attend college, and in most cases the first to graduate from high school. There are typically more than 130 students in the program each year representing freshman to seniors.
In order to qualify for the program, students must have at least a 2.50 grade point average at the time of application, have a strong desire to go to college, achieve at least a 3.00 g.p.a. within two semesters of joining the program, and actively participate in CIR’s tutoring program and other activities.
Candidates are actively “recruited” by the director, referred by students in the program and recommended by teachers. The program focuses on recruiting freshmen and sophomore students in order to be able to have the greatest influence and to help break the cycle of academic apathy that often occurs in inner-city schools once the students turn sixteen. Interested students fill-out an application, are interviewed by the program director and must obtain written support from their parents/guardian. There is no financial commitment required from the students or their families.
The focus on college opportunities, materials and exposure will intensify once the CIR students start their junior years. If the students can maintain close to 100% attendance, achieve solid academic performance through their junior years, and get proper guidance and access to college preparation resources, the odds of them attending college increase exponentially.
Once the college-eligible students become juniors and seniors, which in any one year may be 30 - 40 students, individual attention from mentors and access to outside resources will increase and in some cases may become one to one mentoring with special “senior sessions” held during the fall. Qualified counselors, special guidance and resources will be provided for college testing preparation, awareness of the appropriate college opportunities, the college application process, and college tours.