2012 Conference Sessions Featuring Proven Best Practices and Free Resources for College and Career Awareness

Two indicators of the Quality Framework help schools determine their levels of effectiveness on the college and career readiness:

Most schools have rated themselves “Effective” or below on both indicators, so many leadership team members have requested to learn more about tools, strategies, and resources for college and career awareness and planning. The requests we hear most often can be summarized with the following two questions:

  1. How can we learn more about what model or highly effective charter schools are doing to provide college and career awareness tools and activities for students?
  2. Are there any free resources can the school, students, and parents can use?

At this year’s conference, you will find two conference sessions that will provide answers to both questions above.

I know that planning which conference sessions to attend is sometimes tough, based solely on the brief conference descriptions—or even the titles alone when time is short! So to help you plan your days, I have provided a little more information on the two college and career conference sessions within the Quality Framework Best Practices strand. The topics are very similar, but each of them provides something different.

The bottom line is this: If you are interested in moving your school to the next level of effectiveness on the college and career awareness indicators within the Quality Framework Student Success System make you or someone on your team attends one or both of the following sessions.


Best Practice Conference Session – Model Practice – College Awareness and Planning
First, learn what other charters are doing to prepare their students for college. Uplift Education’s “Road to College” is a comprehensive college counseling program that is designed to support students in the 3 phases of their college journey: college preparation and exposure, college admissions and financial aid process, and the transition to college and successful completion of college.  The program supports all Uplift students and alumni from the 6th grade – 16th grade through individual counseling, group classes, and network wide programs and events.  Uplift Education’s graduates have gone on to attend and graduate from colleges and universities across the country.
See the conference description below or visit Uplift Education’s RTC webpage to learn more:

Road to College Graduation: A multi-year process supporting students from grades 6-16
Tuesday, December 4, 2012; 4:30pm
Room 9A
Uplift Education’s Road to College (RTC) program supports all Uplift students and alumni from grades 6-16. The RTC program relies on a team of dedicated counselors on each campus, who work with students and families to ensure student success. This session focuses on Uplift’s multi-year process for supporting students from grades 6-16.
Presenters: Denise Castaneda, Uplift Education; April Bowman, Uplift Education; Aimee Rincon, Uplift Education

Best Practice Conference Session – Free Resource – College and Career Planning Website
Not ready to implement your own in-school program? Then attend this session to learn about the new Texas College & Career Resource website available now. Attend this session to learn about how students, parents and mentors, and school staff can all access this free website and work together to help students plan for college and careers. Presenters will guide charter school leaders and staff through a demonstration and answer questions on how to get started using the easy-to-use, intuitive website, including more information and detail on each of the following user perspectives. You will learn how:

  • Students can take interests, skills, and values assessments, build portfolios including resumes, research colleges and universities, estimate college costs, and share progress with parents, mentors, and school staff.
  • Parents and mentors can understand college and career options for their students, do side-by-side comparisons of careers and college, including costs, and find affordable financing.
  • School staff can view real-time data, communicate with students, and track and assess results.

This is a very brief summary of what this new, free website offers. To learn more, attend the session below or visit the Texas College & Career Resource website.

The New! Texas College & Career Resource Site
Wednesday, December 5, 2012; 8:30am
Room 9A
Texas College & Career is a no-cost, one-stop online college and career planning resource site available for all Texas secondary students, parents, and educators. The site centralizes all the key planning elements of a student’s educational career, including interactive planning tools, personal portfolio development, key milestone reminders, and communication tools that link student to counselor to parent.  Join us for an overview and get started planning!
Presenters: Dixie Knight and Gail Ribalta, Edvance Research

To see more sessions in the Quality Framework Best Practices and Continuous Improvement strands, visit the Texas Charter Schools Conference schedule.

Register for the 2012 Texas Charter Schools Conference today. If you are new to TCSA and the Quality Framework and have not yet submitted a Self-Assessment, visit the TCSA Quality Framework portal to request an account or email the Quality Framework team for an introduction on how to get started.

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