Impact

FCE students complete college at four times the national average for students of color.

Closing the College Completion Gap Since 1995

Number of students and families served during the 2018-2019 academic year across five FCE programs from Grade 6 through college graduation.

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Percent of FCE College Bound high school seniors admitted to a four-year college or university.

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Percent of FCE College Success students who earn a Bachelor’s Degree within five years, almost four times the national rate for African-American and Latino students.

FCE students who have earned a Bachelor’s Degree.

FCE college alumni who have earned an advanced degree.

STEAM

STEAM is a year-round program for middle school students from East Palo Alto, East Menlo Park, and Redwood City. Its hands-on learning curriculum helps students acquire the basics of design thinking so they can implement meaningful projects in technology and the arts. Regular academic enrichment sessions, as well as workshops that promote personal growth, enable students to develop the skills to take college preparatory courses. In keeping with FCE’s commitment to community change, STEAM offers monthly leadership and advocacy training for parents. We offer:

  • Project-based learning
  • Study skills enhancement
  • One-on-one and group tutoring and mentoring
  • College knowledge activities
  • Parent education
  • Physical activity
  • Community building and social and emotional learning workshops
  • Motivational field trips and speakers

College Bound

Through the College Bound Program, FCE provides academic and college planning support to students in grades 9-12 and their families. We encourage students to set high goals for themselves and help them take the steps they need to reach those goals. FCE students go beyond high school graduation requirements and participate in college preparatory, honors, and advanced placement courses. If they encounter difficulties or need extra help, we are there to support them academically and emotionally.
Our objective is to help the entire family better navigate the admissions’ system and take advantage of the resources offered at their schools. We offer:

  • Academic advising, including help with course selection
  • One-on-one and group tutoring
  • Study skills enhancement
  • College planning and counseling
  • PSAT and SAT preparation
  • College application instruction and support
  • Local and national college tours
  • Mentoring and college coaching
  • Financial aid and scholarship guidance
  • Parent/guardian development and support
  • Leadership development
  • Career exploration

College Success

Unlike many college access programs, FCE measures its success against college completion rates, not simply college enrollment. Through our College Success Program, we provide the services and support that students need to get the most out of college and earn their bachelor’s degrees. We provide:

  • College transition and orientation support
  • Academic and personal counseling
  • Financial aid and scholarship guidance
  • Information and support for parents and guardians
  • Transfer admission advising
  • Academic, personal, and career counseling
  • Leadership development

Our commitment to our students is paying off: Eighty-five percent of FCE students have either graduated from college or are on track to graduate within five years. Nationally, only about half of the students who begin college will graduate in five years, and only about a quarter of students of color will complete college during the same timeframe. Many, like UCLA medical student Carmen Ochoa, go on from college to attend graduate and professional schools. Although it wasn’t always easy, says Carmen, “I never felt alone and knew I could always turn to FCE if I encountered any obstacles. I will make a difference in this world and I owe that to my family and to FCE.”

Parent Leadership

Being successful in middle school, high school, and beyond is a family affair. FCE’s unique focus on parent or guardian involvement in the college preparation process sets it apart from other organizations serving college-bound students. Our Parent Leadership Program grew out of parents’ desire to understand the ins and outs of secondary and higher education.  The program also provides them with the skills to help their children succeed in middle school, high school, and college.

At FCE’s monthly meetings, parents and guardians learn about the complex landscape of college admissions – the difference between the SAT and the ACT, for example – and how to help their students make smart choices throughout middle school and high school. In addition, parents learn to be advocates by leading meetings and discussions, and serving as translators for those for whom English is not their first language. If a parent is unsure about what to say to a teacher or counselor, FCE staff and other parents are there to provide information and share their own experiences.

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