Aligned in with the school’s mission to graduate college-ready and civic-minded students is an emphasis on offering high-quality instruction and curriculum—including programs during and after school, as well as in the summer—that have been developed to provide every student the opportunity to attend college. The school has a college-bound culture in all its school buildings and provides extensive and targeted curriculum aimed at college preparation. Over a span of five consecutive years, SANY schools have had a 91% or higher college-acceptance rate, which is evidence that our efforts and programs create and promote a college-focused environment. In addition, 92% of the 2012 cohort was enrolled in college, compared to the 79% national average, according to a National Student Clearinghouse report. The same class had a first year of college retention rate of 92%, compared to the 75% national average, which is further evidence of college preparedness. At SANY, our college-prep culture extends beyond the beginning and end of school—it is a lifestyle that includes aspects such as homework and managing time wisely.
SANY Board members who are college faculty and leaders at higher education institutions create opportunities for students to meet, collaborate and receive guidance from staff in higher education programs. Involvement ranges from field trips to college visits, and some college staff members are invited to participate as graduation keynote speakers and judges in academic competitions. They also are valued guests at special presentations and events.
Here are some of the many college-related programs implemented at our schools: (a) Elementary School: college visits, “college themed” classrooms, guest speakers from local universities, annual college week with various activities (b) Middle School: college visits, “college themed” classrooms, guest speakers from local universities (c) High School: College fairs, extensive college visits, summer residential college programs, after-school and Saturday SAT/ACT programs, guest speakers from local universities, college courses, programs at SUNY ESF and Syracuse University, and more. SANY is exploring similar partnerships and programs with the 14 colleges and universities in the Rochester area.
A common concern of many colleges is the high percentage first-year students who are not ready for college-level math. Our academies take this problem seriously and seek to ameliorate it by preparing our students for advanced math early, so accelerated students will be able to take more AP and/or college-level courses. Our objective is to send our students to college with SUNY credits already earned. Several courses are offered through OCC and SUNY ESF, and new programs are under development with additional colleges. Our goal is to be able to send our students to college already having earned between 9 and 30 college credits.