With 51% and 53% of their graduates enrolling in Texas colleges the first fall after graduation respectively, Harlandale and McCollum high schools in Harlandale Independent School District stood out among campuses with similarly high rates of economic disadvantage. When asked how they did it, lead counselors Denise Flores and Therese Jimenez cited the importance of building strong relationships with students and families. It was clear from the many strategies they shared that there was no one silver bullet and that counselors, administrators, teachers, and community partners all played a role. Congratulations to Harlandale ISD and their partners for making postsecondary enrollment possible for so many students.

Image source: Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Bexar County 15 ISD high schools, 2015

Here are some of the strategies the district credited:

Individual Planning:

• Counselors meet annually with 9-12 grades post-secondary planning, with continuous follow-up

Classroom Guidance:

• Grades 9-12 topics-introduce college ready partners, resources, college ready timelines

• Classroom teachers support college ready topics

College Readiness Programs:

• Increased AP enrollment (35% increase) and Dual Credit enrollment (50% increase)

• CTE workforce certifications – 37 different certifications are available such as Adobe, ASE, CISCO, OSHA, Microsoft Office Specialists

College Readiness Workshops:

• 9th grade – Guidance activities on Career Exploration and College Readiness

• 10th grade – Dual Credit, Apply Texas, TSI, Alamo Enroll

• 11th Grade – Khan Academy Campaign, SAT School Day, FSA ID, TSI

• 12th Grade – Senior Parent Night, Apply Texas, FAFSA, TSI, NSO, Refresher Courses, Housing, Financial Aid Award reviews, etc.

• Outreach and incentives to students and parents

Student Follow-Ups:

• Three-way ongoing communication between student, partner, and counselor

• Campus advertisements – call outs, posters, announcements, phone blasts

• Utilize Remind App, email blasts, google classroom

• Open door policy – students and parents always welcome

Data Analysis:

• Tracking progress toward FAFSA, TASFA, and ApplyTexas completion goals

• Share data with Campus Personnel on AP, TSI, SAT/ACT

• Internal district tracker to monitor status of students

Utilizing College Readiness Partnerships:

• Trinity University College Advising Corps

• Project Stay

• Trinity Upward Bound/LULAC Upward Bound

• UT Outreach

• Goodwill Career Industries

• San Antonio Education Partnership

• Gear UP

• Communities in School

• District Bi-monthly CCR Partnership Blast

• University Reps on campuses

Acknowledgments and Validation

• Decision day pep rally

• College Readiness Walls

• Wall of Fame

• District College Bound Yard Signs

• HEF Scholarship & Partnership Scholarships

To learn more about P16Plus measures and outcomes, visit http://www.p16plus.org/results/