College Knowing & Going (CKG) is focused on preparing more Arizona high school students for postsecondary success through programs that create college-going culture with the support of partner organizations. Launched in 2015, CKG provides high school juniors and seniors at schools in Arizona with access to and assistance with essential college-going practices.

The College Knowing & Going – College Readiness Team Project is a partnership led by Education Forward Arizona to develop a comprehensive, data-driven, student-centered approach to college readiness at 40 high schools. With supporting partners, the Northern Arizona College Resource Center (NACRC) and Earn to Learn, the program works to create a school-wide culture in which all stakeholders – administration, counselors, teachers, community members, students, and families – work collaboratively to ensure low-income, first-generation, underserved Arizona students graduate high school ready for college.

These College Readiness Teams work at the intersection of academic success and postsecondary access to create equitable outcomes for all students. These teams—made up of high school administration, counselors, teachers, AmeriCorps members, postsecondary partners, community members and a College Knowing & Going coordinator—collaborate to identify effective strategies for increasing college readiness and access, and strengthening the college-going culture in ways that are specific to the needs of their communities. Additionally, participating schools received stipend funds to implement action plans developed by their College Readiness Teams.

There are five guiding principles that lead their teams:

  • All high school graduates must have viable college and career options; a transition plan is key to their postsecondary success.
  • Relationships with high school faculty, staff and administration are central to students’ postsecondary success.
  • College and career expectations must be held for all students.
  • Creating a school-wide college and career culture is every stakeholder’s job and responsibility if we are to achieve equity for our students.
  • We must understand who is in our school building and use data to guide effective decisions.

Key Facts

  • College-going cultures were strengthened throughout the partner districts and communities
  • More than 202,000 students took the ACT College Entrance Exam at no cost to the student
  • More than 90,000 students took key steps toward pursuing a postsecondary education
  • FAFSA Completion rates at CKG schools increased by 10%
  • Postsecondary enrollment rates at CKG schools increased by 4%

Characteristics of Partner High Schools

  • Data-driven academic instruction
  • Academic counseling
  • Social & emotional learning
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Establish college-going cultures
  • Dual enrollment courses
  • CTE classes
  • Postsecondary planning

Role of College Readiness Teams

  • Enhance schoolwide culture and climate
  • Develop innovative ways to engage students & families
  • Implement postsecondary action plan
  • Monitor progress
  • Identify key levers for improvement
  • Facilitate data-driven goal setting and action planning
  • Build capacity of school counselors, staff, and administrators
  • Connect schools to resources and community partners
  • Collect unique research to inform policy decisions