What are College
Knowledge Academies?
Increasing low-income student’s knowledge of what
it takes to succeed in college requires an ongoing
effort by everyone involved in their schooling
(CHEPA 2005, 2006; Connelly, 2005; Pathways to
College Network, 2004). The College Knowledge
Academies are 5 week project based programs,
for parents and their children, that promote early
planning and knowledge about postsecondary
options. The program provides to separate themes
– “College Smarts” and “Money Smarts” – with
interactive lessons focused on building parent/
child communication, the importance of high school
completion, higher education, financial literacy and
college preparation.

How do College Knowledge
Academies strengthen the
capacity of families?
Effective family engagement for college
preparation involves early awareness and
information to make the right choices and plans
about high school coursework, family savings,
work and earnings, and college options. An
external evaluation on College Knowledge
Academy, conducted by Dr. William Perez
from Claremont College of Education, found
the program significantly impacted parents’
and students’ confidence, college knowledge,
and communication. The three year evaluation
helped to decrease college attendance and
financial aid concerns. In addition, the College
Knowledge Academy programs increased
• Valuing of schooling
• College preparation confidence
• Parent/child/school communication
• College requirement knowledge