KIPP Sunnyside High School has been serving college-bound 9th through 12th graders from Houston’s Third Ward, Hiram Clarke, and Sunnyside communities since 2010. The academic and cocurricular programs at Kipp Sunnyside provide a college preparatory experience that empowers students with the knowledge, skills, and mindsets to go to and through college. Of the approximately 560 students, about 64% are African-American and 36% are Hispanic, and the overwhelming majority are classified as economically disadvantaged. Their goal is to get 82% of students to and through college while providing postsecondary paths for students who will not matriculate to college. They define success through data collection and persistent counseling.
This year, Kipp Sunnyside is making a concerted effort to maximize the usage of Naviance. Admissions counselors have access to their schedule through RepVisits, increasing their students’ exposure to colleges and universities. Additionally, they are raising their students’ technological competency by requiring them to schedule meetings with Acuity Scheduling, requiring them to use Naviance regularly, and offering Common App and Apply Texas workshops. Students are making noticeable progress and becoming more confident writing emails to colleges and navigating college websites.
Impact of Naviance
Several of their low-income students are being accepted to some of the most competitive colleges in the country. KSHS has three Posse Scholars this year. Despite economic hardships, family circumstances, and less than stellar standardized test scores, their students are performing exceptionally well in the college application process. They use data provided by Naviance and a KIPP-generated data tool. At this point, all but one of the seniors has submitted college applications. 11.8% of their applications have been accepted for admission. More than 90% of their students have submitted a balanced list of nine colleges or more and 77% of their students have completed the FAFSA. Additionally, they have increased the number of colleges their students visit by 75%.