College Mastery Model

College Mastery Goal

Preclarus seeks an unparalleled 90% college graduation rate among all high school alum.

College Mastery Model Overview

As defined by Preclarus, the term "College Mastery" refers to a secondary program that primarily focuses on the successful receipt of a bachelor degree.

As a College Mastery School, Preclarus will base the success of its program on college graduation rates and not college matriculation rates only. In order to ensure that our school produces a college graduation rate of 90% among high school alum, Preclarus will implement its innovative College Mastery Program Model. Developed with research and counsel provided by Washington University, the Preclarus' College Mastery Model is based on best practices from highly successful nonprofit, college readiness programs (including Prep for Prep and The Posse Foundation) that boast a 90% college graduation rate among low-income and/or student of color populations at nationally-ranked, four-year universities.

Research investigating the successful replication of model college readiness programs has provided practitioners with five empirically supported best practices for increasing college matriculation rates, academic performance, and college graduation rates for underrepresented students. These five best practices can be summed up as follows: i) college readiness starts at middle school; ii) heavy emphasis on English and math aptitude; iii) exposure to college settings; iv) rigorous and challenging curriculum offerings, and v) post-secondary support networks.

Utilizing the preceding best practice standards, Preclarus has developed a 3-tier model for achieving its College Mastery mission and goal:

  1. The Master Curriculum
  2. Preferred College Enrollment
  3. Post- Graduate Support.

1) The Master Curriculum

53% of St. Louis Public School students who enrolled in a Missouri public college were placed in remedial math and 43% were placed in remedial English (2003).

The Master Curriculum rests at the foundation of the Preclarus College Mastery Model. Driven as much by the vision to develop American Leaders as by the mission to increase college graduation rates, the Master Curriculum is designed to expose every student to in-depth, advanced instruction in all core subject areas while fostering a community that effectively grooms character, talent, and understanding in cultural and global perspectives. Through the Master Curriculum, Preclarus will be able to ensure that our students enjoy an academic program that is as stimulating and challenging. 

During middle school, the Master Curriculum will support students through a highly competitive program with heavy emphasis in Math and Communication Arts.  Through the Master Curriculum students will develop the skills needed to become World-Class thinkers, leaders, and innovators, and enter colleges and universities at competitive achievement levels.

2) Preferred College Enrollment

Nationwide, the majority of college-bound African- Americans enroll at colleges that boast overall graduation rates below 45% for black students.

Not all colleges are created equal and, unfortunately, the majority of African Americans across the country enroll into colleges that fail to provide them the support and resources needed to assist them in obtaining their bachelor degree. Thus, Preclarus will strongly encourage students to attend a Preclarus "Preferred College": a school recognized for its verifiable record of supporting collegiate success with underrepresented students.

At Preclarus, we feel that it is important that the four-year institutions that our students choose demonstrate strength in the following areas:

  • black student graduation rates
  • percentage enrollment of students of color
  • quality of academic programs
  • accessibility to cultural and ethnic support systems
  • strength of financial aid programs
  • mid-career salaries of college graduates
  • assessments from African-American faculty members
  • and peer assessment scores,

By creating a college culture and guidance system that chiefly focuses on Preferred Colleges, Preclarus will be able to ensure that students attend the best schools for supporting and graduating our high school alum.

3) Post- Graduate Support

40% of St. Louis Public School students who enrolled in a Missouri public college dropped out of college before entering their sophomore year (2003).

In order to ease college transition, increase on-campus engagement, promote academic success, and ensure graduation, Preclarus will seek to empower its students to develop on-campus, alumni chapters at Preferred Colleges. Once Preclarus has enrolled at least three students into a Preferred College, it will work with those students to help them coordinate and sustain an on-campus support community in which all Preclarus alum will be able to participate. Preferred College Support Chapters will actively provide tutoring, freshman counseling, study support, peer mentors, and social activities for enrolled Preclarus students.

During vacation breaks, Preclarus will routinely provide training to the elected student leaders at each chapter to help them establish a vibrant and advantageous on-campus community at their school. Student chapters will also receive in-depth instruction on how to navigate university resources, master college culture, and prepare to enter the professional world.

Moreover, Post-Graduate Support will also assist in growing a Preclarus professional alumni network to aide college graduates in finding employment, resources, and starting ventures. Post-Graduate Support will ensure that students never enter college alone but are fully supported through their collegiate transition and forthcoming graduation.