CollegeSpring Wins 2017 Khanfidence Builder Award

September 12, 2017

By Allie Ciaramella, Communications Manager

CollegeSpring received the Khanfidence Builder Award today at NCAN’s 2017 National Conference in San Diego, CA.

The Khanfidence Builder Award, generously supported by The College Board, recognizes a college access/success organization for incorporating Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy into their program to build students’ readiness for the SAT and college. The College Board believes that by placing high-quality, free resources directly into the hands of those who work with students we can help all students realize their potential. This award recognizes an organization that effectively engaged students in productive practice using Official SAT Practice tools and tracked their progress via a potentially scalable program. College Board Executive Director, SAT Student Success Aaron Lemon-Strauss presented the award to CollegeSpring Chief Operating Officer Matt Aguiar at the conference.

NCAN member CollegeSpring is a national nonprofit based in Oakland, CA that equips low-income and diverse students with academic skills and mentoring to close gaps in SAT and ACT achievement and college opportunity. For nearly a decade, the organization has worked with schools and community-based organizations to provide low-income students with skills remediation through test preparation and near-peer mentoring that leads to higher SAT scores and increased access to better-resourced postsecondary institutions with higher persistence and graduation rates. Thanks to years of continual growth, CollegeSpring has served more than 19,000 students in the San Francisco Bay Area, Southern California, and New York.

CollegeSpring first piloted integration of Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy last year, as an optional supplement to its core program. Instructor and mentor handbooks now incorporate the free resources for specific lessons in the curriculum, and students who struggle in the classroom can follow up for individual, additional practice on Khan Academy.

Students are using it. In 2016-17, 59 percent of CollegeSpring survey participants accessed and used Official SAT Practice (the rest were not specifically assigned to do so). Instructors who’ve referred students to the resource say they’ve proven helpful, and allowed for “a deeper level of expertise and instruction than they have on their own.” 

Instructors and mentors also say Official SAT Practice should be integrated more deeply into the program, so CollgeSpring has plans for expansion including better tracking of student progress on Khan Academy, including mandatory practice in the student curriculum, and taking a more sophisticated approach to data collection and analysis to understand Official SAT Practice’s impact on test score improvement and maximize student performance. The organization envisions “combining its proven curriculum and program implementation resources with Khan Academy SAT practice resources to provide students with an SAT prep and college application guidance experience that is relationship-driven, personalized, and integrated into their academic program.”

As the award-winner, CollegeSpring will receive $5,000 for general operating support, scholarships, and/or technology needs. Last year’s winner was the College Crusade of Rhode Island in Providence.

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