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Waukegan to College believes there are many hundreds, if not thousands, of Waukegan students not reaching their full potential. For students and families who do not consider college to be an option, Waukegan to College seeks to inform families about the rules of the "college game" through workshops and one-on-one counseling. In addition, support programs such as weekly tutoring and coaching, help ensure that students get on and stay on a path to college.
Students in Waukegan to College range from 5th grade to college. By starting the program with students just before they enter middle school, W2C establishes high academic expectations and a concrete sense that college, with hard work, is attainable.
Waukegan to College more than doubled from 25 students in its first year to 80 in the 2014-2015 school year -- this number now includes 1 college graduate, 1 fourth-year college, 2 third-year college, 8 second-year college, and 2 first-year college students who would likely not be there without Waukegan To College. Often, W2C works with the oldest child in the family and the younger siblings benefit from the understanding of the college process that parents gain. As the current 1st grader in the family grows up, his parents will be well-attuned to the importance of getting good grades, taking challenging courses, beginning to save for college at an early grade, and the many other critical aspects of pursuing higher education.
A fundamental tenet of W2C is its focus on families. Workshops delivering key information for pursuing college admission are given for students and parents and are presented in English and Spanish.
W2C fosters an environment where families are expected to give back to the program by helping families new to W2C become oriented to our program and by being W2C ambassadors in their community organizations. We believe that ultimately this family outreach will be instrumental in creating the college-going culture of the long-term vision.