Despite the fact that students are enrolling in record numbers, college completion rates are dismal, particularly for low-income and minority students. Low-income students are one-seventh as likely as high-income students to complete college.
Based on her own challenges as a first-generation college student, Haitian-born entrepreneur Alexandra Bernadotte developed and pursued a vision for an organization that would support students in their journey towards college success. Beyond 12 addresses the college completion challenge at its root by operating at the intersection of K-12 and higher education, and acting as a data and service bridge between the two. Beyond 12 enables high schools and colleges to track and analyze longitudinal student data to help them improve the efficacy of their instructional models, college readiness programs, and support services. The Beyond 12 college coaching service provides students with the academic and social support they need to earn a college degree, beginning in their senior year of high school and continuing through their second year of college.
In addition to having a direct impact on students, Beyond 12 seeks to have a catalytic impact on the education system by creating an efficient model for how high schools and colleges can work together to increase college graduation rates. By gathering and synthesizing critical data, Beyond 12 is advancing our collective understanding about how to improve success for low-income, first-generation, and minority students in higher education.
Beyond 12 is currently working with 20 high schools and tracking and supporting 1,800 college freshmen. The organization plans to track and support over 30,000 college students by 2014.
How NewSchools helped:
Bernadotte incubated her idea as an “Entrepreneur in Residence” at NewSchools Venture Fund. With NewSchools’ support, Bernadotte was able to create the business plan that would carry her ideas into reality. “NewSchools has been a key partner for Beyond 12 – starting by supporting my vision and providing me with the space to incubate and test the idea,” says Bernadotte. “Being an early-stage entrepreneur can be a very lonely undertaking. However, as an Entrepreneur in Residence at NewSchools, I had access to intelligent, passionate and thoughtful NewSchools team members, both formally and informally, who helped push my thinking.”