Six high schools in Hamilton County Schools earn a 2020 College Success Award
Posted on 11/05/2020
2020 College Success AwardChattanooga High Center for Creative Arts (CCA), Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences Upper (CSAS), East Hamilton High, Lookout Valley Middle/High, Signal Mountain Middle/High, and STEM School Chattanooga have received a prestigious College Success Award from GreatSchools.org, the nation's leading nonprofit empowering parents to unlock educational opportunities for their children.

Launched in 2018, the College Success Award honors schools that excel in ensuring students prepare for college, enroll in college, and succeed once they get there. This year, the six Hamilton County schools are among 2,158 award-winning schools from 29 states who have demonstrated a successful track record of graduating students who later enroll in two or four-year college. Not only do the graduates enroll, but they prove they are ready for college-level coursework and persist on to their second year, according to available data from each state.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to threaten the nation's physical and financial health, Hamilton County Schools ensures students graduate with the skills and resources to succeed as post-secondary scholars and productive citizens. College and career-ready graduates are critical to fueling the U.S. economy, as 70 percent of jobs will require a post-secondary degree by 2027. CCA, CSAS, East Hamilton, Lookout Valley, Signal Mountain, and STEM School are among the 75 schools in Tennessee to receive this year's College Success Award.

"The Guidance Department at CSAS has always been an incredible strength over the school's 35-year existence," said Jim Boles, executive principal at Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences. "Adding a full-time college advisor has allowed our school counselor to do more truly needed guidance work and still team up to work together on the college prep piece of advisement."

Despite the unprecedented disruptions to the educational landscape this year, Hamilton County high schools have adopted and upheld many best practices to support their students' college preparation and success. The addition of full-time college advisors has been significant across the district. The schools also offer an Honors Level curriculum that includes ACT Prep courses and course work beyond state requirements. Schools provide students with opportunities to tour colleges and universities, visiting large and small public and private schools, HCBU schools, technical schools, and art schools. Schools start early to immerse students in college and career fairs and information to help each teen to begin early to think about post-secondary plans. Future Ready Institutes available in high schools also provide

The district action plan Future Ready 2023 is focused on graduates who are future-ready and prepared for success in college or career. Every graduate of Hamilton County Schools experiences high expectations that will help them find and pursue their learning passion. Whether the dream of a graduate is to go straight into a career, pursue technical training, a two or four-year college degree, or a professional degree, each will have the opportunity to prepare themselves to take the next step.

"We applaud Hamilton County Schools for prioritizing high-quality public education and putting students on the path to bright futures," said Jon Deane, CEO of GreatSchools.org. "Over the past year, students, parents, teachers, and communities have relied on one another like never before. We thank all of these individuals at these outstanding schools for their unwavering pursuit of college success for all students."

GreatSchools is a leading national nonprofit empowering parents with essential information to improve educational opportunities for their children. The website includes thousands of articles, tips, and interactive tools for parents.