CenterPoint | June 2018 | Back On Track staff
The first-year of the partnership between the United Way of Southern Nevada and the UNLV Center for Academic Enrichment and Outreach that funded the Back on Track (BOT) program that aimed to address credit deficiency, improve college preparedness and increase graduation at Western High School is coming to end.
The BOT program successfully recruited and enrolled 150 students at Western High School for the 2017-18 academic year. Some key accomplishments include: 100% of BOT participants reduced the number of credits they were deficient in, 79% of participants are on track to graduate, 75% of participants took 3 or more credit recovery courses, and 90% of participants were exposed to college or vocational schools through campus tours.
Many BOT participants were provided with in-class tutoring services to help them pass the courses that he/she were deficient in. Fall and spring recognition events were held to reward the participants who had passed at least one half-credit course necessary to graduate. For every half-credit course a participant completed, he or she received a Walmart gift card. During the academic year, BOT staff coordinated events to impact students’ lives post-graduation, such as financial literacy workshops, vocational school exposure and campus tours.
The BOT program partnered with Lisa Tomlin, senior education manager from Junior Achievement of Southern Nevada, to provide BOT students with 90-minute financial literacy workshops at Western HS on 3/14 and 3/22. The Junior Achievement of Southern Nevada’s personal finance program presented on a variety of topics such as, the importance of saving, credit history and maintaining a high credit score. The students participated in various activities where they created a monthly budget and were given unforeseen expenses to see if they could stay within their planned budget for the month.
Additionally, the BOT program exposed 135 of its students to college through campus tours of UNLV, CSN, Touro University, and PIMA Medical Institute. The CSN campus tour held on April 6, was attended by 20 students, the UNLV campus tour held on April 13 was attended by 39 students, the Touro University campus tour held on May 8 was attended by 26 students, and the PIMA Medical Institute campus tour held on February 28 was attended by 50 students. The tours were well received by the BOT students and many expressed interest in pursuing the colleges visited.
Overall, it was a successful year for United Way, the BOT program, and its participants. 89 BOT credit deficient students graduated from Western High School, of which 49 participants were admitted to a program of postsecondary education.