In the whirlwind of college preparation, from figuring out where your classes are to picking up textbooks, it’s easy to lose sight of the additional preparation needed for success beyond high school. Breakthrough Birmingham seeks to prepare students for success beyond the classroom, starting in middle school, to support their path to post-secondary success. 

What exactly does it mean to be ready for college and career? 

According to Inflexion, readiness entails having the knowledge and skills to thrive in academic settings and adapt to the demands of the ever-evolving workplace. It’s about being equipped to navigate the complexities of a new environment with new challenges. 

College readiness encompasses more than just academic proficiency. 

It involves being prepared for post-secondary academic pursuits, whether pursuing a skilled trade license, certificate, associate’s, or bachelor’s degree. This preparation extends to apprenticeships and studies at two- or four-year institutions. 

So, how does Breakthrough Birmingham support college readiness?

In 2023, 76% of our students embarked on the journey to college—an accomplishment that speaks volumes about their resilience and determination. Furthermore, 84% of them persisted the following year, a tremendous achievement and testament to their endurance. The impact we see from our holistic programming is that students are ready for college and persist in college. 

David T. Conley, in his book “College and Career Ready: Helping All Students Succeed Beyond High School,” outlines four key areas essential to college and career readiness: Think, Know, Act, and Grow. These keys encompass cognitive strategies, content knowledge, learning skills, and transition knowledge and skills. Learning these areas equips students with the tools needed to excel in post-secondary education and navigate transitioning to the workforce.

Breakthrough Birmingham recognizes the importance of college and career readiness in empowering students for success. Providing holistic support and resources helps students bridge the gap between high school and higher education or the workforce. We want to ensure our scholars’ post-secondary success and provide them with equitable opportunities. Using our pillars to guide our work, we seek to provide opportunities that strengthen relationships, growth, and exposure for our scholars.  

students at mountain biking club for academic Enrichment with a birmingham non-profit

From school year to summer programming, Breakthrough Birmingham works year-round with scholars in Birmingham and Talladega to ensure their opportunities for post-secondary success. We implement activities like ACT Prep, Field Trips, Culture Nights, Homework Help, and more to sustain long-term success for our students inside and outside the classroom by deepening relationships, growth, and exposure for our scholars. 

As students prepare for the next chapter of their academic and professional journeys, actual readiness goes beyond textbook purchases. It’s about cultivating the skills, knowledge, and mindset necessary to thrive in college and beyond. With organizations like Breakthrough Birmingham leading the way, students are empowered to embrace the opportunities and chart their paths to post-secondary success.

Summer is quickly approaching, and we would love for more students in Birmingham and Talladega to join Breakthrough Birmingham for the summer. Apply today or share with a friend to help provide more opportunities for post-secondary success.

Keep up with Breakthrough Birmingham!