Commitment to Urban Education

6to16 college readiness curriculum and online tool expands

6to16 college readiness curriculum and online tool expands6to16 helps students to develop the beliefs, knowledge and skills to successfully complete high school and college. Read full story >


The school-based implementation of the 6to16 college readiness curriculum and online learning tool developed by the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute will expand to the Chicago International Charter School network and additional KIPP campuses in the fall of 2011.

6to16 is a college-readiness curriculum, a set of online learning experiences and a web-based social network that begins in sixth grade and provides students with the support to continue through middle school, high school and the four years of college (16th grade). 6to16 helps students to develop the beliefs, knowledge and skills to successfully complete high school and college. The program is specifically designed to meet the unique needs of low-income students of color who are often the first in their families to attend college. Inspired by the research report “Potholes on the Road to College” from UEI’s Consortium on Chicago School Research, lessons focus on overcoming barriers to college graduation, including completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, college “fit,” interviewing skills, crafting a life vision and navigating the college application process.

“6to16 aligns with the research on what matters most for supporting low-income urban students to and through high school and college,” said Nyasha Nyamapfene, UEI’s director of product and program design. “We’ve developed a set of 21st-century curriculum tools that empower students to navigate this path, expand their own social capital, and understand the connection between their decisions today and their life options more broadly.”

Currently, 6to16 is leveraged in the seven schools within the Woodlawn Children’s Promise Community, as well as in the University of Chicago Charter School’s Woodlawn and Carter G. Woodson campuses. The program is being implemented in 18 KIPP schools in Houston, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and the Bay Area, expanding to 25 total (including two in New York City) this fall. The college-readiness program will also be used in 15 Chicago International Charter School campuses in the upcoming school year, with a three-year scale-up plan to reach all sixth- through 12th-grade students across the network.

Beth Purvis, executive director of Chicago International Charter School, said, “CICS believes that readying children for college requires a holistic approach. We believe that 6to16 will complement the CICS middle and high school academic and instructional models by providing teachers and parents with a framework for developing the beliefs, knowledge and skills required for success in college and beyond.”

“Creating successful paths through high school and college is critical to improving the lives of urban children,” said Timothy Knowles, the John Dewey Director of the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute. “UEI welcomes the opportunity to partner with KIPP and the Chicago International Charter School in that important work.”

By Katelyn Silva
July 1, 2011