GBCSD chosen to participate in $1.5M college readiness program

  • General Brown Central School District is among 20 rural schools in northeastern New York and Vermont selected as part of the newly launched North Country Brilliant Pathways program that will provide staff and students college and career readiness support.

    CFES Brilliant Pathways, a college and career-readiness nonprofit based in Essex, N.Y., chose the participating schools from 72 applications. The initiative, which has a value of $1.5 million, will provide the selected schools with a multi-faceted, comprehensive college readiness program that will put more of their students on a path to college.

    General Brown school leaders saw the program as an excellent opportunity to further the goals of the district’s strategic plan, which includes preparing students to meet future goals with a focus on college, career and citizen readiness through community collaboration.

    “We are thrilled General Brown has been selected for this program, which will provide a variety of professional and academic resources to help guide our students as they prepare for college and career opportunities beyond high school. This initiative will help us better support the ‘Intentional Investment in Learning’ focus area of our Strategic Plan 2019-22,” GBCSD Superintendent Barbara Case said.

    Currently, a lower percentage of rural students attend college compared with their urban and suburban counterparts, and they drop out at far higher rates. “Too many rural young people lack the skills and education to take on today’s high-wage jobs, and they are being left out of the 21st century economy as a result. The goal of this program is to level the playing field for a large group of rural students and ultimately rural communities,” said Rick Dalton, president and CEO of CFES Brilliant Pathways.

    General Brown’s Director of Student Services Kate Beattie, who took the lead on the district’s application to Brilliant Pathways, said the resources the program provides can help students gain knowledge and exposure to opportunities they might not have been aware of otherwise. “My hope for the program is that we can give our students more ways to find opportunities and possibilities about which they feel passionate,” she said.

    Beattie emphasized that while some networking and mentoring may take place locally, the virtual resources will expand possibilities for students beyond the immediate area. “I hope that prioritizing college, career and citizen readiness will give our students the confidence to realize their goals here or wherever their interests and passions take them,” she said.

    As part of the program, General Brown schools will receive:

    • A dedicated professional program director to make in-person and virtual visits throughout the year and guide the development of college and career plans.
    • Myriad professional development and enrichment opportunities for educators, partners and families, such as monthly college- and career-readiness advisor training certified by the University of Vermont.
    • A vast library of resources, plus partnerships and networking opportunities with 200 colleges/universities and 230 businesses and corporations.
    • Opportunities for networking, collaboration, and recognition, including becoming a nationally recognized School of Distinction.
    • A partnership with an urban school to promote cultural exchange and connection and prepare students to navigate a diverse world.
    • Each participating student will complete a 10-point college and career readiness plan annually that is certified by CFES.

    CFES Brilliant Pathways is an international nonprofit that has helped over 100,000 urban and rural students attend college. Relying on research-driven methods and best practices, CFES has sent more than 90 percent of its students to college since 1991 and currently serves 25,000 students in 30 states and Ireland.