High school students seek help with college preparation

Leon County Schools official logo.
Photo Courtesy of Leon County Schools.

In the past, Leon County students have had difficulty transitioning from high school to college. With so many students unsure of the transitioning process, Leon County schools are aiming to better prepare students for their next level of education.

Khapon Pylon is a Business Administration major and current freshman at Florida A&M University. When he recalled his days at Leon High School he said, “I knew I was going to college, but I feel like my high school could have better prepared me for it.”

According to Tallahassee Reports, Leon County ranked seventh among the highest graduation rates in Florida, after falling 3.7% in the 2016-2017 academic year.

Many students believe that college or the military are the best options after graduation but are unaware how to proceed to that path.

In response, Leon County School District is focusing on developing ways to introduce students to college readiness.

Leon County’s FAMU Developmental Research School offers college fairs to students. Here, students are introduced to many institutions. They can speak to college recruiters and do extensive research to figure out where they want to go after graduation.

Cameron Morrell, a Music Industry major at FAMU and graduate of Lincoln High School, said, “My school gave us a college tour at FAMU, which gave me my first experience on a college campus and aided to my decision of applying to Florida A&M University.”

Leon County high schools provide guidance counselors to mentor students on college success. They also offer dual enrollment courses that give high school students the opportunity to take college courses. This has become an effective way to promote going to college.

Kevin Fair, the registrar assistant at Tallahassee Community College, said, “An increase in school funding can also contribute to the development of college preparation (programs), creating better transitioning and performance from incoming high school students at the community college level.”

Student performance on state exit exams have factored into why students don’t apply for college. This leads to schools providing international college level preparatory exams.

According to US News, Lawton Chiles High School has the highest college readiness percentage at 62.8% and Amos P. Godby High School has the lowest percentage at 18.5% in Leon County.

The Leon County School District has created a Master Plan Component Catalog to evaluate performance and influence staff to promote student success pre-graduation and post-graduation preparation.

This District Policy is a state requirement that ensures the Florida mission of education.

Since then the college after high school graduation rate for Leon County students has risen over 4.6% since 2015 according to US News Education and is predicted to continue to rise.