Organization to triple number of opportunities for area students, has adjusted to COVID-19 “Learn-From-Home” limitations
The Education Foundation of Williamson County (EFWC) has announced the results from its initial January 2020 class of Boost ACT Academy graduates, and students achieved a 5.5-point increase on their projected American College Testing (ACT) scores, on average.
This significant of an increase on the ACT can mean the difference in tens of thousands of dollars in college scholarship dollars available to a student.
With that model of success from its typical class size of 13 students, the non-profit organization is set to provide more opportunities, predominantly for juniors and seniors in Williamson County who are unhappy with their initial test score. EFWC will now offer spaces for up to 50 students in its next Boost ACT Academy class, with the organization paying more than half of the tuition for the additional 37 students.
“The results of the Boost program have been incredible, and the impact on these students and their families is no small matter,” said Matt Magallanes, chairman of the board of the EFWC. “We have been guided by the dedication to educational issues in our county from a number of local leaders at all levels of government, as well as by national leaders such as Mike Leavitt, the former governor of Utah and Secretary of the Health and Human Services Department – all have been heavily involved in our programs and mission.
“Collectively, we want to provide these improvement opportunities to more area students. Thanks to our generous sponsors, we are in the position to be able to offer these scholarships for up to 37 additional students for the program. We are still fundraising to see if we can cover even more of the costs.”
The next Boost ACT Academy class will begin on April 21. Scholarship applicants should apply via the EFWC website (www.williamsoneducation.org/boost-act) no later than April 15. Students and parents who are accepted to the program will be notified on April 17.
The April class will initially take place via Zoom or a similar video conferencing application on Tuesdays and Thursdays for approximately eight weeks – up until the next scheduled ACT test in June 2020. If local and national social distancing restrictions are lifted, the trainings will take place in-person at either Brentwood High School or Franklin High School. All in-person sessions are after school hours, but while using video conferencing the instructors and students have more flexibility on the schedule.
The cost of the program is typically $3,000 per student. With the EFWC scholarships, the cost will be reduced to $1,200 per student.
“This program truly is for students who are driven to improve an ACT score, and that encompasses different types of high schoolers,” said Laura Spretnjak, director of EdPath, which administers the training. “This is a focused class for students who have the work ethic and motivation to achieve better results. What we’ve learned from the first class is that it works, and more scholarship dollars are available at universities across the country for these students.”
Spretnjak pointed to two different examples of students who were successful in the program.
One was an honor roll student with a 4.3 grade point average who took the ACT and scored a 25, falling short of scholarship benchmarks that the student’s family needed to send her to college. After going through Boost, the student is projected to earn a 33 on the ACT, opening more than $10,000 in scholarship dollars at the student’s preferred college.
In another example, a student-athlete received a 19 on numerous attempts at the ACT. The student enrolled in Boost, completed the training and is projected to earn a score of a 24. This will open the door to athletic scholarship offers across the country.
“We understand that every student is different, and learns differently,” said Spretnjak. “We tailor the experience to each student, and that’s one reason why there are limited opportunities to join the program – our student-to-teacher ratio must remain low to give the individual attention needed. We are committed to raising that ACT score for students who are ready to work for it.
“It truly can be a life-changing experience over a very short period of time for these students and their families.”
Boost ACT Academy combines intensely focused sessions with one-on-one preparation designed for students with the serious ambition to move their scores upward. Most students have taken the ACT (American College Test) at least once and were not satisfied with the score they achieved.
The program employs new techniques to identify high-performing students who, based upon their scholastic capabilities, are under-performing on ACT Exam. The Academy will then conduct intensive training to provide new skills needed to increase their scores.
About The Education Foundation of Williamson County
The Education Foundation for Williamson County (EFWC) serves as a catalyst for student success. We bring educators, volunteers, donors, and advocates – a.k.a. the champions, together. We rally resources to ensure Williamson County has a world-class public education system for our children, our future.
With the help of champions like you, our students can reach new heights.