All services provided for students in O-Higher Ed are 100% free of cost.
O-Higher Ed has two components:
First, and perhaps most critically, O-Higher Ed runs a middle school program called Get Ready!, which partners with Matilija Middle School. This program is specifically for students who would be first in their family to go to college. Matilija’s student population includes 52% of its students on free and reduced lunch. Additionally, Matilija students performed 19 points below the state standard for English and 43 points below the state standard for math in 2019. For students to overcome these deficiencies, they must start in middle school to progress towards preparation for college.
The goals of Get Ready! include helping students strengthen their study skills and their soft skills like public speaking, to learn about colleges and universities, and to engage in long term planning of their academic program. Students meet in a group setting weekly throughout the academic year.
Once students graduate from Get Ready! to high school and the broader O-Higher Ed program, they meet for one on one sessions once every four to six weeks. In these conversations, students review academic progress, engage in both short term and long term goal setting, and complete course planning to be sure students are Cal State and UC eligible, eventually shifting into managing the college process. Meetings increase in frequency in 11th grade to once a month in the second half of the year; in 12th grade, they occur weekly or bi-weekly to support the college application and financial aid process.