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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Empowering Students for Post-Graduate Pathways

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Vicky Creasy

In the midst of a global talent revolution, college and career readiness has never been so critical for individuals, families, and communities, which is why GEO Focus Academy of Indiana was created—to dismantle traditional barriers to college for students. GEO Focus is paving the way for first-generation college students to embark on a successful academic journey that creates ripples over time breaking generational cycles of poverty, creating new pathways to information, and helping families build sustainable wealth over time.

The cornerstone of GEO Focus lies in its dedication to teaching students independence—a critical, transferrable skill that not only propels academic responsibility and success but is invaluable after high school graduation. During their eighth grade year, each student enrolled at GEO Focus is paired with a college and career counselor to begin exploring what life will look like after they graduate from high school. Recognizing that the transition to college can be a significant leap, marked by newfound freedom and autonomy, GEO Focus works to ensure students can explore their education pathways before committing to college. This includes getting experience navigating a college campus.

Even with exceptional academic performance and a robust support system, young adults struggle to plan for life after graduation. Through GEO Focus, Indiana families have access to virtual schooling that may be better suited to meet their child’s unique needs. For some families, virtual school is a beacon of hope while their child navigates medical challenges, professional athletics, or even debilitating bullying in traditional school settings. And while students can gain exceptional education in a more tailored approach to their learning style, GEO Focus supports students in thinking ahead and preparing for what happens after graduation.

According to the Journal of Educational Research and Practice, first-generation college students are often are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to postsecondary access—a disadvantage that persists even after controlling for other factors such as educational expectations, academic preparation, support from parents and schools in planning and preparing for college, and family income. But first-generation college students aren’t the only young adults that struggle with the transition after high school. By supporting entire families in planning for life after graduation, GEO Focus is helping to ensure that entire family systems are better prepared for the transition to college and career pathways when the time arrives.

Today, GEO Focus Academy serves students across Indiana. Once students reach eighth grade, they’re paired with a college and career counselor who can help them begin planning for life after high school. GEO Focus also holds relationships with various Indiana universities allowing students to experience college campuses, participate in college courses, and easing into the transition into post-secondary education. Not only do these experiences help students gain confidence and experience, dual credit courses allow students to get a head start on earning college credits and often, greater clarity on what their field of study in college.

GEO Focus offers important options for families as they consider the unique needs and learning styles of their children, and through the Indiana Choice Scholarship, qualifying Indiana families can receive a financial voucher to offset tuition costs at a participating private school of their choice. Today, a remarkable 96 percent of families are income-eligible for the program.

If your student is struggling in the traditional school setting, or if you’re simply interested in exploring education options that may better equip your student with opportunities to achieve academic success, we invite you to explore enrolling in GEO Focus Academy on our website.

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