We’re Retiring College Prep – Here’s What’s Next

July 1, 2024

After 25 Years of the College Prep Academy

Dear Friends,

For two and a half decades, the College Prep Academy has been a cornerstone of Capital IDEA, providing a bridge to college for adult learners in need of additional academic support. Since its inception in the spring of 1999, the College Prep Academy, a collaboration between Capital IDEA and Austin Community College (ACC), has served hundreds of adult learners. Through intensive instruction in reading, writing, and math, coupled with critical thinking skills and wraparound services, College Prep empowered participants to overcome educational barriers and succeed in higher education.

College Prep’s impact has been profound. Talented, caring ACC instructors working with Capital IDEA Career Navigators prepared participants to satisfy the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) requirements, most often within a single semester—a remarkable achievement considering the challenges faced by many of our learners. Moreover, the success stories of those who completed the program and went on to pursue fulfilling careers are a testament to the transformative power of education.

As an organization that prides itself on innovation, we recognize the need to continuously adapt to better serve the evolving needs of our community. That is why, as of July 2024, we are bidding a fond farewell to the College Prep Academy. We retire the program with immense pride in all that was accomplished and gratitude for the many instructors, administrators, funders, and supporters who made the program possible. At the same time, we are excited to announce the launch of the new initiative that will replace College Prep.

Spring 1999 — Summer 2024
76 Sessions of College Prep
1,714 Students Served

In partnership with ACC, we are piloting an innovative new approach to supporting students through their introduction to college. What does this new approach look like? Starting in the fall of 2024, instead of focusing on preparatory instruction and TSI requirements, we’ll enroll students in two foundational courses (INRW-0340 and MATD-0342) paired with two college-level courses (English 1301 and Math 1342) and invest additional resources to build a supportive learning community around these students.

As with College Prep, their Capital IDEA Career Navigator will be there to provide guidance and support. The students will benefit from a collaborative approach to instruction for each course and a dedicated tutor per subject. They’ll participate in ‘Success Lab’ tutorials where they will receive personalized attention aimed at addressing their individual learning needs and comprehensive academic support to ensure they master core subjects. In a single semester, students will achieve three goals. They’ll develop their fundamental academic skills, bridge their knowledge gaps, and earn college-level credits, meaning they’ll be making significant progress toward graduation from day one!

We are confident this new approach will build upon the legacy of the College Prep Academy while better meeting the needs of today’s adult learners. We invite you to stay tuned during this new chapter as we launch this pilot in partnership with ACC, and we look forward to celebrating with you as new students move forward to achieve their education and career goals.

Alyssia Palacios-Woods
Executive Director

Special Note: Although Capital IDEA’s College Prep Academy was jointly run with Austin Community College, it should not be confused with Austin Community College’s College Prep program. This announcement refers only to Capital IDEA’s program.

SUBSCRIBE TO NEWS & EVENTS | Don’t miss our next blog post!