One shortcoming of many mainstream public high schools is the striking absence of preparation for college and guidance to successfully enroll and attend college. Many students in American public high schools never even take the SAT. In contrast, the Big Picture model is based on the premise that college should be an attainable goal for all students, regardless of their prior academic record or financial background. Although the option of attending college is a personal one, we believe that students should have the choice, coupled with ability, to further their education at the university/college level. The goal of all students, as well as an institutional requirement, is to work on a complete and thorough plan for life after high school. Our schools expose students to college throughout their high school experience:
- All students take the SAT or other College Board exam at least once
- All students visit, interview, and apply to at least three colleges
- All students develop college portfolios, including resumes and college essays, their transcript, mentor and advisor recommendations, and samples of outstanding work
- Students and families receive college counseling
- Students complete financial aid and scholarship applications
- Big Picture schools form relationships with local colleges and often host or send their students to college fairs
- Big Picture schools develop alternative transcripts to match college requirements
- We encourage our students to take at least one or more college classes while in high school.
Big Picture has connections with many state and national colleges to facilitate student admissions. Furthermore, BPP’s Director of Post-Secondary Support develops and fosters programs and partnerships for each school to create dual enrollment opportunities, summer college opportunities, certification programs and to help students devise a post-secondary education and scholarship plan.