SMART's College Access and Success Program was formally created during the 2011-2012 school year, rising out of explicit need stated from SMART families to support their children with their goals to enroll in college. Research behind CASP is based on best practices from other college access programs both locally and nationally, from empirical and academic literature, as well as feedback from our key stakeholders (students, parents, school personnel and community members). CASP Scholars are expected to after-school programming weekly. The five elements that comprise SMART's CASP and define our program activities are:
1) Workshop Series- The workshop series is grouped under specific themes and covers topics including college and career exploration (including college tours and career panels), community investment, study skills, education as a human right, financial literacy, and more.
2) Leadership Ladder- SMART offers students opportunities to develop public speaking, organization, advocacy, perseverance, and self-empowerment skills.
3) Individualized Academic Support- Class scheduling assistance; transcript review; professional tutoring in core subjects; communication with schools; family meetings; college counseling; and test preparation courses and practice tests (PSAT, SAT and ACT).
4) Parent Education Series- College Prep, Navigating School Systems, Academic Planning, Standardized Testing, and Financial Aid.
5) Community Building and Social Support- SMART facilitates connections between Scholars, encouraging them to share triumphs and challenges and to keep each other focused on college attendance through social events, service learning opportunities, immersion and leadership trips, retreats, mentoring, and affinity groups.