Graduate Support Program

Academic Level
Community-Based Organization
Issue Area
Support Services
Key Personnel
Program Focus
College Prep


Sacred Heart Nativity Schools’ (SHNS) Graduate Support Program began in 2004 upon the graduation of the school’s first class of 8th graders. SHNS’s relationship with students continues well after eighth grade graduation, creating a unique support system for low-income Latino youth. The Graduate Support Program is crucial in the early identification and resolution of problems that could otherwise cause a student to drop out of high school or college. The program accomplishes this through the three pillars: academic support, high school graduation, and college preparedness. They support students academically through check-ins, referrals to services, follow-ups, teaching advocacy skills, and providing a space to do homework. Grade reports are used to inform academic advising, support college advising, or set up meetings with teachers. The program monitors students and supports their path to graduation. To help their alumni enroll and graduate from college, the Graduate Support Network provides workshops on college admissions, college tours, SAT Prep Classes for juniors, a job shadow day, and volunteer opportunities.

Program Description

The Graduate Support program supports students through high school, and empowers them to achieve their post-secondary education goals. The program wants all alumni to excel academically, graduate high school, and enroll and graduate from college.


As of the Class of 2015, SHNS has over 357 alumni, 99% of whom are Latino. 52% of SHNS alumni currently enrolled in high school, 44% are currently enrolled in college, and 4% graduated from college or are serving in the military. 80% of the high school class of 2014 enrolled in postsecondary education. Enrollment grew the following year, and 88% of the high school class of 2015 enrolled in postsecondary education. SHNS’ alumni high school graduation rate is 96%, well above the national graduation average of 76% for Latino students and the California average of 73.2%. Over the past two years, the high school graduation rate for SHNS students has been 100%. About half of their students will be the first in their families to graduate from high school and all will be the first in their families to graduate from college.