Student Life » College and Career

College and Career

MAS offers a college preparatory program for all of our students.  At MAS, we define college prep to mean our students are academically and socially prepared for the rigors of college. It means that when students enroll in post-secondary schools, they are "college ready," meaning they do not require remedial coursework before they can start college level courses.  It also means that they understand the spoken and unspoken rules that govern college life as the culture of college is very different from that of high school.  Below we explain how we ensure MAS students are college ready. 
MAS students begin taking college trips during their sixth grade year. Students visit at least two college campuses each school year beginning in grade six through grade eleven. The intention of these college visits is to expose students to the different kinds of schools: two year schools, four year schools, private colleges, state universities, small schools, and large schools. By seeing different campuses, students can begin the process of making a good decision as to which school will best meet their academic needs. 
While on campuses, students visit dorm rooms to understand college living options.  They visit the financial aid/scholarship office to learn about how to finance college. They visit actual classrooms to understand the difference in class sizes at various colleges to help them best decide how this factors into their decision making of a school that is right for them. They also visit various student services on campus such as the health office, school library, student activities office, and more to help them understand the culture of college. 
As students enter high school, our college tours are specialized by department/major to help students as they get closer to making decisions around declared majors and selection of colleges based on factors including programs offered.
Bottom line - Most of our students will be first generation college students and taking college trips is just one of the ways we bridge the gap between high school and college for our students.  An added bonus is the fact that college trips are fully financed by MAS Charter School. It is our intention to ensure all students access this opportunity and as a result, we remove any financial barrier that might prevent a student from experiencing these opportunities. 
Beginning in a student's sophomore year in high school, they take two practice SAT exams each year and at least one actual SAT. MAS teachers are trained in SAT prep strategies to ensure our students have the tools necessary to be successful in taking this gatekeeper college entrance exam.  While we agree with the common argument that test scores are not everything, we also know that having a high enough SAT score determines acceptance into college, and therefore, we ensure students are prepared for these exams so that their college opportunity is not removed from them because they cannot attain a high enough score. MAS seeks to open doors of opportunity for our students and we know students must demonstrate success on the SAT, one of the college gate-keepers.
Like most everything we do at MAS, our students are NOT financially responsible for this opportunity. SAT test administration fees are fully financed by MAS Charter School for all students, regardless of income eligibility.
Advanced Placement is a program operated by the College Board (the authors of the SAT) that allows students to take courses at their high school that can earn college credit and/or qualify them for more advanced classes when they begin college. AP courses are designed to give students the experience of an intro-level college class while they are still in high school, PLUS, students can earn college credit for the class they take if they pass the AP exam. 

AP classes were created in the mid-1950's as a response to the widening gap between high school and college. In the 2017-2018 school year, MAS began its AP FOR ALL program by enrolling 100% of our high school students in AP English. Over the years, we will expand our AP FOR ALL program to include other content areas such as social studies classes, sciences, and math. 
Again, MAS students do NOT pay for the AP exams. These are fully financed by MAS Charter School for all students regardless of income eligibility. 
New Mexico high school student have the opportunity to enroll in college courses through the Dual Credit (DC) Program. The DC Program provides access to college courses that deliver simultaneous credit toward high school graduation and a post-secondary degree or certificate. At MAS, all high school students beginning the spring semester of their freshman year are assessed on the college placement test (Accuplacer) to determine eligibility for dual enrollment. The tuition for these classes as well as the books are fully paid for by the school making this accessible for all students! MAS' College and Career Counselors work closely with high school students to assess them and support them in registering for their dual credit courses. This is a great way to jump start the opportunity to earn credits and to have exposure to college courses with the support of our high school staff who are there to ensure student success.
MAS' College and Career Counselors meet individually with students to support them with the admissions process to the colleges of their choice. Students are expected to apply to and be accepted by at least two colleges by the fall of their senior year. MAS' College and Career Counselors also meet with students and their families to support them in completing their financial aid applications.