Kalos Academy reveals the hidden curriculum of college success to students who are first-generation, low-income, or members of traditionally underrepresented groups. We particularly aim to address the challenges associated with 'undermatched' students: those who might be enrolled at a school that's not optimally challenging, given their abilities and potential. We help students first to stay engaged and thrive where they are; but also to envision a future in which they graduate at the top of their class, transfer to the school of their dreams, and/or enter an excellent graduate school.
How do we do this? With active near-peer mentoring -- provided virtually by students and recent graduates from top colleges around the country -- we help students to understand and navigate the tacit assumptions behind: 1) college social life, 2) institutional processes like financial aid, and especially 3) classroom instruction. See an infographic about our approach here!
Kalos has worked with dedicated college faculty to develop materials illustrating how professors expect students to analyze, argue, write, apply concepts, and think critically -- the sort of expectations that often are not stated explicitly. In addition to helping their mentees tackle social and institutional challenges, our mentors use these materials to 'coach' them through the challenges they face in the classroom. We encourage our students to pursue goals they set for themselves; whether their goals are simply graduating, or excelling in coursework, successfully transferring to a school better 'matched' to their abilities, or getting admitted to a stellar graduate program.