What intake process will best support new students?

The intake process at PSJA’s College, Career & Technology Academy starts when a dropout or non-completer arrives at the school to enroll, and it ends when he or she is attending classes and all enrollment paperwork is complete. The academic counselor is the staff person with primary responsibility for intake. Two accompanying Intake Tools can be found in the tools section. One offers a self-assessment for schools to determine how to utilize the intake process to accomplish a range of goals. The other is designed to help manage any intake eligibility requirements and the completion of the necessary forms for enrollment.


intake at ccta

Key principles for intake

USE THE INTAKE PROCESS TO CREATE A BOND BETWEEN THE INSTITUTION AND THE STUDENT

At CCTA, staff:

  • Use the intake process as an opportunity to get to know the student’s individual needs, goals, and challenges.
  • Make sure that everyone with whom an incoming student might interact during the intake process—from the security guard at the door to the principal—recognizes him or herself as a member of the “intake team.”
  • Minimize the teacher/student power dynamic by arranging tables and chairs so that the school staff person and the enrolling student sit side by side rather than across from each other.

BUILD STAFF TO STAFF RELATIONSHIPS TO MAKE THE PAPERWORK FLOW MORE SMOOTHLY

At CCTA, staff:

  • Develop strong relationships with key people in the other administrative offices in the district—particularly in Pupil Accounting—to gather necessary data such as transcripts.

STARTING AT INTAKE, SHIFT STUDENTS’ ASPIRATIONS FROM GRADUATION TO POSTSECONDARY AND CAREER SUCCESS 

At CCTA, staff:

  • Encourage students to talk about their long-term aspirations and point out the need for and possibility of succeeding in postsecondary education.
  • Emphasize dual enrollment and college readiness as key components of the program.
  • At the intake session, cover three topics:
  1. The mini-mester opportunity (abbreviated dual enrollment opportunities with South Texas College)
  2. One-stop college registration, available during intake
  3. Other transition to college opportunities
  • Have the student complete the “college interest survey” and the STC application.

intake for groups of students

Many students are enrolled via a group intake process in the spring; a similar group process is held in the summer and is described here (click on "Recruit Eligible Students").

PLAN AND PREPARE

  • Hold group intake up to two weeks ahead of the official first day of school.
  • Advertise it widely, in a variety of media (see Sample Materials).
  • Train staff so they know exactly what is needed to enable the enrolling student to complete the task, be it answering questions or gathering the right information so problems can be solved.
  • Arrange the intake space in a series of stations. Incoming students move from station to station, completing paperwork along the way. Stations can include: transcript review, course selection, college applications, interest inventories to inform selection of dual enrollment, child care if necessary.
  • Situate the space close to the entry to a building: Make it easy to find!
  • Choose a space big enough for people to move around in but not so large that it seems empty.
  • Make sure everyone has enough of whatever they might need: forms, pens, water.
  • Assign a knowledgeable person to “float” so they can assist or substitute for others when breaks are needed.
  • Set up the stations in a logical sequence and number and label them (hint: post label high above the stations so they can always be seen).

MANAGE THE PROCESS

  • Provide each student with a checklist of stations to visit upon entry.
  • At each station, the station staffer walks the student through that station’s process.
  • Enable students to go to stations out of sequence if lines get too long.
  • Create a final checkout station, where staff determine what intake elements, if any, students are missing.
  • Make a final individualized connection with the student before s/he leaves the building. Remind him or her of the start time for the upcoming first day of school.
  • Confirm that s/he will receive a schedule on the first day or hand them their schedule on the spot.

intake for individual students

As students trickle in during the school year, intake is conducted one-on-one by the academic counselor. The same principles apply. However, with individual intake, more relationship-building can occur.

FOSTER CONNECTIONS

  •  Invite the principal in to meet the student and to emphasize:
  1. The purpose of the school: to complete high school and begin college at the same time.
  2. The responsibilities of the student to attend school and to complete all requirements for graduation and successfully transition to college.
  • Take the student on a tour of the school and introduce him/her to students and teachers.

QUICK START

  • Once all paperwork is complete, assign the student “active” status and give the student his/her schedule. The student is now enrolled.
  • Capitalize on initial enthusiasm by starting the student in class that day. The sooner the student begins, the sooner their engagement deepens—and the sooner they can graduate.

intake details

Regardless of whether a student enters via a group intake or individual meeting, some details need to be covered. Beyond the required paperwork, every intake process should include an opportunity to get to know the student and to start the shift in aspirations from graduation to postsecondary and career success.

COVER THE ENROLLMENT BASICS

  • Make sure the student meets the following criteria:
  1. 18 to 26 years of age
  2. A fifth-year senior lacking five or fewer credits or any part of the TAKS (exit-level) examination
  3. A resident of the district
  • If a student needs more than five credits, don’t just refer them, WALK them over to the program that is appropriate for them to make sure they do not disappear from the system again.
  • Make sure the student has the following documents:
  1. Transcript
  2. Most recent TAKS Confidential Student Report
  3. An immunization card
  4. A Social Security card
  5. Either a driver’s license or a student ID

If the student comes from Mexico, the credit check will be different. Some credits will transfer.

GET TO KNOW THE STUDENT

  • Explore the student’s responsibilities, such as work and child care, to determine what the best schedule for the student will be and when s/he can meet with the school social worker.
  • In creating a student’s schedule, consider TAKS credits and work and family responsibilities. Given the student’s situation, will s/he be most likely to have strong attendance in the morning or afternoon session?

USE OPTIONAL/FLEXIBLE SCHEDULING AS AN OPTION OF LAST RESORT

  • The Optional/Flexible School Day Program allows flexibility in the number of hours or number of days students at risk of dropping out or students attending innovative campuses or early college high schools must attend. It is the option of last resort because:
  1. CCTA students traditionally need more rather than less structure, and flexible scheduling requires a high degree of self-motivation on the part of the student, so it is not often the optimum option for this population.
  2. Flexible scheduling must be reauthorized every six weeks for each student.
  3. Optional/Flexible Scheduling requires six hours of class time to earn a day of funding, rather than four.

SOW THE SEEDS FOR POSTSECONDARY SUCCESS

  • Emphasize dual enrollment and college readiness when introducing the overall program:
  1. The mini-mester concept: a compressed college-level course taken at South Texas College
  2. Dual enrollment: a policy that allows students to take and receive college credit for college courses while working towards their high school diplomas
  3. The Go Center: located at CCTA, the Go Center is staffed by a combination of current college students, a transition counselor, and CCTA staff to provide information on college to CCTA students
  4. One-Stop college registration: South Texas College registration, counseling, and financial aid staff visit the CCTA campus periodically to enroll students
  5. The “college interest survey,” which helps determine what courses the student would like to take when eligible for dual enrollment
  6. Other transition to college opportunities

registration checklist

These forms and other materials must be completed by a student to be enrolled at CCTA:

  • Registration and Enrollment Form
  • South Texas College Application
  • Income Survey
  • Ethnicity Questionnaire
  • Picture & Technology Release Form
  • Mentor Period/STC interest area
  • Field Trip Form
  • Attendance Contract
  • Employment Verification
  • Student Emergency Card
  • Student Code of Conduct
  • Credit Checks/Current Transcript
  • TAKS requirements
  • Picture ID

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