Breakthrough has two main program groups: middle school students and the high school or college-aged teachers who instruct and mentor them in the Breakthrough program. Here's more about being a Breakthrough Student and Breakthrough Teacher.
Breakthrough Collaborative launches motivated middle school students on the road to college and prepares older students for careers in education.
Breakthroughs begin in middle school
Goal: All Breakthrough middle-school students will enter and thrive in a carefully screened and rigorous college preparatory high school, and enroll in a four-year college.
Breakthrough students usually enter the program in the summer of their 7th grade year and continue until they graduate from high school. The student experience includes two 6-week, academically intense summer sessions, year-round support and tutoring, and ongoing-college preparation and assistance. Most Breakthrough students attend public schools.
- Intense six-week summer session
- Students teaching students model
- Small class sizes (3:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Accelerated learning in English literature, math, science, social studies and foreign language
- Academic electives such as African American history
- Enrichment electives such as athletics, music lessons, study skills, and public speaking
- Two hours of nightly homework
- Weekly special event
- Family outreach events
Year round support
- Individualized after-school academic tutoring support for students throughout the school year
- Skill building in math and writing
- Individual family high school options counseling
Support continues on the road to college
For students who've committed themselves to academic excellence and have enrolled in a college preparatory high school, Breakthrough offers continued support and partners with local organizations to help students achieve their goal of graduating from a four-year college.
- Ongoing college prep and assistance
- Grade monitoring
- College test preparation (SAT, ACT)
- Admissions counseling
- Campus tours
- Financial aid workshops
- Scholarship opportunities
- Internship placements
The Outcome: Breakthrough students will graduate high school and go to college!
Here's what being a Breakthrough Teacher is all about...
Breakthrough teachers are outstanding high school and college students who serve as role models and inspire our students to get onto the road to college.
Breakthrough trains more than 700 young teachers nationally every year
The success of every Breakthrough program relies on the incredible commitment made by our outstanding high school and college-age teachers. Given a great responsibility, they write their own lesson plans, teach classes and connect with students on a personal level as young mentors and role models. To ensure their success in and out of the classroom, Breakthrough offers training and support under the supervision of professional educators known as Instructional Coaches.
- Targeted recruitment of the best and brightest young people
- Campus Leaders, who are former Breakthrough teachers, recruit at more than 30 of the nation's top colleges every year.
- Students of color, men and those with science and math interests are strongly encouraged to apply
- Former Breakthrough students often return to teach in the program, continuing the cycle of mentorship
Award-winning eight-week summer internship program
The new recruits apply for teaching internship positions at any of the 25 Breakthrough Affiliates. Those accepted then embark on an award-winning eight-week internship program that offers a truly hands-on teaching experience. To ensure their success, Breakthrough Instructional Coaches provide:
- Training and mentoring of student teachers
- Help in understanding and implementing middle school curricula
- Assistance in planning daily lessons
- Ongoing feedback on progress
- Best practices for managing student behavior
The Outcome: Enthusiastic young teachers pursue careers as professional educators, poised to make a difference.