Here are answers to some questions parents may have about this program.
What is it?
The Access and Opportunity Program (AOP) is a partnership consisting of St. Cloud State University (SCSU), St. Cloud Technical and Community College (SCTCC), and the St. Cloud School District (District #742) with the purpose of improving academic achievement and high school graduation rates, increasing rigorous college preparatory course-taking behavior, and increasing two-year and four-year college participation. Funding is provided by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU). The Center for Access and Opportunity operates out of the Pre-College Department of St. Cloud State University.
Why and how was my child selected?
Students are identified by school personnel using guidelines in the grant. Students who could benefit from opportunities to improve their test results, grades, chances of going to college, or earning college credit while in high school are invited to join this program.
What if my child doesn’t, or I do not want him or her, to participate?
There are no obligations. The program provides many benefits and opportunities, and the purpose is to help your child now and with his/her future. The child will not be denied any regular school services for not participating but the child will miss out on many exciting possibilities that could be helpful in their academic and career future.
What does it cost?
Families and students are not expected to pay for any services of the program. If students go on field trips, they may need spending money. Families will have to pay for any normal school activity expenses they would ordinarily incur but there are no extra charges for participation in this program.
Can my other children who were not selected enroll in this program?
When openings become available new participants will be selected according to program guidelines. So, your child or others may be able to enroll.
Where and when does it take place?
Most services will be provided at your child’s school, both during regular school hours and in some after-school programs. There will be times when programs will take place on the local college campuses (St. Cloud State University and St. Cloud Technical and Community College). There may be some programs on an occasional weekend, and some field trips to sites in the St. Cloud area or to the Twin Cities.
Expectations and Responsibilities.
Students and families are asked to participate on a regular basis in the activities, programs, services that the Access and Opportunity Program (AOP) provides. Parental involvement is essential for student success. Regular student attendance is an expectation.
Students should maintain appropriate behavior and conduct on school grounds and on field trips. District 742 policies apply to all AOP participants.
What will you and your child get from the Access and Opportunity Program?
These services and resources are available for your student. They are designed to:
- help children take classes that prepare them for college
- earn college credit while in high school
- give additional academic advising
- provide tutoring
- offer mentoring
- keep students on track to graduate
- aid in career planning
- give opportunity to participate in summer programs
- attend test preparation programs
- provide English language learning services
- offer academic and cultural enrichment programs
- give an orientation to college life
- offer information on college admissions and financial aid
Most of these services are free. In some cases, transportation and refreshments are provided at no cost.