Getting Started

Developing Partnerships

This page contains planning guides for colleges and universities interested in replicating our successful college preparatory program, Countdown to College.

It is focused on developing partnerships with middle and high schools serving your targeted student demographic and contains documents, presentations and videos that we’ve used to communicate with our partner schools, select students, work with parents, and recruit college instructors and partner-school teachers for the summer academic boot camps.

You may already have a K-16 partnership coalition from which you will select your students. In our case at Saint Mary’s University, we had ties to Lasallian, Jesuit, and other Catholic schools in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Arizona, and Montana, all of whom serve low-income students of color who aspire to be the first in their family to go to college. Therefore, developing our network for C2C was fairly simple, consisting of trips to meet with administrators and school faculty. The following graphic depicts our C2C network of partner schools:

Partnerships for College Access and Success


Our initial contacts with potential partner schools started with phone conversations and school visits to share the program goals, structure, benefits for their students, and general information about participation in the C2C program. During these meetings, print materials for partner-school administrators that provide information about the C2C program were shared. Examples of these materials are available for download: