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BK School Launches College Boot Camp to Combat Declining Undergrad Enrollment Numbers

Brooklyn Lab Charter School is running a six-week boot camp to assist its senior students through the college application process.
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Students at work during the first college prep workshop. Photo: Provided/ Brooklyn Lab Charter School.

Brooklyn Lab Charter School wants to ensure its seniors excel at the right college.

In an effort to better support its senior students, the school is launching its first-ever "Operation: Finish Line," a six-week college preparatory boot camp.

“Brooklyn Lab is leaving nothing to chance when it comes to our scholars’ college application process,” said Garland Thomas-McDavid, chief executive of Brooklyn Lab, a sixth through 12th-grade college prep school in Downtown Brooklyn.

“We will be with them every step of the way to help them understand and evaluate their options, and choose a college that will give them the best chance of success,” Thomas-McDavid said.

According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, there were 662,000 fewer students — a decline of nearly 5% — enrolled in undergraduate programs in spring 2022 as compared to a year earlier.

The declines are even more pronounced for Black students. Colleges saw a nearly 7% decline in Black student enrollment between fall 2020 and fall 2022.

This is cause for concern for Brooklyn Lab as 93% of its graduates are Black or Hispanic, with 77% of students falling below the poverty threshold and 25% requiring special education services.

In light of the recent trends, the school is refreshing its college preparation approach with "Operation: Finish Line."

“I know first-hand that a college degree is life-changing, especially for Brooklyn Lab’s mostly first-generation college students,” said Thomas-McDavid.

The boot camp will begin by assisting students in research to find the best school for them. Research will factor in graduation rates for students of color, SAT ranges, acceptance rates and affordability.

Brooklyn Lab is confident that matchmaking between the student and school will increase the probability of students obtaining a degree.

Over the course of six weeks, "Operation: Finish Line" will offer students the chance to partake in small group mentorship, SAT workshops and credit recovery.

Additionally, students will receive direct assistance and feedback in completing the personal statement and college application process by Jan. 1.

The program kicked off on Nov. 17, with a two-day college application workshop that assisted with writing personal statements and launch the research process.

For additional information, click here.