For Counselors

Welcome Back

Post by
Ryan Hoch
We're restarting Overgrad's blog
Welcome Back

So we made the decision to restart Overgrad's long-lost blog. It has been 9 years since I started Overgrad alongside my cofounder, Kevin Hoffman, and I sometimes think back to how the reasons why I started it are still the reasons why we do the work today. In 2009, I found myself teaching high school math and ACT Prep to juniors and seniors in St. Louis Public Schools. The first question I asked my students was who here wants to go to college? 90% of my students raised their hand, I thought great, they're on the ball, where do they want to go? My students shout out great schools like SLU, WashU, and Mizzou, and I thought "incredible!"

The next thing we did was take a practice ACT to see where we were at. The average ACT for my students was a 15 and the average GPA was a 2.5. It was at that time that I realized that my students were never told that simply wanting to go a particular school was not the same and being qualified to be admitted. So I started Overgrad as a way to address that.

Now 8 years later, we have learned quite a bit. We have had a lot of failures but a lot of lessons learned. Thanks to the amazing organizations we work with, we have quite a bit to share back out around what are some of the best practices in equitably supporting students towards high quality postsecondary pathways. What does this look like in the world of test optional admissions? What about alternative pathways, how do we know if they are quality or not? Is college right for everyone? What does that look like, and why?

These are some of the questions we are going to explore in this blog. We are going to bring up questions of our own. We don't have all the answers, but we are fortunate to work with some incredible schools, organizations, and districts that are are constantly seeking to find them for their students.

This is something that I want to be crystal clear on. This is a very local conversation: the local economy, the local higher education infrastructure, and the local K-12 system. One of the most important lessons that we have learned is that it is not one-sized-fits-all. The goals of one school system should not be the goals of another. But what is important is that we should be setting goals that take into account the nuances of this process.

So here, today, I am setting forth a commitment to share out these lessons. To do whatever we can to support you in this goal of equitably supporting students towards high quality postsecondary pathways.

Thanks, talk to you soon.


Check out some of our most frequently requested resources below...
An image of a one page resource for goal setting.