What We Do

Through academic support, robust ACT prep, college application guidance, scholarship identification, career readiness, and comprehensive mental health services, we empower promising students from underserved communities to achieve bachelor’s degrees and successful careers.

Coaching & Experiences

College Bound students are provided individualized coaching to help them try strategies and test theories of academic growth. Our students develop a strong working theory of what works for them by the time they walk into their first college class.

In addition to individualized coaching, students engage in supplemental experiences that allow them to apply strategies and resources to their everyday lives. We encourage them to reflect on these experiences to identify what worked for them and what areas could be improved to best serve their goals. Some of these experiences are:

Grade Level Class offerings/Workshops

Students learn best from each other. Students engage in classes with their grade level peers to collaborate and develop strong learning habits. These habits include; class preparation, time management, non-fiction reading internalization, data analyzing, and reflection on achievement. Students are presented with strategies, asked to apply them to their current studies and then check in with their coaches on how the strategy is working towards their goals. They are encouraged to try multiple strategies to identify which ones they are most comfortable with and which ones yield the best results.

Workshops are provided as refreshers for students as they go through their college career. They are invited back to discuss ways to study, how to prepare for exams and how to examine returned work from professors.

Bayer Fund College Bound Summer Institute

Bayer Fund College Bound Summer Institute (CBSI), an intensive summer program that increases proficiencies in reading, study habits, self-regulation skills, and allows students the opportunity to earn college credit at no cost. College Bound classes are taught on the campus of the University of Missouri St. Louis (UMSL) by UMSL faculty. This gives our students the opportunity to:

  • Take college courses on a college campus
  • Be exposed to engaging, academically rigorous classes taught by college faculty
  • Earn credit toward their degree.

ACT Workshops

It’s a difficult task to prioritize standardized testing when our approach is individualized and identity driven. However, the ACT is still a barrier in most college applications and scholarship decisions. For this reason, College Bound has chosen to focus strongly on ACT instruction as a vehicle for other strong learning habits. Junior and senior students identify individual growth goals, work on personalized study plans and attend weekly classes. Students are provided personalized feedback from instructors and are taught how to reflect on learning behavior in connection to score growth.

Math Reimagined

Math is a subject of anxiety for many college students today. In fact the Math Association of America has identified freshman algebra courses to be the biggest barriers to degree completion. At College Bound we’ve decided to tackle this problem through a growth mindset approach. Students are invited to attend a three week program where they discover patterns in math, make connections and create expressions that mirror real world problems. They are encouraged to collaborate and build strong relationships with other students and to persist when problems become difficult. This is the “un-math” class and should feel like a lab space rather than a lecture hall. Students’ voices/mistakes/fears are met head on by instructors who want to foster a safe space of learning.

Study Office Hours

Habits need to be practiced and tested. To encourage strong study habits we encourage students to attend study office hours monthly hosted by College Bound Staff. Students are encouraged to develop strong study habits by attending monthly study office hours hosted by College Bound staff. They test different studying strategies from creating their own tests to teaching their peers. They then receive follow up coaching after their exam to identify what areas they can improve next time.


College Bound’s high school students “make the grade” through our ACT prep, tutoring, math camps, and free college courses over the summer.

Mental Health Services

Two full-time therapists help students cope with everything from test anxiety to grief and loss.

Graduate Positioning System (GPS)

Support every student to navigate college applications, enrollment, financial aid, and path-to-degree planning.

Career Readiness

From job shadowing in high school to resume advice and internship connections, we make sure students graduate with a plan.


Our three-year pilot program with St. Louis Community College explores more pathways to degrees for first-generation, low-income students.