College Culture


With the right supports, every school can be a college prep school. Through PEF’s Philadelphia Postsecondary Success Program (PPSP) we work to realize that vision. Our expert team consults with principals and school leaders on strategies designed to enhance the college-going culture in their schools.


PEF’s consulting work in Philadelphia high schools includes coordinating and aligning services that support college preparation, contributing to school-wide college readiness cultures, and involving students and parents in planning for college beginning in the ninth grade.

Since the Program’s inception in 2008 with support from the Citi Foundation, our continued work has been made possible with the support of Chubb and, most recently, The Gates Foundation.

 PPSP Fellows

Educators from colleges and high schools with a special interest in aligning teaching and learning at the secondary and postsecondary levels

75% of seniors

across PPSP District schools applied to at least one college and at least one scholarship in the ’18-’19 year

9th Grade

Identified through PPSP’s postsecondary asset mapping as critical grade where early college awareness activities increase high school retention and college enrollment

What We Offer

Key aspects of our model include:

The Postsecondary Success Asset Map

Measures the depth and breadth of existing college supports and services. 

Ninth Grade Orientations

Introduces students and parents to local colleges and universities, the college application process, and the essentials of college financial planning.

Resource Partner Teams

Brings together school staff and community partners to plan whole-school; college-readiness activities; share college access and readiness data; identify gaps in access; and ensure equitable distribution of resources using the College Readiness Indicator System.

Instructional Rounds

A process during which local high school and college instructional leaders  observe each other’s classrooms and work collaboratively to improve the alignment of instruction between secondary and postsecondary education.

Annual Spring Institute

Provides a forum for high school and college faculty to build on what was learned from the Instructional Rounds, share data, and develop action steps that support a  student’s ability to be successful in a postsecondary setting.

Who We Serve

Philadelphia public high school principals, educators, and counselors who commit to join forces to optimize their students’ college readiness


Kelly Staskel, Senior Program Manager, PPSP/PhillyGoes2College

“In 2013, the school I proudly lead was slated for closure. Four years later, we were lauded as one of the School District of Philadelphia’s most successful high school turnarounds. The key to our success was a sense of urgency, a collective fire to prove that we deserved to remain open, a dedicated staff organized around a common goal, and our long-standing and committed partnership with the Philadelphia Education Fund.”

Richard Gordon, Principal
Paul Robeson High School for Human Services

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