Key Coverage

Visiting Days: How a Detroit High School Extends Its Family Feel By Sticking With Graduates Through College

If you graduate from the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy and go on to college, there is no escaping Katherine Grow. She’ll call, she’ll email, and she’ll show up on campus. And usually, during those campus visits, she’ll ask to see your phone.

The cell phones are a gateway to the college grades of the Detroit charter school’s graduates, and looking in is a key way that Grow monitors how those students are faring.

Grow is Jalen Rose’s alumni success coordinator, an unusual position that reckons head-on with a reality that many schools serving low-income students face: Too many students head off to college and never graduate. Some charter networks and private schools have launched initiatives to stay involved in students’ college lives and academic success, but it’s rare for standalone schools like Jalen Rose to employ someone just to work with graduates.

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