The UTOOLS-College Preparation Experience program is a yearly summer program that takes place at the University of Michigan-Dearborn campus, for a consecutive ten sessions.
UTOOLS-CPE is a hands-on experience, as participants learn from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, Career Transitions, Inc., and business community leaders about the college application process, financial aid, career services, academic and personal success and more.
The program is intended to prepare Wayne County, foster youth, ages 14-20 for higher education. Allowing them to be college ready with a clear mindset of future employment.
The program teaches students the Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens, which is meant to aid them in improving and achieving their personal, social, and academic goals. Foster youth are introduced to many presenters and representatives from different campus organizations and departments.
For example, a registered nurse from The Children’s Hospital came to share her experience of working in the medical field and the college journey that she took to get there. They also got the chance to speak to a licensed cosmetologist, who shared her experiences with a different form of post-secondary education. These presenters gave students information on how to look for and apply to colleges and universities, how to choose a major, and see what the cost of tuition and living assistance may be available to them.
Before and after each session the foster youth are given a survey, that asks their agreement on their knowledge of college preparation. Some of the statements used were “I know about several resources that are available to help me be successful in college.”, which had a pre-survey agreement of 27% that later increased to 100% in the post-survey. Another statement example is, "I have clearly defined goals for what I want to accomplish in life", which had a pre-survey agreement of 64 %, that increased to 100% agreement in the post-survey.