Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Aspire Program for Improving Student SAT Scores Before, During, and After COVID-19


Aspire is a Houston-based educational project provided by the University of Houston Honors College Bonner Leaders Program in a partnership with Stephen F. Austin High School, which is a part of the Houston Independent School District. Aspire provides SAT exam and college readiness mentorship to low-income high school students in order to expand their educational opportunities, promoting confidence through personalized guidance and empowering them to pursue post-secondary education. By using College Board's practice SAT tests, Aspire executives design a curriculum to be used throughout the academic year. The program structure consists of in-person tutoring with high school seniors in the fall semester and high school juniors in the spring semester. Student success is measured by their performance on the SAT. Improving by at least 100 points on the SAT from their initial test scores prior to the program indicates mastery of the skills necessary to solve SAT questions. Based on changes in students' SAT scores, mentor evaluation forms, and pre- and post-program student feedback forms, Aspire is able to assess the program's effectiveness with respect to both student and mentor performance. The purpose of this study is to examine students' SAT scores after program completion from pre-COVID-19, Fall 2019, to post-COVID-19, Fall 2021. Our findings show that student SAT scores increased after the program relative to their pre-program SAT scores.



Finance, Computer Science, Biology