College Bound

DSC 0346 900x350 College Bound

MESA Charter High School

College Bound 9 Syllabus 

Instructor: Ms. “PG” Pagerey-Grey (
Room: 327B
Office Hours:  Monday, 4:37 – 5:37 p.m., Tuesday, 7:45 – 8:45 a.m. and upon request

Course Description:

Welcome to College Bound 9! Whether your sights are set on Harvard or you’re still not sure options are available to high school graduates, this course will help you think about the future while getting the most out of your high school experience now. In addition to spending your freshman year of high school learning what many college freshmen figure out the hard way, we’ll also talk about topics that range from developing your personal strengths to possible career options to paying for college… and that’s just the beginning!

Topic Covered & Major Assessments:
Unit Name Duration
TRIMESTER 1 (August 25th – November 14th)
1) How to Be a MESA Student + What is College Bound? 2 weeks
2) Study Skills and Technology Primer 2 weeks
3) Academic and Personal Behaviors in High School & Beyond 3 weeks
4) Intro to College Awareness 5 weeks
TRIMESTER 2 (December 1st – March 20th)
5) Transcripts and Graduation Requirements 3 weeks
6) The Application Process 6 weeks
7) Career Exploration 4 weeks
TRIMESTER 3 (April 13th – June 19th)
8) Intro to Financial Aid 3 weeks
9) Research and How It Can Change the World 6 weeks
Standards-Based Grading:

All classes at MESA are assessed according to standards-based grading (SBG). SBG means that students are expected to master or exceed mastery of specified learning goals according to a rubric and will have multiple opportunities to do so. Learning goals are assessed using projects, essays, quizzes, and tests. The highest score is the one that will count toward students’ grades, and the letter grade a student earns in class will be calculated based on the percentage of mastered learning goals out of total learning goals, with 3’s and 4’s counting as mastery.


Effort scores (E-Scores) are meant to give students and parents/guardians feedback about the tasks and routines that support academic success. E-Scores are given in 4 categories: Homework, Participation, Punctuality, and Preparation. The table below gives a more detailed look at how to earn the maximum amount of points in each category:

  Expectations and Actions (Meeting or Exceeding Mastery)
Showing independent
  • Completing all assigned homework for that week by day it is due
  • All in-class work that was not completed should be done at home; especially if the task was difficult
  • Studying for all exams, quizzes, and tests
  • Ensuring that all preparation is done for following day, including rehearsing speeches and presentations
Showing independent
  • Getting right to work on Do Now at class’s beginning without being reminded before the start of the bell
  • Coming to class on time and prepared
  • Following entry protocol
  • Exiting the classroom and leaving area ready for next group of colleagues to come in
Showing independent
  • Taking responsibility for one’s actions and choices in the classroom
  • Being professional in all classroom interactions
  • Performing exceptionally well during class time
  • Noticing and working towards producing not just work but masterpieces
  • Reinforcing classroom community by being enthusiastic and respectful
  • Using good judgment to ensure success of self and others
Showing independent


  • Coming into class on time and prepared with all necessary materials including planner and homework
  • Always being on-task during class time, working independently towards achievement
  • Ensuring that attire (way you are dressed) reflects MESA’s dress code standards
  • Displaying organization and neatness in one’s College Bound notebook &/or folder
  • Having all necessary materials including learning from the week prior
  • Meeting in-class deadlines
  • Working at a rigorous and steady pace during class time

Please bring the following to class every day to be considered prepared:

  • MESA-provided planner (or a substitute if lost)
  • 2 pens/pencils
  • 3 subject spiral notebook (Where notes are stored)
  • Folder (homework is stored until it is handed in)

A hanging file folder will be provided to store your completed work and will stay in the classroom.

Absences, Late and Missing Work:

In the case of an absence, students should email Ms. PG (see email address on reverse side) or see her as soon as they return to school to get missing work and catch up on what was missed. Missing and late work will negatively impact E-Score for that week; failure to submit or take major assessments geared toward learning goals will negatively impact student’s standard-based grade for that unit.

Academic Integrity:

Written work that has been copied or plagiarized from outside sources without using appropriate citation will result in a reduced E-Score, invalidation of score for that assessments, automatic teacher detention, and possible teacher conference.

College Bound Core Values:

Courage to embrace our struggles because we know they will make us stronger

Purpose in achieving highly now because the habits we develop now will serve us in college, career, and beyond

Respect for

  • Others by treating them as we would want to be treated
  • Our space by keeping and leaving our areas better than we found them
  • Ourselves by reflecting our best to the world

Check These Websites Out

The New York Times

Is College Worth It? Clearly, New Data Say

By David Leonhardt

Some newly minted college graduates struggle to find work. Others accept jobs for which they feel overqualified. Student debt, meanwhile, has topped $1 trillion. It’s enough to create a wave of questions about whether a college education is still worth it.

A new set of income statistics answers those questions quite clearly: Yes, college is worth it, and it’s not even close. For all the struggles that many young college graduates face, a four-year degree has probably never been more valuable.

The pay gap between college graduates and everyone else reached a record high last year, according to the new data, which is based on an analysis of Labor Department statistics by the Economic Policy Institute in Washington. Americans with four-year college degrees made 98 percent more an hour on average in 2013 than people without a degree. That’s up from 89 percent five years earlier, 85 percent a decade earlier and 64 percent in the early 1980s.

“We have too few college graduates,” says David Autor, an M.I.T. economist, who was not involved in the Economic Policy Institute’s analysis. “We also have too few people who are prepared for college.”

It’s important to emphasize these shortfalls because public discussion today — for which we in the news media deserve some responsibility — often focuses on the undeniable fact that a bachelor’s degree does not guarantee success. But of course it doesn’t. Nothing guarantees success, especially after 15 years of disappointing economic growth and rising inequality.

When experts and journalists spend so much time talking about the limitations of education, they almost certainly are discouraging some teenagers from going to college and some adults from going back to earn degrees. (Those same experts and journalists are sending their own children to college and often obsessing over which one.) The decision not to attend college for fear that it’s a bad deal is among the most economically irrational decisions anybody could make in 2014.

The much-discussed cost of college doesn’t change this fact. According to a paper by Mr. Autor published Thursday in the journal Science, the true cost of a college degree is about negative $500,000. That’s right: Over the long run, college is cheaper than free. Not going to college will cost you about half a million dollars.

Mr. Autor’s paper — building on work by the economists Christopher Avery and Sarah Turner — arrives at that figure first by calculating the very real cost of tuition and fees. This amount is then subtracted from the lifetime gap between the earnings of college graduates and high school graduates. After adjusting for inflation and the time value of money, the net cost of college is negative $500,000, roughly double what it was three decades ago.

Tellingly, though, the payback for people who have attended college without earning a bachelor’s degree — a group that includes community-college graduates — has not been rising. The big economic returns go to people with four-year degrees. Those returns underscore the importance of efforts to reduce the college dropout rate, such as those at the University of Texas, which Paul Tough described in a recent Times Magazine article.

But what about all those alarming stories you hear about indebted, jobless college graduates? The anecdotes may be real, yet the conventional wisdom often exaggerates the problem. Among four-year college graduates who took out loans,average debt is about $25,000, a sum that is a tiny fraction of the economic benefits of college. And the unemployment rate in April for people between 25 and 34 years old with a bachelor’s degree was a mere 3 percent.

From the country’s perspective, education can be only part of the solution to our economic problems. We also need to find other means for lifting living standards — not to mention ways to provide good jobs for people without college degrees.

But from almost any individual’s perspective, college is a no-brainer. It’s the most reliable ticket to the middle class and beyond. Those who question the value of college tend to be those with the luxury of knowing their own children will be able to attend it.