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Dream Project

Year three of the CCRA program

Amrita Heer, Program Support Coordinator

It’s hard to believe, but it’s the third year of the College and Career Readiness Assistant (CCRA) program, with 35 CCRAs at 33 schools (22 high schools and 11 middle schools)! CCRAs help students get ready for college and career, working 10 hours a week on-site in schools. Typical activities might include meeting one-on-one with college-bound students, teaching a weekly class period about high school and college life, and working with small groups of at-risk students to develop study habits. This has been the smoothest start to the year thanks to the incredible CCRAs and the amazing support we have from our schools.

The most exciting update is that we’ve finally settled in after years of growth. In past years, we’ve doubled in size and changed our structure as the program has developed. This quarter, we’ve been able to apply what we’ve learned the past two years and focus on how to be the most effective and strategic as we build the program for the future.

We improved our interview process and figured out that having the ability to take initiative is the most important skill needed in the CCRA position. I’m confident that all our CCRAs have this skill.

We’ve worked hard this quarter on creating a great support team consisting of four CCRA Coordinators (former CCRAs) and myself. The support team creates and presents the content for professional development, supports the CCRAs with one-on-ones and informal check-ins, and conducts site visits with the schools.

Professional development content is the strongest it’s ever been. The support team has worked very hard in creating content that will be the most helpful for our CCRAs in order to work with our middle and high school students. This quarter, we’ve covered different immigration statuses, the College Bound Scholarship, FAFSA & WASFA and understanding the communities we work with. We’re excited to keep improving!

To get an even better idea of how the program is going, I encourage you to talk to our schools, our CCRAs and our students! If you have any questions about the program, you can contact me at

Amrita Heer has been with the Dream Project since 2011, first as mentor, then as an AmeriCorps member, and now as a full time staff member. Amrita’s role is focused on supporting the Race to the Top College & Career Readiness Assistants.