Success Bound
Preparing students for Success in high school, college, and beyond

What Is Success Bound?

Success Bound aims to redesign the middle school experience to include explicit goals and skill-oriented student preparation for high school and beyond. The program emphasizes changes in schoolwide conditions for learning and adult support for student transitions across the whole school community. This is done by placing greater value on counseling during the middle school years, strong adult-student relationships, and a collaborative approach to instruction between counselors and teachers. Success Bound addresses these core factors by equipping school staff with FREE resources to set students on a path of success.

Success Bound Focuses on Five Key Themes


Students will develop an understanding of their strengths and values and how that contributes to success in the classroom, as well as their future goals.

Social Capital

Students will identify key people and resources necessary for reaching their high school and postsecondary goals.

Student Success Skills

Students learn how to set goals and to monitor their grades and attendance to stay on track for high school graduation.

High School Awareness & Selection

Students will navigate their high school options and learn how to apply and prepare for enrollment in high school.

Postsecondary & Life Vision

Students will explore career and postsecondary options and discuss how they connect to their interests, goals and priorities.

What do Success Bound schools get?

Open-Source Curriculum

45-minute weekly curriculum for 6th-8th grade led by school teachers or counselors

Implementation Toolkit

Contains step-by-step guidance and templates that districts or schools can use to plan and implement Success

Targeted Coaching Supports

Flexible coaching support based on needs, could include yearly training-of-trainers, training guides, group and individual school coaching.

Supplemental Resources

Includes student interest surveys, career exposure planning, on-track and college preparation toolkits

Online Portal

Access full up-to-date curriculum, supplemental resources, and key documents all in one place

The Curriculum

The full curriculum is accessible here through our easy to use website. Here are a few sample lessons to see what the curriculum is all about.

Success Bound Impact

Today, more than 18,000 students are participating in Success Bound classes throughout Chicago

Success Bound is partnering with over 150 schools across Chicago

Independent researchers found that Success Bound influences...



  • Schools have a culture of high school, college and career readiness
  • Schools focus on data


  • Students take ownership of their education
  • Students know how to apply for high school
  • Students can identify pathways to postsecondary success
  • Students demonstrate improved social and emotional skills

To learn more about the impact of Success Bound on our partner schools, click here.


This curriculum is an excellent way for myself as the counselor to get in the classroom and really work with the students on their future goals and college and career exploration. I believe sharing the importance of their grades and test scores with my 6th & 7th grade students earlier was extremely successful. My students now check their own grades, talk about their GPAs and their MAP goals. That's exciting to me! They are taking ownership of their own learning.

School Counselor, Success Bound Partner School

Success Bound focuses a lot on helping our students be on track with their attendance and grades because research shows that, if you graduate from eighth grade and you‘re on track, then you’re more likely to be on track your freshman year...It made it more real for me...[I was] like, This is why we do the work that we’re doing.

School Staff, Success Bound Partner School

[Students] are able to see a connection between what they’re doing now and how it’s going to affect them in the future. A lot of times kids in that age group don’t really look ahead that far...[Success Bound] changes the way kids think about their future in terms of education and life. I mean I have noticed a difference there. That was really big for them.

School Counselor, Success Bound Partner School

We’re trying to prove ourselves as being comprehensive and proactive and data driven, and Success Bound allows for that because we’re looking at on-track data, which is in alignment with Chicago Public schools.

School Counselor, Success Bound Partner School

Historically, our role has always been reactive, or we only provide counseling services when there’s a crisis or a situation, whereas now when we’re providing this Tier 1 universal intervention, which is where school counselors should be spending a lot of our time.

School Counselor, Success Bound Partner School

Program History

Success Bound (formerly called 6to16) was created by a group of teachers, in partnership with researchers, after they saw the need to provide additional preparation and support for students prior to their transition from elementary school to high school.


Curriculum Created


Curriculum Created

The Success Bound curriculum originated in 2010 as 6to16 at the University of Chicago’s Urban Education Institute.


Program Piloted


Program Piloted

Between 2014 and 2017, Success Bound was piloted in 36 Chicago Public Schools.


Program Accessible Across Chicago


Program Accessible Across Chicago

In 2018, Success Bound rolled out as a free resource to all Chicago Public Schools with an updated curriculum.


Going National


Going National

Success Bound launching outside of Chicago

You can make a difference

Contact us to learn more about how you can make an impact for your students.


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