The COOL (Computer Outreach Opportunities for Learning) project is concerned with increasing the number and diversity of computer science graduates. To accomplish this objective the project is providing an integrated approach to attracting and retaining students beginning at the high school level and continuing into the university environment. At the high school level, the project is developing and refining an innovative secondary school software development curriculum. This paper overviews the high school component of the COOL project. At the university level, to help the students who do not have the computer skills expected of freshmen, including many underrepresented minority students, a pilot placement exam was developed to help identify students who should take a computer basics course before they undertake a computer science class in C++ or Java. The placement exam way given to two groups of students. An analysis was done on the predictability of the placement exam and suggestions for improvement were explored. In addition, the paper includes an analysis of the effectiveness of academic success workshops designed to help the students with concept building in the Java class.