(Washington, DC) Today, DC Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Lewis D. Ferebee provided the DCPS community with key updates about supports to ensure students graduate with a clear path to post-secondary success and to meet DCPS’ Capital Commitment goal of doubling the amount of students who are college and career ready. DCPS launched the Student Guide to Graduation, Career, and College for seniors, a personalized guide that will provide them with an in-depth look at their progress toward graduation, as well as recommended action steps for six different post-secondary pathways.
DCPS also launched a new cohort of the Career Bridge program, which provides seniors with paid internships and apprenticeships. Chancellor Ferebee met with students at Coolidge High School in Ward 4 today to discuss their paths to college and career and what additional supports DCPS can provide.
“At DCPS, one key measure of our success is students’ preparedness to take on the challenges of college and career. Whether students are interested in pursuing a college degree or entering the workforce, we want every student to feel supported and confident as they begin their next chapter of life,” said Chancellor Ferebee. “I am proud that we continue to provide students with access to opportunities to explore their career interests, college-level courses, and the supports they need to thrive on their path to graduation and beyond.”
DCPS released the guide last spring to 9th-11th grade students, which was the first of its kind in DCPS and positioned the district as a leader in providing high school students with the information they need to understand their progress toward graduation, college, and career. Similar to the guide for 9th-11th grade students, the guide for seniors includes academic performance, standardized test scores, and personal interests to give students detailed information on how their interests are aligned to future college and career opportunities.
Key updates to the Student Guide for Graduation, Career, and College for seniors include an Action Steps page that includes steps for all six post-secondary pathways: apprenticeships, four-year college, two-year college, career education, employment, and the military, so seniors can consider all of their options as they plan for after graduation.
The guide is available in five languages in addition to English – Amharic, Spanish, Vietnamese, Mandarin, and French – allowing DCPS to meet every student and family where they are, personalize the work with students, and increase transparency by ensuring the community understands DCPS’ standards of excellence.
“The release of the DCPS Student Guide to Graduation, Career, and College has acted as a catalyst for critical conversations between students, their families, and the Cardozo community about our scholars’ futures,” said Kristen DeSanti, College and Career Coordinator at Cardozo Education Campus in Ward 1. “Because the Student Guide is unique to each student, it provides a one-stop transparent look at their progress toward graduation and post-secondary options. Through tools like the Student Guide, students are empowered to take the lead in their learning and, as a result, students are more engaged, focused, and committed.”
Discovering New Career Pathways
DCPS continues to create opportunities for students to discover how their interests are aligned to future in-demand careers during high school. DCPS launched a new cohort of the Career Bridge program today, which provides up to 120 seniors with the opportunity to participate in paid pre-apprenticeship and internship opportunities to begin their career in an industry of their interest while receiving access to career coaching and exploration opportunities and participating in professional skill building workshops.
“As a senior at Anacostia High School, I am interested in the Career Bridge program because it is going to help show me what I really want to do in life and allow me to get real work experience to see if I am interested in the healthcare and child care fields,” said Aaliyah Reid, senior at Anacostia High School in Ward 8. “I also want to be better prepared for more job opportunities when I graduate and have more experience, so I am excited to participate in the resume and mock interview workshops.”
Students who participate in the program have an opportunity to enter in-demand fields that are aligned with their skills and interests after graduation. The Career Bridge program partners with the DC Infrastructure Academy launched by Mayor Bowser, the Department of Employment Services, Pepco, the Finishing Trades Institute Apprenticeship Program, and other organizations. DCPS places the students in professional development cohorts by school in the fall and by employer in the spring, toward the goal of providing students with supports, partnering with employers to secure job and apprenticeship offers after graduation, ensuring more students receive professional certifications, and setting them up for success in college and career.
Today’s announcements reflect DCPS’ commitment to put students on the pathway to success and achieve their goals. All students will receive the guide once a school year – seniors will receive it in the fall, and 9th-11th grade students will receive it in the spring. The guide will continue to serve as a grounding document for students, families, counselors, and other staff to work together to plan for the future.
To give families more tools to support their child’s learning at home, DCPS also released the parent curriculum guides for grades K-8. DCPS is also launching Parent University, a free five-session workshop series for middle and elementary school families. Families will learn and share strategies to support their child’s academic success through workshops focused on communicating with their school’s teacher, building a sense of independence in their child, and making learning at home fun.