Students graduating from high school face a variety of paths to success. Choosing the best fit requires information and guidance—that’s why comprehensive counseling during high school has been proven essential to making successful post-secondary plans.
Now City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) is committing to help Chicago Public Schools students create personal roadmaps that orient them toward a successful future, by embedding Post-Secondary Navigators at 18 high schools throughout the city.
With the support of a $200,000 grant from The Chicago Community Trust, these Navigators will provide counseling support to 1,000 high school seniors in spring 2018, then expand to 3,000 additional juniors and seniors in the 2018-19 school year.
City College Navigators will work in schools where a high proportion of students are likely to seek paths other than immediate four-year college enrollment. Each of the seven Navigators will work within a CPS school network, supporting approximately 150 students as they plan their next steps after graduation: attending City Colleges of Chicago, another two-year college or a four-year university; enrolling in a trade, apprenticeship or job program; joining the military; signing up for a gap year program; or entering the workforce full-time.
City College Navigators will be embedded at schools where a high proportion of students are likely to seek paths other than immediate four-year college enrollment. Each Navigator will support approximately 150 students as they plan their next steps after graduation.
Navigators will not replace schools’ postsecondary teams or counselors. Instead, they’ll help students carry out the concrete steps to execute their plans, such as filling out a financial aid form or applying to an apprenticeship program.
“Whether the students we help through the Navigator program decide to enroll at City Colleges, or whether they choose another path after high school, we are proud to be helping Chicago students think beyond a high school diploma to a postsecondary experience they will need to secure a family-sustaining career,” said CCC chancellor Juan Salgado.
The Trust is committed to improving the quality of life for young people in our region by increasing their access to education and training that lead to meaningful employment. Through the Post-Secondary Navigators program, 1,000 students will benefit from guidance in the immediate term—while the long-term impact will be a culture of comprehensive, inclusive counseling for the wide range of CPS students defining their own individual paths to success.
“Chicago’s young people are working hard to put themselves in a position to thrive as adults, and navigating transitions can be challenging,” said Lee Hart, the Trust’s program officer for education.
“Strengthening City Colleges’ and Chicago Public Schools’ collaborative efforts to guide, counsel and support students will help demystify paths and encourage productive steps toward a meaningful career. That benefits all of us.”