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Accessibility, Agency, and Advocacy: Boston Public Schools Celebrates College and Career Readiness in October
By 2020, 65% of all jobs in the economy will require postsecondary education and training beyond high school. Four out of five of the fastest growing occupations — healthcare professional and technical, STEM, education, and community services — will require high levels (above 80%) of postsecondary education. In Massachusetts, the percentage of jobs requiring postsecondary education rises to 72%.
To encourage kids and their families to start the planning process early and often for post-secondary college/career success, the Boston Public Schools (BPS) is participating in the national awareness and engagement campaign known as College Month, held annually in October. Throughout October, BPS and Success Boston, along with multiple nonprofit and community partners, will collaborate on a campaign to encourage students at all grade levels to begin planning for college and their career. The goal of College Month in Boston is to showcase all of the city’s varied and helpful resources designed to get students prepared for, enrolled in, and through college.
“College Month helps expose our students to the wealth of resources and opportunities available to them as they prepare for life after BPS, whether that’s entering college or the workforce," said BPS Superintendent Brenda Cassellius. “This school year we’re thrilled to see our youth begin college preparation early, introducing personalized planning technology to help students set goals, identify their strengths, and forge their own paths to post-secondary success."
Recently, BPS has launched the Naviance college and career readiness platform to engage students in a multi-year personalized planning process. Naviance is an online platform that helps middle and high school students discover their strengths, explore college and career interests, create actionable goals and find their best-fit path after high school. Trusted by more than 13,000 schools nationwide, this robust solution promotes college and career readiness by encouraging academic rigor and aligning student strengths and interests to long-term goals.
This October, College Month will serve as a mechanism to help students understand the importance of beginning the postsecondary planning process early and engaging their families, counselors, teachers, partners, and mentors in their journey.
Since its inception, Success Boston has celebrated tremendous wins, dramatically increasing the percentage of BPS graduates who enroll in college, as well as those who earn degrees. The six-year college completion rate for BPS graduates is now 52%, combined with an astounding 80.5% college attendance rate.
“Postsecondary education is a critical requirement of almost any career, but developing a plan, navigating the requirements and using the available tools and guidance to find the best path forward can feel daunting," said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. "College Month provides a valuable opportunity for students to ask questions, understand the process and learn more about the world of future possibilities that are within reach for those with the right skills and education."
- October 4: Official launch of College Month: Celebrate College Pride! We will show our #CollegePride by representing our alma maters by wearing our college gear.
- October 13-19: Success Planning With Naviance Week. Our district's goal is for every high school student to engage in a post-high school planning process using Naviance, a comprehensive college and career readiness platform. Naviance helps students achieve critical milestones to prepare for college or careers. Once students use the platform to identify their strengths and interests, Naviance helps them connect those interests to potential careers and plan a course of study to reach their goals, whether they are heading directly to college, entering the workforce, joining the military, or pursuing another path after high school.
- October 26: 8th Annual Citywide College, Career, & Internship Fair at the Reggie Lewis Center. The fair offers the opportunity for students across the city to meet with representatives from various colleges, nonprofit organizations, and employers. Seniors will have access to financial aid experts from partner organizations to help with the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
College Month will feature activities sponsored by our partner organizations around college affordability, college and career exploration, preparing for the college application process, and gearing up for a successful transition.
If you’d like more information please contact Marsha Inniss-Mitchell, Director of Postsecondary Initiatives and Partnerships at BPS - firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Success Boston initiative, launched in 2008 by an innovative collaboration between the City of Boston, the Boston Public Schools, the Boston Foundation, UMass Boston, Bunker Hill Community College, the Boston Private Industry Council and dozens of Massachusetts colleges and universities, is built around providing students with the coaching and support they need to get ready, get into and get through college. To date, more than 6,000 students from nine graduating classes have been coached through Success Boston. Together, the partners have help students to enroll in, persist in, and complete college at steadily increasing rates: the most recent data shows that more students from the Boston Public Schools are enrolling and completing college than ever, and the number of graduates has increased by 77% since the initiative launched ten years ago.