A Note from Superintendent Tom Boasberg:
Dear DPS Community:
The world that we’re preparing our students for has changed so much over the last generation. There are so many new careers available to our children, and our schools need to change to adapt to make sure that students have everything they need to go down the career path they choose.
Our schools in Colorado have started to do that by adopting the Colorado Academic Standards — new learning benchmarks that prioritize critical career skills: collaboration, communication, problem-solving and critical-thinking.
Now, we’re taking that a step further by strengthening the connection that our college- and career-ready graduates have to the opportunities that await them after graduation.
On Wednesday, U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez and Gov. John Hickenlooper joined me and leaders from Colorado’s tremendous business and philanthropic community to announce a $9.5 million grant toward building career-readiness and apprenticeships through Denver Public Schools CareerConnect and CareerWise Colorado. Thanks to generous investments from JP Morgan Chase andBloomberg Philanthropies, students in Denver and across Colorado will get direct connections to high-demand careers and postsecondary education opportunities that will open a clear path to a great future.
“This is about as exciting a moment as you can get. When you get a leadership team like this, good things happen,” Gov. Hickenlooper said during the announcement. “We know that investing in education pays big dividends. We are in the process of building a true pipeline in Colorado.”
Through the partnership, Denver students in their last two years of high school can participate in theCareerResidency, an apprenticeship program beginning in the fall of 2017 with a pilot class of 100 students. Across the state, CareerWise Colorado will be scaling the program to serve 250 students total. The statewide program is designed to expand dramatically and eventually reach about 10% of eligible high school students over the next decade. That’s a significant investment in and impact on the future of our state and our children.
CareerResidency scholars will spend up to half of their time on-site with employers while still earning high school credits and post-secondary credentials toward a two-year degree. They’ll also have an additional year of apprenticeship post-graduation to tighten the career connection. In addition, the scholars will be employees of partner businesses and paid a training wage for the time they are at work.
The partnership grew out of the success of our DPS CareerConnect, which has been a statewide and national leader in providing students with project-based learning for career exploration, coaching, internships and college coursework.
It’s no longer good enough to focus solely on the classroom to prepare our students for the world that awaits them after graduation. We need to build on their classroom learning by giving them clear connections to the career paths they choose.
We will continue to be a leader in doing that for our students in Denver. And we’re so grateful to Gov. Hickenlooper, our CareerWise partners, JP Morgan Chase and Bloomberg Philanthropies for believing in our kids and kids across Colorado, and for giving them the investments and opportunities they need to chase their dreams.
Read the full Our DPS Weekly newsletter online: Making Learning Real for Our Kids