Mayor Rahm Emanuel, City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) today announced that the postsecondary navigators have started their roles helping students create a plan for after graduation. This is a collaborative effort to support Learn. Plan. Succeed., a first in the nation initiative to ensure all CPS students graduate with a thoughtful plan to guide post-high school success by 2020.
“Ensuring every student has a plan for success after high school is the right thing to do for our students’ futures, and the right thing to do for Chicago’s future,” said Mayor Emanuel. “As a national leader in postsecondary readiness, we are proud of the work our postsecondary navigators have taken on, and we will continue to launch initiatives that give our students the skills and confidence they need to succeed when they leave our schools.”
Each postsecondary navigator supports approximately 100 students at designated CPS high schools. Navigators are helping students carry out the concrete steps needed to execute their postsecondary plans, which include assisting with FAFSA and financial aid forms, helping with applications for job and apprenticeship programs and discussing a variety of paths for consideration. They work closely with counselors and postsecondary leadership teams to identify students who will benefit from additional support as they work to achieve their goals.
Each postsecondary navigator has a strong background in helping students fulfill their goals for the future. Collectively, their experience includes working with young people with financial aid, navigating DACA, postsecondary placement, student development, community and family engagement, and academic progress.
“In a world that demands we all hold some form of postsecondary credential, we are proud to support Learn.Plan.Succeed and help students think about their options after high school – whether that is City Colleges or another option,” said City Colleges of Chicago Chancellor Juan Salgado. “Our talented staff is already hard at work across the city assisting students in realizing their goals.”
Postsecondary navigators help students evaluate a variety of paths that lead to success including: attending a four-year college or university, or a two-year college including the CCC system; enrolling in a trade, apprenticeship or job program; signing up for the military; signing up for a gap year program; or working full-time.
“As educators, it’s our responsibility to prepare students for life after high school, and by working together with our City partners, we’re ensuring Chicago students have the best opportunity to succeed,” said CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “Every student needs and deserves to have a meaningful conversation about their future and through Learn.Plan.Succeed., we are guaranteeing every student will graduate with a concrete roadmap to success.”
Learn.Plan.Succeed. is a groundbreaking graduation initiative launching with the CPS class of 2020 to support postsecondary success for students of all levels by ensuring they develop plans for life after graduation with the support of dedicated professionals. In 2016, nearly 60 percent of CPS students graduated with a concrete plan, and with support from postsecondary navigators, many more CPS students will have additional personalized support to help them reach their goals.
CCC and CPS are working closely together to create a seamless path to college for Chicago students. Through the Chicago Star Scholarship, hard-working CPS high school students can earn free tuition and books at City Colleges for up to three years. Furthermore, the CCC-CPS dual enrollment/dual credit partnership, which allows CPS high school students to take college credit courses for free while they are still in high school, has grown by more than ten times since 2011, serving nearly 4,900 students in 2016-17. The expansion of dual enrollment and dual credit, along with Learn.Plan.Succeed., are building upon Mayor Emanuel’s major investment in postsecondary preparation—including his goal that 50 percent of CPS students will graduate with at least one college or career credential by 2019.