The Door-2-Door initiative offers academic and career readiness. We expect this collaboration will help students succeed with a 50% increase in graduation and help them on a path into higher education and ultimately career readiness.
The Door-2-Door Initiative and the Dreams That Are Being Achieved
Some high school students know they’re going to succeed. They have all the support systems they need. They sail through with awesome grades, and they have no doubt they’re going to college. Many even start earning college credits before they graduate high school.
But what about the other kids?
How can we match available pools of funding with available pools of creativity to help the under-funded, under-achievers to achieve?
Well, we’ve come up with a program that, though, limited at this point, is showing huge potential in this area.
Leveraging a grant from the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (COSI), PPCC partnered with Discover Goodwill (DG), Harrison District Two’s Career Readiness Academy (CRA), and the Pikes Peak Work Force Center (PPWFC) to create the Door-2-Door (D2D). Since its inception in January, 2015, the partners in the D2D Initiative have developed and implemented a seamless academic and post-secondary life transition for students of the CRA.
Meet the Partners
Harrison District Two’s CRA has created an opportunity for students who have fallen behind in regular high school classes a chance to make up credits and earn a career skill in the process.
While students are in their Online Monitored Instruction (OMI) class, Elton Kirkwood the OMI Instructor and Nancy Wolf the Math Instructor, ensure students are progressing through classes and understanding the material that is presented. Each student then has the choice of three Career Technical Education fields: Construction, Automotive, and Cosmetology. Jeff Stuber runs the Construction course and focuses on making students job site ready, while they earn various student certifications. Automotive is taught by Anthony Williams, who has started the process of creating a articulation agreement with PPCC to assist students in getting college credit while they are in high school. Students in Automotive have the opportunity to test for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certifications. Finally, Cosmetology is taught by the International Salon and Spa. Students are bussed there daily and learn anything from hair styling, to make-up and pedicures. After two years on the high school side, students are given the option to join their post-secondary certification program, which will allow them to master their trait without changing schools.
The PPWFC and JoVanna Lee, the Workforce Technician, then provide students with avenues to pursue job opportunities in the community and build their resumes as they learn their various trades. They provide bussing to job fairs and workshops to enhance the student’s job profile.
The school year also includes 21st Century Workshops that are administered by Case Manager/Instructor Sarah Hancock of DG, which prepares and teaches students necessary skills to enter the workforce as successful employees. These skills and workshops include interpersonal communication, financial literacy and learning to manage their emotions. Sarah works tirelessly with the staff and students to meet the needs of the ever diverse population.
As Sarah works with students with those skills, Academic and Career Navigator Justin Elways of PPCC starts students on their path to a post-secondary education. Justin, affectionately known as Mr. Ginger by students and staff, helps students identify career fields and areas of interest the students has, then uses that information to identify post-secondary education options that will most help the student transition into the career field. Justin has been instrumental in improving college application rates and matriculation of this population.
Early data suggest that the D2D Initiative, PPWFC, CRA, Sarah and Justin have had a significant impact on student success. We’ve seen a 50% increase in graduation for the CRA, and college matriculation has grown steadily. Student matriculation to PPCC before the D2D Initiative was non-existent, while matriculation to other post-secondary institution was not tracked. The first year saw three students matriculate to PPCC, while one persisted. Moving into year two, the D2D Initiative has partnered with the PPCC Foundation and the COSI Scholarship to award scholarships to any CRA graduates. Year two has six students who are currently enrolled and are looking to earn degrees in Nursing, Political Science, Computer Science, Automotive and Business.
Some of the recent graduates have had the chance to share their story and how the Door-2-Door Initiative and COSI Scholarship have assisted them in the college transition. Makeda Hobson, freshman at PPCC, said “the scholarship has made school affordable and lessened my financial burden” while the staff have made sure “they guide me through life and are always there. Mr. Ginger answers all of my questions and helps us navigate what we want to do.”
Esmeralda Sanchez, another first year student at PPCC, has stated how “the scholarship was a huge relief and has given me a head start. I wouldn’t be at PPCC if it weren’t for Mr. Elways and Ms. Sarah. You all have helped me with motivation and resources. If it weren’t for you, after high school I would have never been seen again. I am confident about my future, knowing I have you to help me succeed and just the fact that I can text Mr. Elways on a Saturday and I know he will respond.”
The D2D Initiative was recently renewed for another 18-month cycle start Jan. 1, 2017. We will be looking to increase matriculation, start concurrent enrollment and create a consortium agreement between the automotive program and PPCC. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in campus visit and industry exposure as a result of the continued funding and efforts of all partners involved.