The Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) has launched a comprehensive Career and Technical Education (CTE) strategy to engage Denver Public School (DPS) high school students interested in exploring skilled trade certifications and career paths. A growing number of students seek postsecondary options other than a college degree, but it is hard to find out about alternatives. By enhancing our advising to include multiple career paths, we can indeed help students to find and access their best fit.
CTE prepares students for skilled trades jobs, defined as those requiring credentialing beyond high school, but not a four-year college degree. These jobs offer economic security and prosperity for Colorado’s workers. Skilled trades jobs are essential to Colorado’s health, infrastructure, and economic growth. Many of these jobs are local, hands-on jobs, meaning they are unlikely to be outsourced.
Throughout the DPS system, students are either unaware of CTE options for education and career pathways, or are influenced by social attitudes to consider CTE to be a second-rate choice that does not qualify the student as successful. For them, going to a four-year college and obtaining a bachelor’s degree is the definition of success.
DSF considers CTE an educational strategy for providing young people with academic, technical, and employability skills.
DSF’s unique advantage is its Future Centers, located in 14 DPS high schools. Our staff of College Advisors engage high school students in these schools formally and informally to advise them regarding their education and career options, and how those options can lead to a variety of career pathways. Additionally, each Future Center is branded with a College Roadmap and Career Posters, which display the credentialing, education and salary for a variety of career paths.
We are currently piloting a CTE project in the Montbello Schools, MLK Early College and JFK High School Future Centers with the help of The Daniels Fund, JPMorgan Foundation and the LARRK Foundation. Our goal is to implement this strategy throughout DPS high schools.
The Daniels Fund is providing key financial support through a $300,000 two-year grant. We invite you to consider partnering with us and the Daniels Fund by making a gift in support of our Career and Technical Education program.
Gifts from individuals, as well as support from corporations that are mindful of their need for future employees, will encourage a flowing pipeline from education to the workforce. We invite you to join us as a leader in providing the solution to an industry need that will improve Colorado’s workforce and keep our economy vital while providing new and better opportunities to our community’s youth.