What is DiscoverU?
DiscoverU is an exciting week for our community to come together and support students in exploring career and college options. Through fun activities in school and in the community, students throughout Seattle and South King County will have opportunities to explore their futures. DiscoverU puts student interests at the center and helps connect their aspirations with the many pathways to get there.
What do we mean by college?
We promote all pathways that prepare students for careers in our thriving economy. This includes technical training, two year and four-year degree programs which we refer to as T-2-4.
T – Technical training
2 – 2-year degree program
4 – 4-year degree program
What do we mean by exploring careers?
The main goal of DiscoverU career-related activities is to expose students to the vast variety of careers available. This aligns to Washington STEM’s Career Connected Learning Continuum Framework. As a student progresses through their education, career preparation increases, but building the foundation of career awareness opens the door for them to participate in more intensive preparation such as job shadowing and internships by just knowing what options are out there to explore.
How is DiscoverU connected to Road Map Project?
The Road Map Project is a collective impact initiative aimed at dramatically improving student achievement from cradle to college and career in South King County and South Seattle. The goal is to double the number of students in South King County and South Seattle who are on track to graduate from college or earn a career credential by 2020. Project partners are committed to nothing less than closing the unacceptable achievement gaps for low-income students and children of color, and increasing achievement for all students. For more information about the Road Map Project, please visit www.roadmapproject.org.
DiscoverU serves as a week-long campaign in service to the Road Map Project goal. In order to increase postsecondary enrollment in our region, it is critical that career and college options are discussed early and often. DiscoverU puts added focus on these areas each fall when students are starting the new school year. DiscoverU also allows educators, students, families and the broader community to demonstrate their commitment to student success beyond high school.
DiscoverU is coordinated by the Community Center for Education Results (CCER), the nonprofit organization supporting the Road Map Project.
DiscoverU is an effort to help build a “beyond high school” culture. According to a study by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, 67% of jobs in Washington State will require some form of postsecondary credential by 2018. Currently, only 28% of students from our region receive a two or four-year degree by their mid-20s.
Research finds that attending a school with a college-going climate is one of the most important predictors of students attending college. Career and college exploration is also important because:
- When students think about and plan for their futures, they do better in school
- Currently too few students are exposed to career awareness activities
- Research shows young women and students of color often limit their career choices early
- Middle school is a time when kids are forming ideas about careers, however they often lack awareness about careers or have unrealistic ideas about the world of work
- Experiential learning opportunities help students develop and connect their interests to their academic pursuits
— L’lonaica Mulitauaopele, student, Highline High School
DiscoverU provides schools and organizations the opportunity to carry out many of their existing career and college lessons, but with the added boost of:
- Doing them at the same time–So students in all grades are exploring career and college together
- Using the same language–So that the importance of education beyond high school is being reinforced with students and families across all districts
- Bringing more stakeholders into the mix–So that the broader community, from mayors to libraries, shares a commitment to student success beyond high school
What are the goals of DiscoverU?
- Provide all students pre-kindergarten to 12th grade the opportunity to explore their interests and learn about college pathways and career options
- Expose middle and high school students to the career opportunities in our region and help them understand the education and skills needed to get there
- Engage the broader community in supporting college and career awareness and exploration for all students
- Have FUN!