DiscoverU started with a conversation among college access providers and school counselors. All were focused on increasing college readiness and access, but knew that there wasn’t a consistent “beyond high school” culture in our region. Many individual schools and organizations were holding “college days” and implementing career and college lessons, but the group felt that it’s important students have opportunities to explore post-high school options early and often, and there could be added power in having a regional day where everyone focused on career and college, using the same language, at the same time.
The first DiscoverU Day was held Wednesday, October 17, 2013. The day was selected to provide a strong start to the school year and to kick-off the many steps that are part of the college admissions process for seniors. It also coincided with students taking College Board Assessments such as the PSAT and SAT.
In 2014, DiscoverU expanded to a week-long campaign to offer more flexibility for participation by schools and the community. DiscoverU resources and participation have increased year after year, and perhaps most exciting is the sharing of ideas across the region for supporting career and college exploration. Below are some year-to-year DiscoverU highlights.
- Video announcing the first-ever DiscoverU (YouTube)
- Video on the “why” of DiscoverU (YouTube)
- Community dialogues at Starbucks stores in South Seattle and South King County
- Initial Press Release: “DiscoverU is here! Day will build excitement around college, career for region’s students”
- Launch of the Road Map to College website which includes a section devoted to DiscoverU
- “It takes a lot of jobs…” poster series created
- DiscoverU promotional video featuring students and local broadcaster Jean Enerson (YouTube)
- Mayor’s proclamations issued throughout King County proclaiming DiscoverU Week!
- Press Release: Students’ college and career options the focus of DiscoverU week, Oct. 13-17
- Weekly DiscoverU newsletter with activity and participant spotlights
- “It takes a lot of jobs…” poster series expanded
- Press Release: “Students to explore college and career options during DiscoverU week, Oct. 12-16”
- New standalone website
- Design Team created to provide increased guidance on DiscoverU
- Introduction of DiscoverU activity days
- More “swag” for schools – materials to get students and staff excited about DiscoverU
- DiscoverU partners with Challenge Seattle and programming serves nearly 900 students through worksite tours, classroom panels, and CEO and Executive visits
- Enhanced theme days with aligned elementary, middle school, and high school activities
- Partner with Washington STEM on activities and resources for Discover STEM theme day
- Summer Student Design Team created to provide student input on all things DiscoverU and help develop training videos for worksite tours with local videographer, Jama Abdirahman.
- Debut new elementary DiscoverU poster created by a children’s illustrator that features jobs in the community