learn / 2015

Middle School Career and College Preparation

Middle School Career and College Preparation

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by Career & College clubs

We want to expand Career & College Clubs to 20 middle schools in LA County that qualify for Title I funding (FRPM% > 40%) for the 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19 academic years.


In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • County of Los Angeles

How do you plan to use these resources to make change?

  • Expand a pilot or a program

How will your proposal improve the following “Learn” metrics?

  • College matriculation rates
  • Student education pipeline (an integrated network of pre-schools, K-12 institutions, and higher education systems that prepares students for seamless transitions between high school, higher ed
  • Suspension and expulsion rates (Dream Metric)
  • Truancy rates in elementary and middle schools (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the best place to learn.

Career & College Clubs empowers middle school students to take charge of their success in high school, college, and life. The program uses a peer-to-peer learning model to create a schoolwide college and career success culture. An evaluation by ACT, Inc. found that the odds of enrolling in college at 85% higher for Career & College Clubs students, than for a comparison group.

While there are many college and career readiness programs for high school students, there are very few of these programs for the middle school years, a pivotal time in the development of student behaviors, attitudes, and work habits; and there are even fewer programs that address the total child as does Career & College Clubs – providing the content, resources, and support system needed for the development of both academic and social-emotional skills (including communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creative innovation), so students at an earlier age have the knowledge, tools, motivation, aspiration, confidence, and drive to stay engaged in the learning process, enthusiastically plan for their future, and promote a college-going culture among peers schoolwide.

Since 2008, Career & College Clubs has empowered more than 50,000 middle school students, including 91% of participants from racial/ethnic minorities, 71% Hispanic, and more than 60% of their parents having no postsecondary education. The program was recently recognized by the White House as a “Bright Spot” in Hispanic education.

We have 30 school sites in LA County, including 22 in LAUSD.

If approved, this proposal will allow us to expand to 20 more sites.
We will focus the expansion on sites that have a high percentage of at-risk students, as measured by the % of students eligible for Free and Reduced Price Meals. We will recruit, train, and support these sites over the next three academic years as they engage int he materials and help their students achieve their dreams.

Our first outreach will be to LA County school sites who have expressed interest int he program, but who are unable to share in the program’s costs. There are well more than 20 of such sites.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.

We ask every student int he program to complete pre- and post- surveys designed to measure attitudinal and behavioral growth.

We also have an ongoing partnership with ACT, Inc. to measure the long-term impact of the program. ACT looks at student outcomes in high school, college enrollment and, eventually, college completion. So far, they found that Career & College Clubs has exactly the kind of impact we had hoped - more students are thinking about their futures, making plans for, and actually enrolling in, postsecondary education.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money (financial capital)
  • Publicity/awareness (social capital)
  • Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)
  • Community outreach
  • Network/relationship support