Graduation Pathways 

Graduation Pathways' mission is to keep all students on-pace to earn a high school diploma and, ultimately, to ensure that every student graduates from high school. Given the right support, every student can and should graduate from high school. Not only does earning a high school diploma provide our students with a strong foundation for long-term success, higher rates of graduation also lead to strong communities with less crime and poverty.


Unfortunately, the alarming reality in Chicago is that nearly half of our high school students are falling behind in school and dropping out as a result of “real life” forces including violence, poverty, pregnancy, apathy and anonymity. In partnership with the Parthenon Group and with support from the Consortium on Chicago School Research,  Graduation Pathways developed a strategy aimed at providing options for students who are being pulled out of school by these forces. Our goal is to ensure that all Chicago Public School students graduate from high school.

Program elements

Our program is comprised of four steps to ensure that students stay in school and graduate from high school.


  • Prevention. Research shows that only two out of 10 students who fall behind in credits during their first year of high school graduate. Graduation Pathways equips CPS high schools with tools to identify students who need extra support during their critical transition into freshman year. We also assist with developing strategies to immediately address each student’s issues.


  • Early intervention. These strategies help high schools quickly respond to the needs of 9th grade students who display early signs of at-risk behavior. Our programs and initiatives blend academic and social-emotional support to prevent our youth from slipping through the cracks.


  • Credit recovery. We offer several options for off-pace students to recover credits. Our credit recovery programs enable our youth to earn their missing credits in a variety of settings and at flexible hours that best fit their personal needs and schedules. Such programs include summer school, and virtual and evening classes.


  • Re-enrollment and Re-engagement. We offer support to help make re-entry points smooth and accessible for eligible students wishing to re-enroll in high school. Students who have become disengaged from the school system or are unable to thrive in a traditional school setting are offered personalized plans to address their individual circumstances. 

A targeted approach

Graduation Pathways is based on the philosophy that a “one-size-fits-all approach” does not work for our diverse student population. There are multiple pathways to graduation. We offer an array of academic options so that each student can map out his or her own individually tailored path to graduation.  

Achievement Academies
Two-year program for over-aged students who have not met the promotion criteria to enter high school.


Small Learning Communities (SLCs)
Small high schools provide a more intimate and personalized learning environment for a select group of students.

Page Last Modified on Tuesday, May 27, 2014

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