CPS Boosts College Awareness During Chicago Champions College and Career Week 

City-wide effort to promotes preparation for college and career success


October 12, 2011


CPS launched a city-wide effort to promote preparation for college and career success as part of the Chicago Champions College and Career Week.


Throughout the week, students will be engaged in college and career planning activities including college fairs, scholarship workshops and enrollment sessions. The week’s events are focused on connecting students with helpful tools and resources they can use to begin planning their life beyond high school.


“A high school degree is simply not enough in today’s world. That’s why we are committed to increasing the rigor of the courses our students take in order to ensure they graduate college and career ready,” Brizard said.


Last year, only 7.9 percent of CPS 11th grade CPS students met benchmarks for college readiness. The district has begun the conversion to the new Common Core State Standards curriculum that will be more rigorous and better prepare students for college level curriculum. As the district aligns K-12 curriculum to meet college benchmarks, CPS also is working to build college and career expectations for students at every age.


While high school graduates earn 28 percent more over their lifetime than high school drop-outs, research shows that college graduates earn 60 percent more over their lifetime than high school graduates, are less likely to be unemployed and can lift their families out of poverty.


“This week, we are focusing on raising student awareness of the college and career options available, the resources that can help them succeed and the plan they need to put in place to move from high school to college and a fulfilling career,” said Brizard.


Throughout the week, schools will host activities focused on college preparation and career options. At Julian High School, all juniors and seniors will participate in a College Fair with more than 20 colleges and universities present. At Schurz High School, students will participate in a wide range of college and career workshops where professionals in the auto industry, nursing and law enforcement will share their college and career experiences.


On Friday, October 14th, CPS elementary and high schools will celebrate College Spirit Day by decorating the halls and classrooms with college memorabilia, dressing in their favorite college t-shirts and reflecting on the importance of planning for college in their classes.


In addition, CPS and partner colleges have been hosting a variety of college fairs and scholarship workshops throughout the city. The week kicked off with a College Fair on Monday, October 10th at McCormick Place, and the Chicago National Hispanic Fair at Richard Daley College on Tuesday, October 11th. Upcoming college fairs include:


  • Wednesday, October 12th, 6:30 p.m. -9:00 p.m. 2011
    Chicago Performing and Visual Arts College Fair—Roosevelt University.
  • Saturday, October 15th, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
    100 Black Men of Chicago Scholarship Fair—University of Illinois-Chicago


Students learned about opportunities to earn college credit through the City Colleges of Chicago while still attending a CPS high school at two fairs hosted at Harold Washington Library and Kennedy-King College on Tuesday. An additional session will be held on Friday:


  • Friday, October 14th, 4:00 p.m.
    Truman College, 1145 W. Wilson, Larry McKeon (New building), Room 146


Information sessions were also held at Kennedy-King College and Harold Washington College earlier in the week.


Students can pre-register for these events at: http://www.ccc.edu/ChicagoChampions/Index.aspx. College coaches and counselors will have free CTA passes available for students who want to attend sites located outside of their high school.


To help us encourage CPS students, several Chicago city leaders and former CPS students weighed in on the importance of college and career in their own lives. Videos can be seen on the CPS website or on the CPS Facebook page. Additional videos will be posted throughout the week.

About CPS

Chicago Public Schools serves 405,000 students in 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.


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