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DCCP School Support pdf


									DCCP School Support
          Joni Pearlman

      Chicago Public Schools

             TBR VI

          April 26, 2010
                                                                                      DCCP School Support 2


College and career preparation is critical to the ability of high school graduates to earn a self-sufficient

living. The Department of College and Career Preparation’s (DCCP) mission is to ensure that every

Chicago Public School (CPS) student is equipped with the knowledge, skills and support necessary for a

successful future in post-secondary education and careers. This capstone paper outlines how DCCP

evaluated the need for different types and levels of supports, especially College and Career coaching

and College and Career Academy implementation/coordination. Please see Appendix I for a DCCP



CPS is the third largest school district in the United States. The district has over 400,000 students in 675

schools. Student information for FY09-10 from

Total: 409,279                                             Student racial breakdown
Preschool: 24,370                                          African American: 45%
Kindergarten: 29,632                                       Latino: 41%
Elementary (1-8): 239, 507                                 White: 9%
Secondary (9-12): 115,770                                  Asian/Pacific Islander: 3.6%
                                                           Native American: 0.2%

In 2009 there were changes at CPS and DCCP that impacted DCCP’s operations and strategy including:

        CPS Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Arne Duncan was named Secretary of Education

        Ron Huberman was named CPS CEO

        Greg Darnieder (Officer of DCCP) left CPS to work at the Department of Education (DOE)

        Education to Careers was renamed Career and Technical Education (CTE) and merged with the

        Department of Post-secondary Education (PSE) to create DCCP

            o    Career Development Facilitator (CDF) position eliminated as part of the merger
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            o   Post-secondary coach (PSC) renamed College and Career Coach (CCC)

        Aarti Dhupelia was named Director of CTE and began the CTE “Retooling” project

        Jerusha Rodgers was named Officer of DCCP

        Office of High School Programs (OHSP) was essentially disbanded (not formally) and the DCCP

        Officer now reports directly to the Chief Education Office (CeDO)

        Barbara Karpouzian was named Director of Secondary School Counseling

        Patrick Milton was named Director of College and Career Coaches and Specialists

DCCP was created in recognition of the growing need for education after high school. DCCP works to

successfully transition more CPS high school students into post-secondary education and careers. The

first time the majority of CPS’ college and career preparation activities were house in a single

department was 2009-2010. The challenge was to develop and implement a strategy to ensure that all

students are served and their needs are met.


Prior to the CTE and PSE merger there were a number of central office funded resources in the schools

supporting college and career preparation including CDFs (see Appendix II) and PSCs. Greg Darnieder

pioneered the successful PSC program at CPS that hires coaches to support college and career

preparation in the school.

In 2009-2010 there were a number of changes in DCCP. The decision was made to eliminate the PSC

and CDF positions and create one College and Career Coach (CCC) position. This was not an easy

decision. Many of the CDFs lost their jobs and a majority of the former PSCs retained their job with the

expectation of additional career- focused responsibilities. The CDFs had provided direct supplemental
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educational services to students enrolled in approved CTE programs, but did not serve the entire

student population. The CCCs, who served all students in the building, were expected to integrate the

CTE component and meet CTE requirements.

The CCC is a shared position between DCCP and the school – the school pays 50% and DCCP pays 50%.

The position is a 52-week non-unionized educational support position. The average CCC makes

significantly less than the average CPS teacher/counselor which is one reason why the program has been

successful. The schools get a very capable resource for a reasonable cost. The CCCs tend to be young

individuals who have previous youth development and programming experience. The CCCs are managed

by a group of College and Career Specialists (Specialists). The Specialists are aligned to the CPS areas

and through 2009-2010 were 100% funded by DCCP with dual reporting to dual reporting to the Director

of College and Career Coaches and Specialists and their respective Chief Area Officer (CAO). All

specialists formerly managed the PSCs except one who managed CDFs.

The 2009-2010 school year began with confusion largely due to the vague job description that combined

the CDF and PSC position (see Appendix III). This posed a huge challenge because the CCC is school

based and not only did the school staff not know what new responsibilities the CCC had but there was

limited organized training for the CCC. There was little clarity regarding additional responsibilities that

were expected of them. The few CDFs who became CCCs were fairly comfortable in the new role

because as CDFs they had always focused on college preparation as a step to a successful career. The

CCCs that had been PSCs were struggling with understanding the career component of the position.

The coach pilot program that began less than 10 years ago had 12 schools. The program has proven to

be scalable and in 2009-2010 there were 47 CCCs serving 44 schools. Based on 20th day enrollment for

2009-2010 these 44 schools have more than 49,000 students which represent more than 50% of high
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school students in what were considered coach eligible schools for 2009-2010 (see Appendix IV). For

2009-2010 coach eligible schools excluded charter schools, contract schools, special education schools,

alternative schools or achievement academies.

At the same time as the changes to the coach role, implementation of CTE “Retooling” strategy had

begun and was gaining momentum. There were CTE programs in hundreds of schools and enrollment

and outcomes varied by school and program. In 2009 CPS began to consolidate a number of the

programs into CTE Career Academies. CTE Career Academies are academically rigorous programs or

dedicated schools, focused on a specific CTE industry area, that prepare students for success in post-

secondary education and careers. Students have city-wide access to programs and gain admission

through an application process. The long-term strategy is to have 10-15 CTE Career Academies across ~

5 schools over the next 5 years. For the 2010-2011 school year there will be ~30 CTE Career Academies

across 12 schools.

In late 2009 conversations began about the long-term plan for CCCs as well as the necessary supports

for CTE Career Academies to ensure success. Around this time a group of researchers led by James

Rosenbaum from Northwestern University were concluding a multi-year study they had conducted on

the positive impact of coaches in 11 of the 12 original pilot coach schools. The findings, while yet to be

published, indicate that college related outcomes are better CCC schools. With the new programming

and information this was an opportunity for DCCP to look at the overall effectiveness of supports that

DCCP provides as well as school need.


CPS high schools need support for College and Career Coaching and College and CTE Career Academy

Implementation/Coordination. The objectives of the project were to:

        Understand the value proposition of the coaches and specialists
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        Determine the best model for school support that

             o Meets school needs for support in reaching college and career preparation goals

                 (coaching, CTE Career Academy coordination, etc.)

             o Leverages existing resources effectively

             o Provides a cost effective option that decision makers buy into

             o Can be implemented in a timely manner


In early December 2009 Kirstyn Fields (TBR VII) and I were tasked with this project and given ~ 6 weeks

to conduct research and make recommendations. Key activities are outlined below (see Appendix VI for

high level project plan).


We spent about 10 days getting up to speed on CTE Career Academies, CCC roles and Specialists roles.

We created a high-level interview template and created an interview list (see Appendix VI).


We spent a week conducting interviews (see Appendix VI). Some of those interviewed include:

        Current Specialists, CCCs, former CDFs, current CTE Career Academy Coordinator

        Chief Area Officers (CAOs)

        Comparable programs with coaching support (Achievement Academies, GearUp, AVID),

        Principals from various types of high schools

Research and Interview Synthesis

After conducting interviews we spent 10 days synthesizing our interview findings and asking clarifying

questions (see Appendix VI).
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Model drafting

We spent about 4 days drafting our models of schools support, determining feasibility, cost and


Vet and refine solution

Another week was spent getting feedback on the models from interviewees, key contributors and key

stakeholders. We presented the models to the DCCP leadership team and incorporated any feedback

or suggestions.

Finalize Deliverables

There were a number of deliverables that we needed to evolve from the project including:

        List of activities and roles needed to support schools including job descriptions (see Appendix


        Key stakeholder feedback on responsibilities desired

        Proposed models for school support (see Appendix VIII)

        Implementation tips/suggestions (bonus – based on interviews)

Final Presentations

In February 2010 key findings and recommendations were presented by Kirstyn Fields to Dr. Barbara

Eason-Watkins (Joni Pearlman at a Broad Session). Key findings and recommendations presented were:

        Expand College & Career Coach team to cover as many schools as the budget will allow

        Add CTE Academy Coordinators and CTE Academy Coordinator Manager to DCCP Staff (multi-

        year funding support model and eventually position will be fully funded at school level)

        Assign Specialists by area, with the areas funding half of the position

        Provide better implementation support

DCCP was given approval to proceed with the recommended plan.
                                                                                    DCCP School Support 8


Around the same time DCCP received support from Dr. Eason-Watkins DCCP leadership began

preliminary budgeting exercises for DCCP and true to the recommendations DCCP budgeted for as many

coaches as possible while adding the CTE Academy Coordinators and the CTE Academy Coordinator

manager. The preliminary budget funded 68 CCC at 50%, 6 Specialists at 50%, 1 Specialist at 100%, 12

CTE Academy Coordinators at 60% and 1 CTE Academy Coordinator Manager at 100%. In late February

2010 Ron Huberman issued a warning that 2010-2011will be a difficult budget year and CPS could face a

$900mm shortfall. This has created an environment of uncertainty. As of April 21, 2010 CPS schools and

central office departments had not yet received their 2010-2011 budget or planning documents.

The budget situation is affecting all aspects of this project. While DCCP will post the CCC and Specialist

positions in April 2010 and the CTE Academy Coordinator and CTE Academy Coordinator positions are

posted, DCCP is unable to commit to the expansion of coaches and academy support staff until the

budget is confirmed. It is a ripple effect – without a budget and with the headcount restrictions DCCP is

unable to hire the additional positions. If and when budget approves there will be a very short

timeframe to get the positions approved, posted, hired and staffed.


There were a number of lessons learned including:

        The importance of starting college and career preparation early and make it continuous , which
        for DCCP this means reaching out to students as soon as possible.

        Personalize school environments, which for DCCP this means ensuring that every student has an
        individualize plan and adult advocate.

        Enlist administrator support, which for DCCP this means soliciting buy-in from school
        administration up-front.

        Build on strengths, which for DCCP this means leveraging the best of existing DCCP programs.
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        Become user-friendly, which for DCCP this means clarifying goals and coordinating resources.

        Keep resources close to schools.


Ron Huberman is performance driven and as a result DCCP has developed Key Performance Indicators

for all departments. Knowing the positive effect of a coach and the new structure of the CTE Career

Academies the goal is to provide services and supports to more students and ultimately improve college

going, retention and employment rates. Throughout the year DCCP has become more goal-oriented and

thoughtful in terms of planning. There is now a process and guidelines for CCC recruiting including job

descriptions (see Appendix VII) timelines and a process for confirming CCC needs with the schools. The

annual metrics DCCP began tracking in 2009-2010 that are related to this project include:

        % of graduates with a clear post-secondary outcome in the fall

        % of graduates enrolled in college, % of graduates in college enrolled in a match college,
        Expected grad rate based on college enrollment choice and 4-year retention, % of graduates
        enrolled in college retained in second year

        % of graduates not enrolled in college but employed, % of graduates not enrolled in college who
        are employed earning $20,000/yr.

The plan is to have the DCCP annual metrics available at the school and area level so that each school

can track their performance. This will also enable leadership to track performance at CCC schools.

Additionally there are DCCP department monthly metrics and individual departments track metrics

specifically related to their department.


As a Broad Resident this was an ideal project. It was an important initiative and provided me the

opportunity to learn first-hand from school level staff what was important and necessary for their
                                                                                 DCCP School Support 10

students to be successful. Kirstyn and I then had the opportunity to take our findings back to central

office and develop a plan that meets the school’s needs. While implementation will depend largely on

the 2010-2011 budget DCCP is now in a position to better support students and ensure their needs are


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