Proud high school graduates, on their way to college and career success.

Preparing Students for College and Career

Homestead Senior High College Club students visit Bethune-Cookman University.

For most students in Miami-Dade County Public Schools, one of the largest and poorest districts in the U.S., attending college remains a dream. Begun in 2008, The Education Fund’s SmartPath is an initiative that aims to embed a college-going culture in high schools, empowering low-income and first-generation students to graduate and successfully prepare for college and careers. SmartPath is changing the lives of students in five public senior high schools in Miami-Dade. Our pilot schools achieved a 34% increase in college enrollment, and since our expansion in 2013, there has been a continued 21% increase in college enrollment rates across all SmartPath schools.

SmartPath is serving students at:

  1. Booker T. Washington Senior High School
  2. Homestead Senior High School
  3. Miami Jackson Senior High School
  4. Miami Northwestern Senior High School
  5. Miami Senior High School 

Students attend a state-wide college tour.

Signature SmartPath Activities Include:

  • College Clubs & Classroom Lessons
  • College Field Trips
  • College Fairs & Presentations
  • FAFSA Marathon Workshops
  • Paid Summer Internships

In the Schools  

College Clubs & Classroom Lessons serve students in grades 9-12 providing an emphasis on developing academic and college readiness skills. College Club lessons cover a wide range of topics including college research, essay writing, test-taking skills, and improving study skills. Tools, such as career evaluations, are also used to help students realize the importance of graduation in order to achieve a college education. Our SmartPath Guide to College Clubs provides a collection of lessons, tools, 所有教职员工都可以在整个学年中利用这些资源,为学生在大学和职业生涯中的成功提供信息和准备. 

College Field Trips allow students in 9-12 grades to travel outside their own neighborhoods, many for the first time, to experience life on a college campus.  这些访问被证明是至关重要的,因为它们可以让学生获得大学的第一手知识,并包括学术期望的研讨会, careers, student services, and financial aid. College visits can be to local colleges and universities, as well as out-of-county.

FAFSA Marathon Workshops are critical in providing information to access federal student aid and scholarships.  Through a collaborative partnership with Miami Dade College, college financial aid staff work one-on-one, in schools’ computer labs, 帮助数百名家长和学生完成FAFSA(免费申请联邦学生援助)申请.  Engaging parents is crucial as many do not realize that college is a viable financial option for their children.  这一点很重要,因为研究表明,第一代和/或经济困难的学生完成FAFSA大大增加了他们上大学的机会.

Paid Summer Internships 向学生介绍职业和工作环境,同时接受SmartPath项目总监的持续支持. Prior to placement, students receive training in work etiquette, professionalism, and basic workplace skills.

SmartPath to College Leads to Success

  • Pilot ► 5 Year Results:
    • 34% increase in college enrollment rates at SmartPath schools, significantly outpacing results in comparison schools, which only saw gains of 2%
    • 30% 与比较学校学生的大学坚持率下降8%相比,SmartPath学校学生的大学坚持率增加了
  • Expansion ► 3 Year Results:
    • 21% continued increase in college enrollment rates across all SmartPath schools
  • 2021-2022 School Year ► Results:
    • 100% of students surveyed responded that after attending a SmartPath College Club meeting, they are more interested in graduating high school and applying to college, technical school or work-force specific training.
    • 100% of students surveyed stated that after attending a virtual college field trip, they felt more prepared for college, the college process and/or post-secondary plans.
    • 100% of the students surveyed reported that after attending a College and Career Lesson, they gained new knowledge about college and/or careers.

    • 100%的暑期实习生表示,他们的实习经历帮助他们获得了为未来工作和就业做好准备的技能.

Student Testimonials:

"During the classroom presentations, I have learned a lot about college and my options. Ms. K was also very detailed about grades and graduation requirements."   - JM, Booker T Washington SHS

“这个社团让我对大学和职业世界有了更多的了解,也让我有机会帮助其他处于不同情况的人学会热爱大学.   - LM, Miami SHS

“我在实习期间学到的是时间管理的重要性,以及为什么心理健康实践很重要. I also learned about diligence and how much effort it takes to execute a non-profit organization. I learned about different math concepts as well as all 16 of the United Nations’ Social Development Goals."  - JA, Miami Jackson SHS

For more information, please contact SmartPath Program Manager Vanessa Gonzalez 305-968-8976 

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