Downtown College Prep in San Jose is graduating its second class of students today. All the graduates will go on to four-year colleges and universities. The San Jose Mercury News looks at DCP’s efforts to help its graduates succeed in college.
The school’s reach extends in numerous ways. Officials hunt down alumni by e-mail and cell phone, asking for feedback on what the charter school can do better. DCP is also building pipelines to specific colleges — like Mount Holyoke, and California State University campuses in Chico and Monterey Bay — that share DCP’s vision of seeing students succeed despite formidable odds.
Because of feedback from the first class of graduates, DCP is revamping its writing curriculum to prepare students to write research papers in college. The school also is steering more students to public universities; some graduates who went to private colleges felt so burdened by the debt load that they’ve transferred to community colleges. Now, only A students who can get full scholarships are encouraged to go to private colleges.
My book, Our School, which is coming out Dec. 1, is about Downtown College Prep. For mysterious reasons, Amazon has changed the title of the book.