As College and Career Kickoff month winds down, it's worth taking a look at the numbers: Just how successful are Jurupa's college readiness initiatives?
Based on the latest data from the National Student Clearinghouse, which tracks college attendance numbers nationwide, 57 percent of JUSD graduates enrolled in college after graduation – compared with 39 percent in 2010.
Today, JUSD graduates attend 566 different postsecondary institutions in 48 U.S. states, including 194 schools in California.
These numbers commend the work not only of students, but also of educators, who have supported college and career preparation while removing barriers to enrollment in vocational schools, community colleges and four-year universities.
Throughout October – Jurupa's districtwide College and Career Kickoff month – every school at every grade level led activities to help students understand their opportunities after high school.
In support of learning without limits, Jurupa has used leading-edge neuroscience; partnerships with colleges and universities; and job-market analysis and research to shape a broad mix of coursework, programs, and enrichment available to every student in the district.
JUSD has added, augmented, or enhanced education in a range of areas, including:
Advanced education, early college and college preparation. The district provides a broad portfolio of college-level coursework. This allows students to earn college credit – without college fees – while still in high school. Highlights include:
Advanced Placement courses in 17 subjects.
A growing list of
Dual Enrollment options: High school students who take approved college classes earn both high school and college credit for their work.
At JUSD, Dual Enrollment opportunities date to 2006, when Rubidoux Early College High School (RECHS) began helping students earn up to a year of college credit while still in high school. The trailblazing program has earned a Golden Bell Award from the California School Boards Association.
Career Technical Education (CTE) classes at Jurupa high schools, approved for college credit by RCC and other Southern California community colleges.
Advancement Via Individual Determination: The college-prep program AVID operates at all JUSD elementary, middle and comprehensive high schools.
University partnerships: Jurupa Unified works with various university partners to build new college-going opportunities and remove barriers to admission.
Financial savings to families: Earning college credit in high school can dramatically cut the time and money that students spend on college.
Financial aid guidance: Jurupa Unified works comprehensively to help students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, from October through the FAFSA deadline in March.
Already this fall, 239 seniors at Jurupa Valley High alone have completed the FAFSA, which unlocks the door to thousands of dollars in grants, loans and scholarships.
Targeted career preparation. The district offers CTE in high-demand areas such as patient care, graphic design, emergency response, engineering, and information technology. CTE prepares students for careers in the following industries:
"We look at not just the current job market, but also the projected job market, to make sure we offer pathways in the industry sectors where jobs will be available, and serve our community by providing candidates for those jobs," said Roberta Pace, Director of College and Career Readiness for JUSD.
Jurupa Adult School: JUSD offers courses to help community members learn skills – in one year or less – that qualify them for local jobs such as pharmacy technician, security guard and solar panel installer.
Medical Assistant Administrative Professional program, which operates at both Jurupa Adult School and Rubidoux High, qualifies students as medical assistants who can work in physicians' offices or side-by-side with doctors.
Technology. Much of the technology required for college and careers is laced throughout classroom curricula district-wide. Every student in grades K-12 is assigned a Chromebook with 365/24/7 access to online learning resources.
A focus on STEAM. The district has prioritized learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) – key areas that prepare students for jobs in today's tech-based, globalized economy.
Innovation Center: A STEAM-friendly learning hub that opened at JVHS in January. The center's pathways include: design – visual and media arts; agriscience; engineering design; software and systems development (computer science and coding); and product innovation and design.
STEM at Mira Loma Middle School: Jurupa Unified has brought a focus on engineering to MLMS – which strategically prepares students for the Innovation Center at JVHS.
Del Sol Academy, a cutting-edge K-8 STEAM school, opened this semester. Campus features include music rooms, technology labs, a flexible learning center for multiple STEAM-related projects, and technology to support innovative instruction.
Logistics at Nueva Vista High School: The Jurupa campus is one of just two high schools in Riverside County offering ROP/CTE training for one of the top industries in the Inland region.
Music and other enrichment. Enrichment programs help students excel in the early grades so they grow into well-rounded, job-ready young men and women. Opportunities include Dual Language Immersion, the Pacific Avenue Academy of Music, music programs at most schools, and plans for a full high school orchestra.
Indeed, Jurupa has added programs that support college and career readiness at every school site in both the east and west ends of the district, and each high school connects students directly with higher education.
In all, said Jurupa Superintendent Elliott Duchon, "The range of opportunities at JUSD today is breathtaking – more extensive than anything my generation could have imagined."
The National Student Clearinghouse, https://studentclearinghouse.org, provides data to the U.S. Department of Education, thousands of school districts and 98 percent of all colleges and universities to track students' college attendance nationwide.