NEW YORK – Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza today announced a record 417 high schools participated in Career Exploration Month this February, a citywide effort to help students identify career interests and learn how to pursue those careers. This is the second year of Career Exploration Month; last year, 346 high schools participated. As a record number of schools participate in Career Exploration Month, New York City students have also achieved a record-high graduation rate, a record-low dropout rate, a record-high college readiness and enrollment rate, and record participation and performance on Advanced Placement exams.
Over the course of the month, schools have hosted a variety of activities to promote career awareness and exploration, including career presentations and fairs; resume writing and interviewing workshops; presentations led by alumni, industry partners, and community-based organizations; and visits to businesses across New York City.
“Career Exploration Month helps our students see their future,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “As New York City students are graduating at record rates, we’re also ensuring that they’re ready for college, careers, and the world that lies beyond our classrooms. We’re so excited to have more schools than ever participating in Career Exploration Month, and more students than ever on the path to success.”
All New York City high schools were provided with resources to use for Career Exploration Month and throughout the school year. An online toolkit, available here, includes tips for teachers and guidance counselors on how to use volunteers, self-assessments, and lesson plans.
Career Exploration Month aligns to the City’s College Access for All initiative as well as national Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month. The City has invested in CTE by opening 47 new, high-quality CTE programs and strengthening and expanding work-based learning. There are now 301 CTE programs across 135 schools, reaching approximately 64,000 high school students. Over the course of Career Exploration Month, CTE programs across the City collaborated with a wide range of industry partners to host a series of events from career days to job shadows to mock interviews.
Earlier this school year, Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza announced:
- The highest-ever graduation rate – 75.9 percent of students in the Class of 2018.
- The lowest-ever dropout rate – 7.5 percent of students in the Class of 2018.
- The highest-ever postsecondary enrollment rate – 59 percent. A record-high 45,115 students in the Class of 2017 enrolled in college, up from 43,466 in the Class of 2016 and 40,641 in the Class of 2013.
- The highest-ever college readiness rate – 51 percent of all students, and 67 percent of graduates, in the Class of 2018 graduated high school on time and met CUNY’s standards for college readiness in English and math.
- The highest-ever number of New York City students taking and passing Advanced Placement exams – the number of students taking at least one AP exam in 2018 rose 11.4 percent, and the number of students passing rose 10.7 percent.
Through College Access for All, every 7th grader in New York City has the opportunity to visit a college campus – approximately 70,000 7th grade students each school year. Every high school has resources and supports for students to graduate with a college and career plan. This includes eliminating the CUNY college application fee for low-income students and making the SAT exam available free of charge during the school day for all high school juniors – increasing the number of juniors who took the SAT by 51 percent in 2016-17.
College Access for All is one of the Mayor and Chancellor’s Equity and Excellence for All initiatives, which are building a pathway to success in college and careers for all students. Our schools are starting earlier – free, full-day, high-quality education for three-year-olds and four-year-olds through 3-K for All and Pre-K for All. They are strengthening foundational skills and instruction earlier – Universal Literacy so that every student is reading on grade level by the end of 2nd grade; and Algebra for All to improve elementary- and middle-school math instruction and ensure that all 8th graders have access to algebra. They are offering students more challenging, hands-on, college and career-aligned coursework – Computer Science for All brings 21st-century computer science instruction to every school, and AP for All will give all high school students access to at least five Advanced Placement courses. Along the way, they are giving students and families additional support through College Access for All, Single Shepherd, and investment in Community Schools. Efforts to create more diverse and inclusive classrooms through Diversity in New York City Public Schools, the City’s school diversity plan, are central to this pathway.