Opening Up a World of Possibility Through a Focused College Roadmap

By Denver Scholarship Foundation | As part of a collaborative event—called Discovery Day—students from 11 DPS high schools had the opportunity to visit both Emily Griffith campuses with their DSF College Advisors to get a taste of several long-term career fields.

From finding their veins with an Accuvein machine in Phlebotomy, to preparing fruit tarts in Professional Baking, to creating their own dragonfly garden ornaments in Welding, students eagerly immersed themselves in the program of their choice through interactive presentations with Emily Griffith staff

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“The goal of Discovery Day is for students to experience in-demand career pathways in a hands-on learning environment,” said Brittany Matteson, Career & Technical Education Program Manager at DSF. “When students are participating in these events, they are making real and lasting connections that help to drive their college decision making after high school.”

As a cost-effective alternative to a four-year or two-year degree, a technical certificate allows students to opt for an accelerated college track that prepares them for the workforce with skills and experience in a skilled trades career. Discovery Day allowed students to learn more about their options in these fields, most of which are in high demand in the Denver metro area. Emily Griffith’s most in-demand programs include Barbering, Cosmetology, Esthetician, Nurse Assisting, Phlebotomy, Welding, HVAC and Auto Services and Auto Technician, according to Gabriel Fischer, College Advisor in Creative Arts & Design Programs at Emily Griffith. By gaining early exposure to these career options through events like Discovery Day, students are able to begin their higher education experience knowing that their skills will be in-demand upon graduation.

“It is critical that students have exposure to these programs while still in high school so that they know all of the options that are available upon graduation,” Fischer said. “From day one we are asking students to think about their end goal and career that they want as soon as they walk in the door. Our programs have a career component that helps construct their resume, ensures that they have access to our free career services and the majority of our programs have a clinical or internship component built into their program.”

In partnership with Emily Griffith, DSF hopes that exposure events like Discovery Day help students consider all of the options that college has to offer outside of two-year and four-year degrees. Lead funding from Daniels Fund, The Anschutz Foundation, JPMorgan Chase and the LARRK Foundation makes this work possible.

“Every student is unique in the path they will take after high school, and it is our job to help students realize the vast opportunities that are available to them,” said Matteson. “Discovery Day is just one way that we are providing students with exposure to different career and college options. Our Future Center advisors are having in-depth conversations with students every day. They are helping them find the right pathway, whether that is a certificate, associate or bachelor’s degree program.”

To learn more about how DSF supports DPS students in discovering their own higher education roadmap, watch this feature from 9News.