By C.N. Staff Writer
In September, 2013 the Community College Preparatory Academy (CC Prep) will open its doors here in Ward 8. This unique Public Charter School is made possible because of the insightful legislation that the DC City Council created which included an apportionment for public charters for adults. CC Prep is designed to serve as a bridge to college and/ or entry level employment for adults who need additional skill building or maybe just some support in improving their core skills in reading and math. CC Prep will also offer adults in the Ward and from across the city, the opportunity to develop on- line learning skills as well as the chance to become computer literate and proficient in MICROSOFT Office Suite.
This school has been in the planning for quite a while and it is designed to begin to fill a big workforce development gap “east of the river”. While it will open its doors to 150 students in the first year, its current charter allows it to grow to serve as many as 1200 students a year. So, ultimately, it can make a real difference for residents east of the river as they are seeking a way to get ready for the jobs that our economy is creating. Researchers predict that by 2018, you will need a college degree or some form of certification to even successfully compete for 70% of the jobs in the city.CC Prep has been created to provide a “bridge” to Community College- whether Associate Degree or advanced certification training.
In June CC Prep will begin a series of orientation sessions. These three week sessions will be held in June, July and August and interested students will attend for three hours a day five days a week for two weeks. These sessions will give our residents the opportunity to be assessed in terms of their academic skills; to develop a learning plan and to generally learn about the school and how it works. After the three week orientation, residents will complete their registration and will be prepared to start school in September.
In addition to the education and counseling support services previously mentioned, CC Prep staff will prepare adult students to pass the new high school equivalency examination, which is computer based. They will also prepare students for the assessment used by our community college to determine college placement (ACCUPLACER). Most importantly, they will be prepared to obtain an entry level job in our knowledge driven economy.
In a recent interview with the Chair of the Board of Community College Preparatory Academy, Ms. LaRuby May and its Executive Director, Ms. Connie Spinner, we talked about what will make this a different kind of learning experience for adults. Ms. May explained, “We are committed to creating an environment of support and sensitivity to individual learning needs; small classes and lots of personal attention to student progress will be things that residents can depend upon.” Ms. Spinner went on to note,”We are also actively seeking adults who will bring commitment and tenacity to this endeavor. You will notice that we use the word adult in our literature a lot. We are not an alternative high school. We are a place for adults- young and not so young – who are willing to commit their time and energy to building a bridge to their future by improving their education.”
Ms. May also indicated that “We are actively seeking to partner with the other Ward 8 service providers like Congress Heights Training and Development Center and the Police Clergy Partnership to provide access to supportive services that often make it possible for our students to stay in school when life crises happen.” Ms. Spinner went on to say, “We are going to do everything that we can to give our students the kind of flexible schedules and innovative programming that will encourage them to stay in school.”
If you are interested in completing your GED or preparing for Community College or just upgrading your skills in order to get a job or move to a better job, you might want to consider CC Prep. Here are some basic things you will want to know about this adult Charter school.
Who is this school for? If you are a DC resident ages 18 or older and you need or feel it would be beneficial to refresh your skills, improve your chances of successfully completing the new GED exam or the ACCUPLACER placement test for Community College entry, or to prepare yourself for employment in Washington’s knowledge based economy – then CC Prep is a fit for you. The program is free to residents of the District of Columbia and it will make it possible for you to develop new skills and/ or enhance your skill in order to improve your chances of getting and keeping a job.
Where will CC Prep be located? CC Prep has offices located in Ward 8 at 3215 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, SE, Washington, DC and in September it will be located on Martin Luther King Ave., close to the Metro stop.
When would I be able to start? CC Prep will begin classes in September 2013. They will also hold three, two week orientation sessions starting in June, July and August. These orientation sessions will allow you to determine whether or not the program can fulfill your needs and if there is a fit between what they offer and your educational needs. You are encouraged to participate in the orientation sessions in order to be at the top of the student registration list for CC Prep.
What are my next steps If you are interested in the program and would like more information about Community College Prep Academy, you can call the current offices at (202) 506-8758 or you can plan to attend one of the three Information Sessions that will be held in March, April and May.The March information session will be held in Ward 8 at Old Congress Heights School.