By C.N. Staff Writer
On September 16, 2013, Community College Preparatory Academy (CC Prep) opened its doors for operation as the first Adult Charter School “east of the river”. We are so pleased and proud to be a part of the Ward 8 Community!!! We are located at 2405 Martin Luther King Avenue. While we are open to any DC resident and we are a free educational resource to the residents of the city, we have focused our efforts on recruiting the residents of Wards 7 and 8. Over sixty five percent of our students reside in Ward 8. However, we are serving students from six of our eight Wards.
We offer a diverse adult secondary education program that prepares residents for both post- secondary education and entry-level employment in our city’s “knowledge based economy”. Two thirds of our instruction is on- line and we prepare our students to comfortably use on- line instruction. We know that everyone must be computer literate and we are assisting our adult students in quickly reaching that goal. We offer training toward national certifications in the areas of Administrative / Technical, Basic Electrical, Basic Blue Print Reading, and Hospitality.
Since September, CC Prep reached many milestones. CC Prep has enrolled its inaugural class of 161 students and exceeded its target by eleven students. We currently have more than seventy-five students on our waiting list. After only three full months of operation, we have already had five of our students successfully pass the High School Equivalency Examination (GED) and seven of our students have obtained full or part- time employment.
Seventy percent of our students have successfully completed Computer Basics and are now either working toward their GED or the ACCUPLACER Exam placement at freshman level. At our quarterly “Town Meeting”, students identified transportation costs as the single greatest barrier to regular attendance. So our “Friends of CC Prep” led by chairman, Phinis Jones went to work to establish an emergency transportation fund to support students in getting to school.
Our students are the single most enthusiastic recruiters for our school. Almost fifty percent of our students are parents of K-12 charter school students and learned about us through orientation sessions that were hosted by Charter school partners like EXCEL Academy and Friendship PCS Southeast Campus. Approximately forty five percent of our students are TANF recipients.
For this quarter’s Update we are going to focus on two students who have shown great progress and probably best exemplify the kind of adult student that we serve at CC Prep. Mr. Antonio Smith came to us in September to start to prepare for college. In spite of the fact that he was in transitional housing and attempting to stabilize his life, Mr. Smith maintained a 90% attendance rate and quickly moved through Computer Basics to our new MyFoundations on- line Learning system. He also volunteered to serve as a Lab Assistant and aided other students. He has stabilized his housing through his participation with Covenant House, a valued partner in our work with young adults. He also has obtained part- time employment and is showing steady progress toward successful ACCUPLACER assessment this spring.
Ms. Devorah Brown – Hawkins is an active and vibrant senior who had a successful career for more than thirty years and upon retiring determined that she would go after her high school equivalency and ultimately college. She has actively participated in our GED Boot Camp and passed four of five GED areas well above the requirements. She has a little more work to do in the area of Mathematics – specifically word problem solving- and we have no doubt, she will “ace” the test in all five areas. Her attendance is exemplary and she is a leader in her class and has graciously agreed to serve as one of two student members of our Board.
These two individuals are very different. However they both represent the kind of commitment to educational progress that is the hallmark of the CC Prep student. Our adults surmount daily obstacles of transportation, limited childcare and limited financial resources – to come to school every day. We have great ambitions for all our students and we will keep you posted on their progress. Happy New Year Ward 8!!!