Beginning next fall all eighth grade students in the Detroit Public Schools will take an online course that prepares them for high school and college under a partnership agreement between the District and Wayne County Community College District.
The one-hour college credit course, known as Career and Professional Development 100 or CPD 100, is an online class that is designed to help students improve their academic, social and interpersonal skills through interaction with the college community. The primary focus of the class is to help students learn such critical skills as goal setting, note taking, time management, conflict resolution, information literacy, and career planning.
The District expects to have 8,000 eighth graders next fall; half of these students will take the course in the fall and the other half in the winter. WCCCD will offer the course at no cost to the students. Application fees for admission into the college will also be waived. In addition to receiving one college credit, students will receive identification cards from the college and have unlimited access to all of its vast resources, including a 24/7 online help desk.
By learning critical skills in middle school, students are likely to be better prepared as they enter high school, and more successful in their secondary and post-secondary pursuits. District officials are certain that increased preparedness could help lower the school system’s dropout rate. The career-planning component will make high school more relevant because students will see how it connects to their future.