Eve Rifkin, City High School Co-Founder & Director of College and Career Readiness
(520) 623-7223 X 216
“The Arizona Department of Education ECAP requirement aligns well with City High School’s mission and goals to engage all students in a rigorous and relevant educational experience and with our school’s emphasis on college and career readiness. One of the signature components of our ECAP program is the monthly ECAP workshop.
Students at City High School in grades 9, 10, and 11 attend monthly grade-specific workshops devoted to post-secondary planning. These workshops are designed to be informative and motivating, with the goal to help all students think ambitiously and strategically about their futures. The workings address a range of topics including:
- GPA and how it is calculated
- college application process and timeline
- how to find an internship or volunteer opportunity
- information about the PSAT, SAT, and ACT
- financial aid and scholarships
Each workshop involves a presentation, discussion, and activity. Students document their experiences in ECAP workshops on a monthly basis and archive their reflections in their Advisory portfolios. The ECAP workshops take place on Tuesdays during the advisory period (9:00-9:25 a.m.) and are open to parents interested in attending.
Additionally, students at all grade levels have deeper learning experiences that are designed to foster a college-going mindset and curiosity and interest about potential career pathways. These experiences include, but are not limited to:
- Annual Career Day (grades 9-12)
- Quarterly Community Days (grades 9-12)
- Senior Internship Program (grade 12)
- Schoolwide PSAT Testing (grades 9-11)
- Spring Community Career Shadow Day (grade 9)
- Annual College Road Trip (grade 11)”
Eve Rifkin, Director of College and Career Readiness
City High School’s College and Career Readiness efforts are founded on the notion of community engagement, which is at the center of everything we do at City High School. The school’s mission emphasizes student engagement with community resources; and all students, grades 9-12, develop a strong grounding in community-based learning by the time they graduate. Students and staff engage with Tucson, the greater Southwest, and the border region in order to become active and responsible citizens. This is accomplished through place-based learning, service learning, senior internships, and participation in community-based organizations.
Community engagement activities have a strong emphasis on helping students keep an eye on their futures. When students are participating in a community day, whether at the school’s farm, at a local museum, or at the University of Arizona, students are guided to think about possible career pathways, future college majors, and their eventual internships in 12th grade.
The program allows for students to have an opportunity while in high school to explore their passions, their future career options, and the world of work. The Senior Internship program is connected to the Senior Seminar class that all students take in 12th grade.
City High School’s farm crew helps out at Las Milpitas de Cottonwood Community Farm
Another key element of the City High School College and Career Readiness efforts is helping students develop the habit of reflection. To that end, each student hosts a student-led roundtable conference at the end of first semester. The student-led conference is facilitated by the student’s advisor and attended by parents, peers, and other teachers. Students discuss their development and mastery of City High School’s Habits of Heart and Mind by presenting evidence in the form of work they have done over the course of the semester.
One central aspect of the conference involves students reflecting on their plans for the future. Regardless of grade level, students are encouraged to think about their academic passions, thoughts about their internship, possible mentors they have met through their community involvement activities, and college plans.
This annual tradition typically enjoys a 90% or higher rate of parent/family involvement, which is highly unusual for this age group. The student-led conferences give parents important insights into their child’s learning, provide an opportunity to discuss post-secondary planning, and create an authentic format for students to candidly discuss the work they care about the most.
Student-Led Roundtables include parents, teachers, the student’s advisor, and anyone else the student wants to invite!