Powerful Pathways

Center for Powerful Public Schools offers unique programs that prepare students for college and career and offer diverse pathways to success.


Established in 2012, the PREP 4 SUCCESS Summer Bridge Model is a 3-week program designed to acclimate 9th grade students to the academic rigor, career technical skills and socio-emotional tools needed to navigate high school successfully.

The PREP 4 SUCCESS model has 4 key components:

  • Collaborative Teaching: CTE & Academic Core teachers team-teach a cross-curricular project
  • Rigorous Learning: 9th graders complete an accelerated Project Based curriculum that is CTE-aligned
  • Student Leadership: Upperclassmen teach the advisory curriculum and support program implementation
  • Community Building: 9th graders present completed projects to community members and engage in team building and socioemotional learning opportunities

By offering 9th graders early integration into their campus culture and academic expectations, schools have seen increases in 9th grade attendance and a reduction of discipline issues throughout the following year.

To date, more than 4,500 students and more than 175 teachers have successfully participated in PREP 4 SUCCESS.


ROOTS 4 SUCCESS develops social emotional agency for students of color by providing them with opportunities to explore their identity, contextualize their place in society, and develop strategies to overcome challenges they may face as students in predominantly white spaces.

ROOTS 4 SUCCESS creates a safe space to explore concepts that benefit both students and teachers:

Outcomes for students:

  • Recognize their own assets/strengths
  • Learn language to combat internalization of negative messages and to self-advocate
  • Develop an understanding of the complexity of identity
  • Adopt strategies to overcome oppressive white norming on adolescent development

Outcomes for teachers:

  • Integrate some of the language and skills into their instruction in other courses
  • Develop the capacity to engage students in conversations supporting social-emotional agency
  • Reflect and act on their own experiences and beliefs around the issues addressed in the curriculum

With the ever-widening gap between traditional high school education and the job requirements of today’s workplace, the Center for Powerful Public Schools has developed an innovative solution to this pervasive problem – the Competencies Approach to Professional Education (CAPE).

CAPE shifts the way we think about traditional education in a number of significant ways:

  • Moving from “what” to “how” by applying facts they are taught
  • Designing a professional path with an awareness of the skills and behaviors needed to get there
  • Communicating with professionals in their “industry language”
  • Connecting the dots between academic and professional experiences
  • Understanding professional context within classroom learning
  • Designing curriculum for the future
  • Assessing students based on demonstration of knowledge application rather than simply quizzes and tests
  • Building competencies for tomorrow’s jobs that don’t yet exist

To that end, the CAPE Project combines established competency-based frameworks that are widely utilized in the corporate world with: the research-based University of Chicago youth development framework that develops students’ agency, identity, and competency.


Linked Learning

Linked Learning is a research-based approach to college and career readiness for students. Students develop high-level skills within a career pathway and, through real-world, work-based learning experiences develop professional competency, personal skills and academic knowledge. They experience connections among diverse subject areas, working collaboratively to solve real-world problems and present creative solutions.

As the original Southern California provider of coaching and technical assistance for Linked Learning since 2009, the Center has coached over 30 pathways through the development, implementation, and certification phases of the Linked Learning model. We work closely with schools to identify their vision for implementation, and then use our expertise and knowledge of adult learning to guide and support staff to transform learning for their students.