Career and College Success: Impact and Results

Our vision is to revolutionize the economic and educational opportunities for Denver’s youth.

Read the latest CareerConnect annual report to learn more of Yesenia’s story and see the difference we’re making for students!

My DPS Career and College Success internship with Xcel showed me all of the ways I could pursue a career in energy; the whole process was an eye-opening experience! My internship gave me the confidence I needed to go into the field of engineering. My career is going to change my family’s trajectory.

DPS graduate, freshman at Colorado School of Mines

Shaping Tomorrow's Leaders

What if students could experience school as more than just school?

What if students could be exposed to a range of exciting careers as early as elementary and middle school — just as they are learning about who they are?

What if students could find a high school that allowed them to immerse deeply in a field they love to help guide their decisions about college and career?

What if students had a head start toward career and higher education — for free — while they were still in high school?

Since 2014, we’ve asking these big questions. And 60 schools, 200 businesses and 10 higher education institutions are moving from “what if” to reality.

Together, we are creating a movement that is fundamentally changing patterns of economic mobility and academic advancement.

See what students who’ve experienced Career and College Success have to say:


“Just go for it. It’s totally worth it. There aren’t any downsides to internships.”


“It’s a really great experience to have, and sets you up for good so you know what you want to do.”


“I’ve learned that your ideas are never too far out of reach if you have the tools to achieve them.”


“The class and internships have been mind-blowing and the best experiences I’ve ever had.”


“It feels like I am doing something meaningful and truly contributing.”


“These are the internship opportunities that you don’t get to see anywhere else.”


“It really changes a student’s life. I would 100% recommend it to family, to friends, to anybody.”


“The experience taught me that if you put your mind to something, you can achieve.”

Booming Enrollment Growth

The number of high school students participating in Career and College Success has more than doubled since 2013-14. And with the addition of our elementary and middle school options, Career and College Success now serves more than 18,600 students in DPS.

Enrollment in 2018
Enrollment in 2017
Enrollment in 2016
Enrollment in 2015

*Chart shows high school student enrollment only.

2018 enrollment: 12,600* students


2017 enrollment: 10,500* students


2016 enrollment: 8,600* students


2015 enrollment: 5,900* students

Inspiring Students to Explore Their Passions

See the Career and College Success career fields chosen by students for exploration in the 2022-23 school year.

*ACEConnect is a supplemental program for students with special needs. ACEConnect students can also be enrolled in any DPS Career and College Success career pathway.

Changing Outcomes for Students

Students who participate in the Career and College Success program are more likely to graduate high school in four years. Historically, they are 40% more likely to graduate than their peers.

There is a 40 percent increased odds of on-time graduation when students participate in 2-5 Career and College Success courses.
There is a 90 percent odds increase of on-time graduation when students participate in more than 5 Career and College Success courses.
There is a 90% increased odds of an on-time graduation when students have a Career and College Success industry mentor.
A 270 percent increased odds of an on-time graduation when students participate in a Career and College Success internship.

“Teaching students just a couple of years ahead of me, as part of my internship, has given me great knowledge of what I’m capable of accomplishing.”

It helped me see that as an individual, as myself, I can be doing something very important. I’m doing something big even though I’m a 16-year-old.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Early College