Career & Life Skills

Career & Life Skills (CLS)
El Próximo Paso/The Next Step PCS
District of Columbia
Academic Level
Community-Based Organization
Issue Area
Support Services
Key Personnel
Program Focus
College Prep


The mission of El Próximo Paso/The Next Step PCS (TNS) is to provide students who face extraordinary challenges and are not supported in traditional high schools with the opportunity to continue their education. TNS is located in the Columbia Heights and Mt. Pleasant neighborhoods of Washington, DC, which have high Latino resident populations. It is important for TNS to serve its local community and be the place where Latino students can find an academic home. CLS creates access and exposure to higher education opportunities.

Program goals:

  • Each semester, CLS Advisors will create a career plan with 80% of students on their caseload.
  • Each school year, CLS will expose 100% of enrolled students to career and post-secondary options and experiences.

Program Description

CLS believes in getting to know the “whole” student and takes a holistic advising approach to provide an encouraging and empowering environment to appropriately transition students to their next steps. Advisors aim to meet students where they are and provide career assessments, 1:1 career planning, dual enrollment, post-secondary tours, fairs, thoughtful events, life skills curriculum, intentional partners, alumni support, and translated materials.

CLS also focuses on life skills enhancement to encourage students to be model students/employees and to leverage their current employment for growth within the industry. CLS exposes students to different degree types, including certificates. Students are between the ages of 16 and 30, and most Latino students are parents, work full-time, are immigrants, and only want to learn English for more work, so CLS works to broaden their mindsets to think beyond TNS, to invest in themselves, and not be confined by the cycles and norms of their family or community.


  • During the SY18-19, Latino graduates accounted for 82% of graduates, 33 (90% Latino) out of 45 eligible graduates participated in dual enrollment & 85% of the 33 retained & completed the course.
  • During the SY19-20, 33 Latino graduates accounted for 100% of graduates, 30 (92% Latino) out of 40 eligible graduates participated in dual enrollment & 83% of the 30 retained & completed the course.
  • During the SY20-21, Latino graduates accounted for 96% of graduates, 26 (90% Latino) out of 32 eligible graduates participated in dual enrollment & 80% of the 26 retained & completed the course.

Latinos in Higher Education - 2024 Compilation of Fast Facts - web pop-up banner with "Learn More" button.