Career & Life Skills (CLS)

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


The Next Step (TNS) Public Charter School's mission is to provide students who face extraordinary challenges and who are not supported in traditional high schools with the opportunity to continue their education. TNS provides a nurturing environment with a holistic approach in which the Career & Life Skills (CLS) team builds rapport through intrusive advising practices in order to get to know the "whole" student to appropriately transition them to their next steps. The program goals include exposing 100% of enrolled students to post-secondary opportunities, creating career plans with 80% of the graduating class, providing support to alumni who return for career advising and establishing/maintaining community partnerships to enrich program services and events.

Program Description

TNS is located in Columbia Heights near Mt. Pleasant, which are neighborhoods in the heart of a high Latino community in Washington, DC. Once a parenting program with a handful of students is now one of the oldest charter schools with 300-400 students.

CLS advisors take an active approach by creating student experiences through cross-department collaboration, planning, and executing school-wide bilingual college, career & life skills events, workshops, and initiatives. These efforts encourage all students to seek their advisor for 1:1 sessions that can include: career advising, SMART goals/plans, assistance with institution and scholarship applications, mock interviews, resume/cover letters, and building rapport. Additional programming includes GED preparation, College Wear Wednesdays, career expo, college road trip, alumni panels, bilingual graduation ceremonies, and free dual enrollment in college courses. Alumni often return throughout their post-secondary journey for advising and to participate in panels.


  • 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.