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OneGoal Launches Innovative Summer Hub to Support Chicago Public Schools Graduates 

Tech-enabled solution created in partnership with Chicago Public Schools and City Colleges to support seniors amid COVID challenges.

CHICAGO, May 27, 2021 — Leading Chicago college access and success organization, OneGoal, today announced the launch of Summer Hub Chicago (www.summerhub.org), a free resource designed to connect Chicago’s high school class of 2021 to information, resources, and relationships that will help prepare them for their next step after high school. Summer Hub Chicago, created by OneGoal, in partnership with Chicago Public Schools and the City Colleges of Chicago, is a direct response to the college enrollment decline caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Regardless of whether students have already made their college choice or are still exploring their postsecondary options, on the Hub, they’ll be able to easily see a list of their next steps and opt-in to receive reminders, and know where to go for help.

“This is a powerful moment for OneGoal, Chicago Public Schools, and City Colleges to aggregate our separate approaches toward one innovative, tech-savvy solution that puts students first.” said Priya Linson, Executive Director of OneGoal-Chicago. “We took this enrollment decline as a cue to rapidly adapt our program so that no student has to put their dreams of higher education on hold.” 

This year, 20% fewer high school graduates are going to college because of the impact of the pandemic, either postponing attendance or cancelling their dreams of attending college altogether, according to the National Student Clearinghouse COVID-19 Special Analysis Update & Correction report. In Chicago, the impact of the pandemic has created or exacerbated barriers to accessing basic needs, in addition to financial, academic, and social-emotional supports that are required to support students’ highest educational aspirations. While organizations like OneGoal, Chicago Public Schools, and City Colleges of Chicago have been providing their own support during the past year, streamlining this guidance will strengthen students’ access to college and other postsecondary pathways. 

“The pandemic upended everything for many of our students and families, including those with postsecondary plans, but as a district, it is our commitment to ensure all those who choose to continue their education after graduating from CPS are prepared to do so,” said CPS CEO Janice K. Jackson. “Summer Hub Chicago will be a valuable resource for our graduating students to help them find and create a plan that fits their career aspirations.”

OneGoal is leveraging its promising practices honed over ten years of college access and success experience to support students across the city. Summer Hub Chicago is built with students in mind; the tech-enabled platform centralizes resources and makes visible the strong network of support that is available to all graduating seniors, no matter what program or high school they attended. Summer Hub Chicago includes a public website, a chatbot powered by artificial intelligence that helps students navigate resources and answers questions about college, and a texting service that provides updates and proactive nudges to encourage completion of critical enrollment steps. 

“Breaking down barriers to access and streamlining our resources will go a long way in service to our students,” said Juan Salgado, Chancellor of City Colleges of Chicago. “The pandemic has brought to light the inequities many of our students face so we have answered the call to action with haste using technology to level that playing field. Dreams need to be realized.”

Summer Hub Chicago is live at www.summerhub.org and is ready to support 25,000 high school graduates across our city. Students can visit the site or send a text to 338-488-5324 to opt in to the text reminders. 

About OneGoal

Founded in 2007, OneGoal is a leading college access and success organization that works to close the degree divide and create a more equitable future for students. We partner with schools in low-income communities across the country to ensure postsecondary planning, preparation, and support are no longer extracurricular luxuries but integral components of the high school experience. OneGoal is a three-year program that starts as a class in students’ junior and senior years of high school and continues during the critical transitional period through their first year of college or other postsecondary path. 88% of OneGoal high school graduates enroll in a postsecondary institution and 79% of those who enroll persist one year after high school. In the 2019/20 school year, OneGoal reached some 14,000 students in the Bay Area, Chicago, Houston, Massachusetts, Metro Atlanta, and New York. To learn more about OneGoal, visit onegoalgraduation.org.

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