The CFES Program
Who We Are
CFES is a global leader helping K-12 students from low-income rural and urban communities become college and career ready.
CFES currently supports 25,000 students through partnerships with 200 rural and urban K-12 schools in 30 states and Ireland.
What We Do
CFES engages its Scholars (students in the CFES Program) in three high-impact core practices – Mentoring, Essential Skills, and Pathways to College and Career – that help our students become college and career ready.
Every CFES Scholar has a mentor — a community member, college student, corporate leader and/or student peer. CFES trains these mentors who provide ongoing personal support and guidance to help each student become college and career ready.
CFES Scholars develop the Essential Skills (Goal Setting, Teamwork, Leadership, Perseverance, Agility, and Networking). These six core competencies are needed to help our students succeed in a world of disruptive change.
Pathways to College and Career
Partnerships with colleges and businesses are key to the success of CFES, which is adapted to fit particular settings and cultures, using available school and community resources.
Through partnerships, CFES Scholars are exposed to higher education and 21st-century careers. Visits to campuses provide opportunities for Scholars to meet and interact with college students and faculty. Scholars receive information on the college admission process, paying for college options, and other aspects of higher education. Mentors, internships and job shadowing opportunities extend the Pathways practice from campus to workplace, giving Scholars crucial firsthand experience so they understand how to pursue career options and develop the skills needed for success.
How it Works
The CFES model is based on three core practices that schools, communities, businesses and colleges have applied to help low-income students get to and through college so they can pursue 21st-century careers.
The CFES Program is customized to support students in both rural and urban settings. CFES program directors and other professional staff members work with schools to meet the needs of Scholars, using available school and community resources. Volunteers and educators participating in the CFES Program receive ongoing professional development in all three core practices.
CFES provides the framework and ongoing program support for schools to help low-income students become college and career ready by:
- enlisting a school team
- identifying a cohort of students (known as CFES Scholars)
- organizing a customized mentoring program
- developing student leaders
- implementing an annual plan of activities incorporating the three core practices
- developing and strengthening college and business/corporate partnerships
- creating a school culture of college and career readiness
Support and services provided by CFES program directors and other professional staff include:
- Planning & Training Workshop
- National Professional Development Conference
- Ongoing on- and off-site support and evaluation
- Professional development sessions for educators
- Training for students focused on mentoring, leadership, and college preparation and persistence
- School-college partnership workshops
- Summer College Explore Programs for Scholars
- Global Summits at the CFES Center
What We Do Works
Since 1991, CFES has worked with 800 K-12 schools in urban and rural communities across the United States to improve academic performance, build leadership and other Essential Skills and ultimately ensure that CFES Scholars are college and career ready. To date, CFES has helped more than 100,000 youth.