Established in 1965, DDC provides low-income and first-generation college-bound community youth and families with a comprehensive set of services to support young people’s college readiness. We define college readiness as the level of preparation needed to enroll and succeed in a credit-bearing college course by proficiently completing the course without remediation so that a student can advance to the next sequential course and remain on-track for degree attainment.
We know that young people, particularly low-income and first-generation students, pay a tremendous cost for not being college ready. According to Complete College America, an additional year in a public four-year college can cost $22,826. When coupled with an average loss of salary earnings of $45,327, the cost of not being college ready can total at least $68,153 for each additional year.
To address this circumstance, DDC’s program intentionally includes three core components: Academic Enrichment, College & Career Success, and Healthy Minds & Bodies.
Our Academic Enrichment activities provide students with exciting project-based classes across the humanities, STEM, and the arts that work to strengthen key academic skills that are necessary for college success as well as expose students to new areas of study through partnerships across Columbia University and with a range of organizations throughout NYC.
Through our College & Career Success work, students are immersed in small group and individual sessions that increase their capacity for college access & persistence and that facilitates their career exploration & development. Students participate in grade-level college prep classes, individualized college counseling, college visit, and internships. We believe that college success requires a focus on the social-emotional development of young people.
Consequently, our Healthy Minds & Bodies efforts are designed to develop students’ dispositions and skills for resilience and persistence as well as to build their capacity to nurture their physical and mental well-being so that they can overcome challenges in their quest to, through, and beyond college.