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Maryland Classroom: Reaching for 100% Commitment to Post-Secondary Education

Annette Wallace

By Annette Wallace, Principal, Pocomoke High School, Worcester County

Project 100 is Pocomoke High School’s goal that 100 percent of each graduating class commits their intent to post secondary education before leaving PHS. As a small school on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the thought of getting all of our graduating seniors committed to post secondary education seemed possible, but it would require a strong plan, the commitment of our staff, and the drive and determination to make it a success.

We created a Vanguard Team to lead the efforts, and over the summer collected data and developed a strategic plan to make Project 100 a success. The team meets monthly to plan activities and events, such as bi-weekly homeroom lessons during which students learn about various college and career opportunities. Through grade level, college, and workforce field experiences, provided twice a year, students learn about the many opportunities that an education – beyond high school – can afford them. In addition, students set goals and discuss ways to achieve those goals in individual conferences with school counselors each quarter.

Students commit their intent to an education beyond high school via several pathways: college or university, military, or workforce development programs. Pocomoke High School partners with Wor-Wic Community College to offer “One-Stop-Shop” admission, registration, and financial aid services on our campus.  Last week, over 30 percent of our senior class completed registration for fall classes. In addition, we have also partnered with workforce development programs such as the Maryland State Police, the Department of Natural Resources, and Dagsboro Learning Institute of Cosmetology. We look forward to expanding college, university, and workforce partnerships in the coming year.

We are so excited to celebrate our first annual Intent Night this year and are thrilled to have reached our goal of having 100 percent of our graduating seniors declare their commitment to post secondary education. In a sense, through Project 100, we are selling hope to our students and our community and they are starving for it. Follow the excitement of Intent Night on Twitter with the hashtag, #project100.