The Career Compass Story
2007 – The Pennington Family Foundation invests in Career Compass in greater Baton Rouge. Coaching staff doubles, and the number of students applying to college increases six-fold.
2009 – Career Compass provides
a head start for middle school students with college and career awareness seminars.
2011 – Capital One Bank
awards Career Compass an
“Investing for Good” grant.
2014 – Career Compass provides small-group coaching for the first time for 1,300 students in 12 districts the first year through the Louisiana Jump Start program.
2016 –Career Compass celebrates our 10th anniversary and reaches 11,641 seniors and 20,881 6th-11th graders.
2006 – Founding year. Two coaches help 98 students apply
2008 – The number of students applying to college jumps to nearly 3,000. Career Compass brings college and career awareness seminars for high school sophomores and juniors.
2010 – The Boo Grigsby Foundation provides college scholarships for the first class of Boo Grigsby Foundation Scholars. Bossier Parish Community College brings college and career coaching to north Louisiana.
2012 – Largest expansion in Career Compass history, with student college applications topping 10,000 for the first time. The Orchard Foundation brings Career Compassto Central Louisiana. The Community Foundation of NW Louisiana expands Career Compass work to Caddo and Bossier parishes. The Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation begin investing in Career Compass in greater Baton Rouge.
2015 – Career Compass reaches 27,056 Louisiana students in a record 31 parishes, with 98% of
seniors applying for post-secondary school.
Ten years ago, high school teachers Kacy Edwards and Julie Scott awoke to a harsh reality. The students they taught in a Baton Rouge public high school were intelligent, hopeful, disciplined, and did the work necessary to earn a high school diploma. However, many of them were lost, lacking resources or the confidence in their abilities to take the road less traveled – to college. Their parents didn’t go to college, and it was tough for them to contemplate the application process, much less pursue it.
For some students, money was the main issue, and for others it was simply a lack of information about available post-secondary opportunities. While the home lives and backgrounds of their students varied, a consistent theme emerged: Many students just needed a little extra support and guidance through the career choice and college application process. Others needed some financial assistance for college application and testing fees. The former teachers also realized that while this problem impacted Baton Rouge, it also spanned parish lines, as just under one-third of Louisianans have a two-year or four-year college degree.
“Today, 98 percent of the high school who work with Career Compass apply to and enroll in a post-secondary program, and roughly 75 percent persist.”
Kacy and Julie sprang into action, left the security of their teaching jobs, and cashed out their retirements to start Career Compass of Louisiana, the state's nonprofit authority on college access. Today, 98 percent of the high school seniors they work with apply to and enroll in a post-secondary option, and roughly 75 percent remain in their programs. Reaching about half of the school districts across the state, Career Compass partners with school administrators, teachers, and counselors to ensure that students have a pathway to college.