SAN FRANCISCO, March 4, 2014 – Today, Gap Inc. and the Pearson Foundation, along with the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), announced the release of a free, open source version of Plan Ahead, a high school curriculum that helps prepare students for college and careers.
Plan Ahead is a semester-long course designed to help students map out and achieve their academic, personal, and career goals. The class gives students the ability to make informed decisions about what they want out of life—and how to accomplish it.
In the fall of 2010, Gap Inc. and the Pearson Foundation launched Plan Ahead in San Francisco in partnership with SFUSD and Hirsch & Associates to fulfill a course requirement for all 9th graders. Since the launch, more than 15,000 students have taken Plan Ahead. A multi-year evaluation of the curriculum shows that students who have completed Plan Ahead demonstrate changes in attitude and knowledge toward education and careers, including:
81% of students improved their knowledge of the classes needed to graduate high school and get into college
78% of students improved their understanding of what it takes to succeed in college or a career
74% of students had higher confidence in their own ability to achieve personal and career goals
Plan Ahead’s curriculum aligns with Common Core standards and focuses on skills assessments, career exploration, graduation requirements, 21st century skills, workplace readiness and financial literacy. The design of the curriculum also includes guest speakers and real-world experiences that help students explore multiple career options.
“Providing the Plan Ahead course to all 9th grade students is an important part of the SFUSD strategy to prepare our students for college and career,” said San Francisco Schools Superintendent Richard A. Carranza. “We are proud to have played a key role in developing and testing this powerful curricular resource. I’m thrilled that other districts will now have access to an open source version of these materials.”
“As an employer of teens and young adults, we recognize the value of encouraging students to explore potential careers early and to better understand the skills, education, and experiences they will need to be successful in adult life and pursue their dreams,” said Bobbi Silten, SVP, Global Responsibility, Gap Inc., and President, Gap Foundation. “Plan Ahead provides students with foundational skills and knowledge about college and careers that can help them plan their futures.”
“The recent news on graduation rates is exciting, with 4 out of 5 American students completing high school,” said Pearson Foundation President and CEO Mark Nieker. “While this accomplishment should be celebrated, we need to create more public-private partnerships, such as Plan Ahead, to prepare our young people and give them the tools they need to succeed. Seeing the impact Plan Ahead has had in SFUSD, we are so pleased to partner with Gap Inc. to offer this curriculum to any educator.”
The Pearson Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that aims to make a difference by promoting literacy, learning, and great teaching. The Pearson Foundation collaborates with leading businesses, nonprofits, and education experts to share good practice; foster innovation; and find workable solutions to the educational disadvantages facing young people and adults across the globe. More information on the Pearson Foundation can be found at www.pearsonfoundation.org.
About Gap Inc.
Gap Inc. is a leading global specialty retailer offering clothing, accessories and personal care products for men, women, children and babies under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, Athleta, and Intermix brands. For more than 40 years, Gap Inc. has supported communities where we live and work through grants, in-kind donations, community outreach and employee volunteer programs. Gap Inc. strives to make a long-term impact in communities by focusing on creating opportunities for underserved youth and women through innovative social solutions. For more information on Gap Inc. community investment, please visit www.bewhatspossible.com.