You have the will. We know the way.

K-12 educators are dedicated, and administrators want the students under their care to succeed. But in low-income, underserved communities, many students simply don’t see higher education in their future. They lack resources. Many don’t have peers or family members who attended college before them. And they don’t have a roadmap to guide them to college and a 21st-century career beyond.

CFES Brilliant Pathways empowers educators with tested strategies and tools to overcome those barriers and build a college-going culture in their classrooms. Over the past 32 years we’ve worked with 1,500 rural and urban schools across the United States and Ireland, leveling the field for more than 100,000 students along the way.

Students making electronic hardware

Membership Details

Every CFES member school gets the following:

  • A dedicated Program Director who will help create and implement your roadmap, staying in regular contact along the way.
  • Remote and on-site programming designed to address your students’ specific needs, and to teach them our Critical Skills, our tested building blocks for success.
  • Career and College Readiness Advisor Training, with certification, to develop strong mentors.
  • Documents and tools to help schools assess their progress in developing a college-ready culture.
  • Networking opportunities with other member schools to discuss challenges and best-practices.
  • Celebrations of your successes through our Schools of Distinction awards.
  • An annual conference bringing together a global network of education, business, government and philanthropic leaders all committed to making sure underserved youth are ready for college and the workplace.
Rick Dalton

Getting In Gear

In one school, college athletes share tips for academic success with high school freshmen. In another, middle schoolers talk to a YouTuber followed by 50,000 people for her down-to-earth financial advice. A $12 million GEAR UP grant makes it possible.

A Different Approach

CFES Program Directors work directly with schools to develop individualized programming to overcome the barriers Scholars in your community face as they pursue paths to college and 21st-century careers. For 32 years we have successfully tailored our methods and tools for both rural and urban schools, meeting students’ individual needs while aligning with their school cultures. As we expose Scholars to the ins and outs of the college search process, we demystify topics like college workloads, campus life and financial aid. At the same time, our programs instill financial literacy, problem-solving techniques and leadership skills. And scholars are exposed to potentially high-paying career paths they might not have previously imagined themselves on. Our partner schools also network with each other, bringing together students from different backgrounds while sharing best practices and celebrating each other’s successes.