For the Passport to Careers (PTC) program, the 2018-19 academic year has been defined by three themes: expansion, improved program quality, and stronger relationships. The 2019 PTC State conference, which took place May 15-16 at University of Washington – Tacoma, echoed these themes.
255 Washington Passport Network (WPN) members attended the 2019 conference, a 34% increase over last year’s record attendance, making this the largest professional gathering in the 11-year history of the PTC program. For the first time, workshop sessions included content specific to supporting Tribal foster youth, Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URMs), and unaccompanied homeless youth. Due to the addition of the apprenticeship opportunities pathway, there was also content relevant to apprenticeships and technical school training. The expanded two-day format accommodated longer workshop sessions, more time for networking, and two keynote speakers.
Improved Program Quality
The theme of the conference was Supporting the Whole Student. Using Western Michigan’s Seita Scholars’ 7-Domains framework, workshops and speakers were selected to offer curricular balance across life domains. As our student & alumni speakers Chelsah, Jose, and Chernor reminded conference attendees, students need support with mental health, cultural and personal identity formation, housing, life skills, community connections, and finances – as well as academics – to succeed in post-secondary education.
For the first time at a PTC state conference, attendees met in 7 regional groups to network and discuss better ways to coordinate Passport services for students throughout the year. The importance of strong relationships reverberated across presentations, and the conference provided an array of formal and informal opportunities for WPN members to strengthen existing relationships and start new ones.
The College Success Foundation team would like to thank the following people and institutions for making this conference possible:
- Our hosts: the Puyallup Tribe of Indians and the University of Washington – Tacoma
- The Passport Leadership Team who helped plan the conference
- Our amazing student and alumni speakers: Chelsah, Jose, and Chernor, and their adult supporters Colleen, Kristi, and Maria de Jesus
- Our keynote speakers Dr. Donna Beegle and Dr. Alfred Perez
- All of our dynamic workshop presenters
- Our photographer, the generous and talented Victor Fernandez
- All of our attendees
We Look Forward to Seeing You Again In 2020!