We prepare students to take their rightful place in this world as a college graduate

How we support students:

  • Research schools that align with students’ abilities, interests, and passions
  • Walk through the college application process 
  • Provide key dates and deadlines
  • Assist with the financial aid process
  • Help set post-secondary goals
  • Navigate the academic, social, and financial challenges of college
  • Continue support through college

Alumni Corner

Name: Jose Garcia-Fuerte

College: Drake University – Des Moines, IA

Major: Law, Politics and Society (LPS)

Advice for students and families:

Advice For Students:  The decision to attend college is a tough one. I – along with your families, teachers, and mentors – am extremely proud of you for taking it on. That being said, regardless of which field you go into, which school you ultimately decide to attend, or what you decide to take on, there will be times where you second-guess your decisions or make mistakes. Always remind yourself of why you decided to attend your school and never let a mistake define you. It is okay to not get perfect grades, not be accepted into the social or professional settings you strove for, to ask for help, and to take time to yourself. I strongly suggest you find at least one person you can connect to at a fundamental level with whom you can be the most honest version of yourself. This can be a fellow classmate, a professor, or a staff member. And, at the end of the day, always make sure to prioritize your self-care and find what that means to you. This can be a workout, meditation, journaling, doing a hobby, or simply catching up on sleep. Find what suits you best and stick to it. You’ve got this; go show the world what you’ve got.

Advice For Families: The transition from high school to college is difficult – perhaps it has already been a tense conversation, if at all. Conversations about in-state versus out-of-state, finances, and family connections, are not easy, and the most important thing to keep in mind is that boundaries are important. College is a transition period for students. Often, that means that students will need independence to explore themselves and the world, and that is okay. Students will rely on you for all kinds of support, and you must show them that you believe in them unconditionally. Every family is different, so talk with your student(s) about appropriate boundaries to allow room for both familial engagement and academic/social success. It will be worth it.


Yosedit Romero

College Access Coordinator, STRIVE Prep - SMART

Vanessa Trujillo

Director of College Access, STRIVE Prep - SMART

Allyson Gunn

College Access Coordinator, STRIVE Prep - SMART

Junior Seminar:

11th-grade College Readiness will build test-taking skills to prepare scholars for the statewide SAT, while preparing them for their postsecondary aspirations. There will be heavy emphasis on college knowledge and career behaviors and skills. Scholars will write their personal statement, learn key financial aid systems, and explore their post-secondary options after high school.



Senior Seminar:

12th-grade College Readiness will focus on submitting applications for college and scholarships while preparing scholars for life after high school. There will be heavy emphasis on campus knowledge, career and college survival skills and how to succeed in college or in the workforce. Scholars will complete their financial aid, supplementary college material and engage in job shadows that will prepare them for postsecondary success.


High School Graduation Requirements

STRIVE Prep requires a minimum of 240 credits to graduate from a STRIVE Prep high school; which must be earned in the following manner:

Subject Area Credits Required Number of years
English 40 4 years
Math 40 4 years
Science 40 4 years
World Studies 35 3.5 years
Language 20 2 years
Junior/Senior Seminar 15 1.5 years 
Arts 20 2 year
Physical Education 10 1 year
Additional Electives 20 2 years
= 240 TOTAL Credits!


Denver Public Schools updated its graduation requirements beginning with the 2021 graduating class. Your high school and registrar will ensure you are meeting the DPS requirements along with the STRIVE Prep requirements. Learn more at DPS College and Career Ready website. 

There are separate competency requirements that are needed in order to graduate:

Demonstrate Career/College Readiness


A student may demonstrate competency

 in any one of the following ways:


Minimum Score


470 (English) and 500 (Math)

Accuplacer Classic

95 (Sentence Skills); 

61 (Elementary Algebra)

Accuplacer Next Generation 

241 (Reading) OR 236 (Writing);

255 (Arithmetic/AR) OR 230 (Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra & Statistics/QAS) OR 245 (Advanced Algebra & Functions/AAF)


18 (English); 19 (Math)

Advanced Placement

2 or higher (English and Math)

Capstone Portfolio

Meets Requirements on English and Math rubrics

Concurrent Enrollment

C- or higher in an eligible CE Course

International Baccalaureate (IB) Credit and Designation 

STRIVE Prep does not offer an International Baccalaureate (IB) program. Students that have successfully completed an eligible. IB course(s) and/or exam(s) prior to transferring to STRIVE Prep, may submit a graduation waiver to receive credit for a successfully completed IB course/exam. Students may also request an IB designation on the student’s final transcript/diploma to reflect the same designation as would be available to the student from the school the course/exam was earned. It is the responsibility of the student to submit a graduation waiver and/or request an IB Designation and to provide all records and applicable designation eligibility requirements from the previous school. 


Students who completed another demonstration of competency listed in District policy IKF/IKF-R prior to transferring to a Network school, or who take the ASVAB independently, may submit evidence to be considered as a demonstration of competency for graduation.

Individual Career and Academic Plan (ICAP)

College Access will work with each student to create an ICAP beginning freshman year. ICAP gives students ownership of a process that helps them explore their unique talents and aspirations, participate in career and postsecondary options, and create pathways to financial success after high school. 

Current ICAP requirements based on grade level:

Freshmen Program

Sophomore Program

(D) Complete Learning Style Inventory™ 2.0

(D) Career Cluster Finder

(S) My ICAP (Questions 23-28)

(S) My ICAP (Questions (34-40)

(D) Scholarship Search

(D) Scholarship Search

(S) Complete Do What You Are® 2.0

(S) Complete StrengthsExplorer

(S) Apply to a summer enrichment program

(S) Apply to a summer enrichment program

(D) Take PSAT

(D) Take PSAT

(D) Attend college visits

D) Attend college visit

(S) Complete 8 Hours of Community Service

(S) 10 hours of community service


Junior Program

Senior Program

(D) Complete Career Interest Profiler

(S) Complete Graduation Contract

(S) My ICAP (Questions (41-47)

(S) Complete Game Plan survey

(S) Attend a College Visit/College Fair

(S) Apply to college

(D) Submit a scholarship application

(D) Complete FAFSA or Institutional Financial Aid Application

(S) Complete Game Plan survey

(S) Apply for scholarships

(S) Build a Resume

(S) My ICAP (Questions (48-59)

(S) Complete SuperMatch™ college search

(S) Participate in Signing Day

(S) Take SAT

(S) Complete 50 hours of community service

(S) Attend FAFSA Forecaster Family Night

(S) Complete Graduation Survey

(S) Complete 30 hours of community service

(D) DPS Draft of College Essay/Personal Statement

(S) Add colleges to my list

Community Service Requirement 

Students will complete community service hours during senior seminar. Reach out to your College Access advisor to learn more about possible hours for community service. 

Important Testing



Who takes this test? Freshmen/Sophomores/Juniors who would like to be eligible for the National Merit Scholarships

When will they take it? October/April

Where will they take it? High School where enrolled

Why will they take it? Gives an idea of how students will score on SAT.  Students who score well can earn scholarships from National Merit Scholarship Corp.

Cost: No Cost



Who takes this test? Juniors/Seniors

When will they take it? Spring or Fall depending on the grade level

Where will they take it? Strive Prep SMART/Various locations across the Denver Metro Area

Why will they take it? College admission requirement in addition to scholarship opportunities

Cost: No Cost for school day exam, $47.50 and the SAT with Essay costs $64.50; $75 for late registration



Who takes this test? Juniors and Seniors

When will they take it? Spring or Fall depending on the grade level

Where will they take it? Various locations across the Denver Metro Area

Why will they take it? The ACT Test is based on the content a student has or is learning in high school classes.  It is not an aptitude or IQ test. Scores form the ACT are accepted by all 4-year colleges and universities in the United States.

Cost: $46.00 (no writing) or $62.50 (with optional writing test) + $29.50 (if registered late)



Who takes this test? Sophomores/select juniors

When will they take it? Spring

Where will they take it? Strive Prep SMART 

Why will they take it? ACCUPLACER is an integrated system of computer-adaptive assessments designed to evaluate students’ skills in reading, writing, and mathematics. For over 30 years, ACCUPLACER has been used successfully to assess student preparedness for introductory credit-bearing college courses. ACCUPLACER delivers immediate and precise results, offering both placement and diagnostic tests, to support intervention and help answer the challenges of accurate placement it also provides scholars the opportunity to access concurrent enrollment courses. 

Cost: No Cost



Who takes this test? Any student interested in enrolling in the military (11th-12th grade)

When will they take it? Date to be determined by the student and recruiter

Where will they take it? Location to be determined by the student and recruiter

Why will they take it? The ASVAB test also is used to assess the developed abilities of an armed forces recruit to discover the quality of vocational proficiency in various fields of knowledge and expertise. The test is utilized as a “forecaster” of how particular individuals will have the ability to master certain areas of study.

Cost: No Cost