Collegiate Directions Incorporated

aka CDI   |   Bethesda, MD   |  www.collegiatedirections.org

Mission

CDI's mission is to identify low-income, first generation-to-college students and help them access and succeed in selective, four year colleges. In the process, we build leaders and scholars through personal, career and academic mentorship. We also leverage our expertise by providing cost-effective training to public school systems and educational nonprofit organizations.

Ruling year info

2006

Principal Officer

Amma Felix

Main address

4827 Rugby Ave Ste 001

Bethesda, MD 20814 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

20-3675989

NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (B01)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Secondary/High School (B25)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Collegiate Directions, Inc., founded in 2005, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to closing the education, achievement, and opportunity gap for low-income, primarily first-generation-to-college students. In our Scholars Program we provide comprehensive college counseling, targeted tutoring, test preparation, study skills, leadership training, and ongoing support, starting in 10th grade and continuing through successful college graduation. As a part of our School Support Program CDI extends our work to high school college advising offices through tailored consulting focused on helping school counselors and staff improve college advising and supporting students to find their best-fit college. Our newly launched Career Mentoring Initiative focuses on career coaching and access to workforce opportunities through experiential learning and connects Scholars with accomplished professionals in their chosen fields.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Scholars Program

We recruit high-achieving, low-income students. We develop their academic and leadership potential through our rigorous program, which includes foundational skill building, study skills strategies, problem-solving, leadership training, and personal growth. This serves them and those around them, including their peers, parents, and siblings. Their success inspires a college-bound culture, raising the bar for everyone.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Young adults

Where we work

Awards

Recognized as one of the finest smaller nonprofits in the greater Washington area. 2009

Catalogue for Philanthropy

Affiliations & memberships

United Way Member Agency 2012

National College Access Network 2012

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

CDI's mission is to:

• Identify and support low-income, primarily first-generation-to college students and help them to plan for, apply to, attend, and graduate from a selective four-year college.

• Build leaders and Scholars by mentoring and empowering students in their personal and academic development.

• Help school systems, universities, and other education-related organizations improve college advising, educator training, and student support.

Since 2005, Collegiate Directions, Inc. has worked to reduce the achievement and opportunity gap for low-income, first-generation-to-college students with a series of programs designed to help them maximize their potential and ensure they are equipped with the academic, financial, and social-emotional tools necessary to successfully graduate from college and prepare for the world of work.

Ours is a high-touch model that begins in 10th grade when Scholars are assigned a CDI counselor who initiates a series of wraparound services that include study skills workshops, test preparation, college application assistance, development of tailored college lists, financial aid application support, and ongoing assistance and leadership throughout college. CDI’s wellness counseling is offered to every high school student enrolled in the Scholars Program to help them address and work through a range of personal issues. Our career mentorship program provides a deep, ongoing impact that focuses on career coaching and access to workforce opportunities through experiential learning.

With more than 450 students having participated in our Scholars Program and thousands more reached by our School Support program in which we share our best practices to help equip high school college counselors with the knowledge necessary to get their students on the path to a degree, CDI has developed a model for student success that defies conventional wisdom and outpaces national averages.

Because CDI enters the lives of our Scholars at a period of transition from high school to college and follows them through college, helping them move onto their career paths, we know the challenges they face in the best of times, and how personal issues can make their journey even more difficult. As a result, CDI invests significant time, effort, and energy into the mental health and well-being of our Scholars. In recent years we have expanded our mental health offerings and staff to permit each Scholar more time to meet one-on-one with a wellness counselor.

The results CDI achieves are the result of a strategy cultivated over the past 15 years that rests on the bedrock principle that potential cannot turn into opportunity without support, and without support, opportunity cannot turn into success. At CDI, support is infused into everything we do and is the common thread that allows us to produce remarkable results.

Scholars and their families are supported by CDI which is supported by generous individual donors and forward-thinking organizations whose support has allowed for the expansion of our core offerings beyond the classroom.

Even in the face of new challenges, CDI’s critical work continues as we collectively embrace our Scholars and move forward together, toward a brighter, more hopeful tomorrow where they can achieve all that is possible.

CDI has cultivated a diverse staff of committed and professional college counselors, managers, and mental health professionals who bring their considerable skills to bear to help CDI achieve its organizational mission:

• Identify and support low-income, primarily first-generation-to college students and help them to plan for, apply to, attend, and graduate from a selective four-year college.

• Build leaders and Scholars by mentoring and empowering students in their personal and academic development.

• Help school systems, universities, and other education-related organizations improve college advising, educator training, and student support.

Ours is a high-touch model that begins in 10th grade when Scholars are assigned a CDI counselor who initiates a series of wraparound services that include study skills workshops, test preparation, college application assistance, development of tailored college lists, financial aid application support, and ongoing assistance and leadership throughout college. CDI’s wellness counseling is offered to every high school student enrolled in the Scholars Program to help them address and work through a range of personal issues. Our career mentorship program provides a deep, ongoing impact that focuses on career coaching and access to workforce opportunities through experiential learning.

With more than 450 students having participated in our Scholars Program and thousands more reached by our School Support program in which we share our best practices to help equip high school college counselors with the knowledge necessary to get their students on the path to a degree, CDI has developed a model for student success that defies conventional wisdom and outpaces national averages.

We achieve our outcomes by strictly focusing on our three core programmatic offerings:

Scholars Program — Our Scholars Program provides comprehensive college counseling, targeted tutoring, test preparation, study skills, leadership training, and ongoing support, beginning in 10th grade and continuing through successful college graduation. The result is 97% of CDI Scholars graduate from college within six years.

School Support Program — Our School Support Program shares our best practices with high school college counselors, giving them the knowledge necessary to get their students on the path to a college degree by using a model for student success that defies conventional wisdom and outpaces national averages.

Career Mentoring Initiative — Through our newly formed Career Mentoring Initiative CDI works with Scholars in college and program alumni to focus on career coaching and access to workforce opportunities through experiential learning that connects talented Scholars with accomplished professionals in their chosen fields.

None of these efforts would be possible without the generous support of donors and foundations that support this critical work.

Since 2005 CDI has developed and implemented one of the most comprehensive college access and success programs in our community.

Nationally, only 11% of low-income, first-generation students will successfully graduate from college. Meanwhile, 97% of CDI Scholars have graduated from highly selective colleges and universities. We have helped Scholars obtain an average of $36,000 in college grants and scholarships, which is more than double the $14,800 national
average. In 2017, on average for their first year of college, CDI Scholars paid less than $1,900 out-of-pocket.

As a result of our work, we have helped hundreds of low-income students attend and complete college, thereby finding a sustainable pathway out of poverty. CDI has also cultivated partnerships among an array of nonprofit and educational organizations to help disseminate our program methods as widely as possible. As a result of these efforts, our best practices have been incorporated at numerous schools and nonprofits across Montgomery County, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. We have also worked directly and successfully with local high schools to support college guidance efforts for low-income students, further deepening our impact on thousands of other students in our community.

Given these successes, CDI is motivated to continue to enhance our reach in the D.C. Metro Area and expand our offerings beyond our local area. We will continue to further develop our partnerships with high schools and nonprofit organizations, thereby enhancing their ability to serve their students.

Financials

Collegiate Directions Incorporated
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Collegiate Directions Incorporated

Board of directors
as of 12/30/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Ann Marie Etergino

Sarah Brown

(Ret) Power to Decide

Lee L. Verstandig

The Farragut Group, LLC.

Nancy M. Carr

Psychotherapist, Businesswoman

Nina W. Marks

Marks Education

Elizabeth W. Galvin

Attorney & Philanthropist

Jonathan B. Marks

MarksADR, LLC

G. Anand Anandalingam

Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland

Stephen A. Weiswasser

Covington & Burling, LLP

Elise J. Rabekoff

Quadrangle Development Corporation

Ann Marie Etergino

RBC Wealth Management

Howard Diener

Marks Education

Gihan Fernando

American University

Madeleine Jacobs

Strategic Science

Alicia S. Ritchie

(Ret) Inter-American Development Bank

Manisha Kapani

Attorney & Philanthropist

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No