Skip to Main Content

Building a better future for first-generation students in San José

Who We Serve

DCP prepares first-generation students for college success. Established in 2000, we serve 1600 students in grades 5-12 and 500 college aged alumni. As the first charter school in Santa Clara County, DCP was founded with the belief that all students, regardless of prior academic achievement, can and should be prepared for college success. DCP serves largely low-income, first-generation students of color and their families across multiple neighborhoods in San Jose. Together over 150 staff members are focused on supporting students in three key areas: Academic Excellence, Critical Path to College & Career, and Alumni Success Program

DCP is a publicly funded charter school that endeavors to raise $2M annually to offset the cost of providing the highest level academic experience for our students. 

DCP Student Profile

Academic Excellence: Preparing every student for college success.

Other Program Highlights:

  • Dual College Enrollment: DCP high school students are taking college courses with San Jose City College and Evergreen Valley College
  • Parent Engagement: Dedicated Parent Engagement Manager that ensures families are engaged, informed and equipped to support their students. 
  • Enrichment Opportunities: In addition to sports and clubs, we provide opportunities for students to engage and grow their interests outside of the classroom. 

Critical Path to College & Career

  • College Advising: Through our College & Career Readiness/Advisory class, all teachers are committed to one group of students, and provide them with a home base on campus, along with academic, college planning and goal-setting support beginning in middle school. 

  • College Counseling: Every senior at DCP applies to college and is assigned a College Counselor. Students complete the college application and financial aid processes on campus and also participate in workshops to prepare them for succeeding as first-generation college goers. 

  • Other Program Highlights: College Camp, College Trips, Family College Night twice a year. 

Alumni Success Program

DCP is a leader in supporting its graduates to and through college. DCP has graduated over 1200 students since 2004. Even amidst the pandemic, our alumni continue to enroll and graduate at record numbers. With a dedicated Alumni Success Counselor, DCP supports 500 alumni in college with coaching, mentoring and scholarships. 

Support Services
Our team of high touch alumni mentors [DCP graduates themselves] help students with every step of enrolling/re-enrolling, and persisiting. From personal check-ins, to financial aid consultations, to family meetings - our team understands the many factors that lead to success for first-generation college students. 
DCP Scholarships
Since 2004, DCP has awarded over $2M in scholarships to DCP graduates. DCP Scholarship recipients graduate from college at a rate of 81%, on par with the highest income students in the country. 


95% of DCP students matriculate to college directly after high school 
56% College Completion and Persistence Rate

Join our mission: Give to DCP

DCP General Operating Fund: As a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, DCP relies on the generosity of individuals, companies, and foundations to support critical elements of DCP’s program that are not fully covered through public funds. These include: college counseling, socio-emotional counseling, intervention and enrichment programs, and parent engagement.

DCP College Scholarship Fund: The DCP College Scholarship Fund bridges the gap between financial aid and the actual cost of attending college. Scholarships are customized for each student and intended to support students in attending their best college fit. Learn More.

David and Sheila Brown Memorial DACA Fund: For nearly two decades, David and Sheila Brown championed DCP students and families with their whole hearts. They would often say, in the true spirit of philanthropy, that what they get from DCP is much more than what they give. We grieve the loss of our friends and mentors and cherish our time together working to achieve DCP’s mission. The David and Sheila Brown Memorial DACA Fund is commited to supporting dreamers by providing resources for staff, students and alumni to complete the DACA process. Read more. 

Emo and Anne Biagini Memorial College Scholarship Fund: Emo and Anne Biagini gave generously to DCP’s general operations and college scholarship program. Anne believed in sharing their treasure, contributing and giving back to the community where she had grown up and raised her family. With her nurturing spirit, light and laughter, Anne was a gift to DCP and to all those who knew her. Read more. 

Other Ways to Give

Securities  Transfer stock, bonds or mutual funds and avoid paying gains tax on appreciated assets || Stock Donations:  UBS Financial Services, DTC Clearing #0221. Downtown College Prep Account #: SJ43554. Lisa Carbajal 408-918-8013 50 W. San Fernando St., 8th Floor San Jose, CA 95113  || Once gift has been made please notify us:  
Tribute or Memorial Select a fund listed above and on the review page you will be given the opportunity to designate your gift as a memorial/tribute. Be sure to click on the link “Is this gift a memorial or tribute?” and enter the name of the person to whom you would like to dedicate your gift.
Legacy Gift By remembering DCP in your estate plan, you can leave a lasting impact.
Employer Matching Gifts Contact your employer about matching gifts. 
Photo of Pete Settelmayer

Pete Settelmayer

Chief Executive Officer

Year Joined DCP: 2021 "I am honored to be joining the DCP Family and continuing...

This site provides information using PDF, visit this link to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC software.