Program FAQs

DTS serves highly motivated, low-income, first-generation college-bound students from the greater Los Angeles area.  DTS doesn’t enroll only the top-performing students; rather, we consider any underserved student who is interested in going to college and enrolls and retains those willing to put in the work to get there.  DTS is an eight-year program spanning the summer before 9th grade through college graduation. 

Our high school students attend Alexander Hamilton High School, a Los Angeles Unified School District Title 1 school that enrolls students from all over Los Angeles.  Our college students attend colleges all across the country. At capacity, we serve 85 students and their families.

Students are eligible to apply to DTS in the spring of 8th grade after they have declared their intention to attend Hamilton High School in the fall.

We consider students who have a strong desire to go to college and are willing to work hard to get to and through college.  DTS students must come from a low-income/historically disadvantaged background and be first-generation college-bound.

Currently, DTS only serves students at Hamilton High School, a Los Angeles Unified School District Title 1 school, but will seek to replicate our success at other schools in the near future.

DTS consults with middle school counselors during the spring of 8th grade to identify potential applicants.  We also distribute informational literature to all middle school students who have selected to attend Hamilton High School, so that interested students who have not been identified by a counselor or teacher have the opportunity to apply.  We then hold informational lunch sessions for students to learn about the program, after which they are invited to apply.  Students must provide their full middle school transcript, verification of their family’s income, and a completed application.  The student and parent(s) are then brought in for an interview.  Families are notified of their acceptance soon thereafter.

Following admission to the program, there is a family orientation in May during which parents and students complete necessary forms and are officially onboarded.  At that point, a new class is created, and each rising 9th grader becomes a member of a class named for their high school graduation year.  They are then assigned Advisors who help foster a sense of belonging within the group.  The Advisor is the DTS staff person who builds a relationship with each student over the next four years of high school and into and through college.

Approximately 8-12 students are in each class.  With small classes, powerful relationships are formed among each grade level group and all students get the individualized attention they need.

Rising 9th-grade students participate in a month of summer activities prior to the start of the school year:  DTS Outdoors and the Bridge to High School program.  By the time school begins, DTS students are oriented to their new environment and have connected with older DTS high school and college students who serve as role models and helpers.

Over the summer, students have one-on-one check-in meetings with DTS staff members.  They meet with their Advisor, who reviews their planned schedule to make sure they are programmed into the correct classes.  Next, they meet with the STEM Specialist to create an individualized math plan.

Do you have a question that was not answered above? If so please contact us