Getting a high school degree is a very important first step towards having professional success. While it is a big accomplishment for any student, the City of Chicago is taking a strange approach to ensuring that their graduates are still focused on taking another step forward after the graduate from high school (

Starting with the graduating class of 2020, students who are in the Chicago Public School system and meet all of the academic requirements needed to graduate will also need to now meet another requirement. This requirement will require all students to show that they have a plan set forth after graduation. This new plan is called the Learn, Plan, Succeed initiative that the city is hoping will help to ensure that a high school graduate is taking the next step to succeed in some field or fashion after graduating.

In order to end up getting their degree and diploma, a student will have to prove to a counselor that they have a plan established. Some of the most common options will include going to college, joining the military, or getting a job. Some other options will include showing that a student has a plan to travel or work for a charity. Regardless of what the plan is, it must be concrete and can be proven to a counselor.

One of the biggest concerns that people have over the plan is that they district does not have the staff necessary to vet all of these plans. To help with this, the district says they plan on hiring up to 8 new counselors that will work for schools across the city. While that may help a little bit, the district as a whole is considered grossly understaffed and could potentially use these human resources in other areas of education.