By Mary Waggoner, Director of Communications Everett Public Schools.
New College and Career Readiness Seminar includes financial literacy and future education planning.
Times change, and so do high school graduation requirements and the skills high school graduates need to thrive in education and careers after high school.
To give students the time, space, tools and place to develop necessary skills, the district is replacing Senior Seminar and its Culminating Exhibition with College and Career Readiness Seminar.
Students can take the new course starting in 2015-16 in either the spring when they are juniors or during their senior year. Instead of focusing on an “end product” with a presentation, “students will continuously process, build and catalogue their own needs and plans for life after high school,” explained Director of On-Time Graduation Jeanne Willard.
Central to the new course is the new Naviance software. Sometimes described as the eHarmony of college and career planning, Naviance uses each student’s profile to match that student with potential colleges, technical schools and career possibilities.
“Naviance is a personalized tool that modernizes the old paper-and-pencil interest inventories many of us took in high school,” noted Willard.
“Students and their parents and guardians can work with the software to consider a myriad of worldwide possibilities. Naviance helps factor in financial implications and even cultural differences students might encounter at a school in another country – or even just in another state.”
“A huge value with this product is its flexibility. Students can explore many possibilities. They can put together portfolios of interest and archive materials used to apply for education or a multitude of careers. AND, even after graduation, students can access their Naviance material.”
Topics in the course fall into two strands, according to Willard.
- Strand 1 is self-directed, with student, teacher, counselor and family working together on the state-required “High School and Beyond Plan” using the Naviance tool.
- Strand 2 is entwined with work on relevant, problem-based projects. Using curriculum developed by Educurious, students will complete a written documentary proposal and a video documentary presenting the nonfiction story of a community member they have interviewed and researched. The collaborative project will be completed with significant input from classmates, the teacher and local experts.
“Financial literacy is a big part of Strand 2 also,” emphasized Willard. “Students can look not only at the cost of education and the potential income from a career – they can learn about budgeting for books, living expenses and the basics of credit card debt.”
Advanced Placement (AP) Government, AP Research, and AVID 12 courses will include the College and Career Readiness Seminar components. Students enrolled in one of these classes in their senior year will not need to take the “standalone” College and Career Readiness Seminar class.
The new course syllabus will be ready in August.