Supporting the development of a student’s career and college skills and strategies can’t be delayed until high school because students today need these skills to succeed in rigorous high school courses designed to prepare them for postsecondary education and career.
This requires early discussions and intentional guidance for students and parents that allow them to connect the student’s talents and passions to school success and career. Educators at all grade levels hold the key to ensuring that students are prepared for their future.
But how do we ensure that each and every student is prepared for success after middle school? What does it mean for students to be prepared for career and college, and what is our role as middle school teachers, counselors, administrators and staff in this process?
The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) now offers services designed specifically for middle school teachers, counselors, staff and administrators. These services aim to address these critical questions.
Middle School Career and College Readiness Pilot
The Middle School Career and College Readiness Pilot is a partnership between school districts and SDCOE to learn and implement strategies that increase the number of students who enter high school prepared to succeed in rigorous coursework, while developing skills and knowledge that support their success beyond high school. It entails the participation of the school leaders and selected staff in a day of analysis of practices using data. In this facilitated process, school staff looks at their current practices to understand how they develop students’ ability to succeed in rigorous coursework in high school, college, and career. A follow-up day will focus the team on planning for actionable steps that will increase the school’s ability to grow students’ college and career readiness.
Middle School Career and College Ready Professional Learning Series
The three-day Middle School Career and College Readiness series equips staff with best practices for career exploration, work-based learning, and adding career context to content delivery, as well as strategies for developing students’ knowledge and passion for college.This is particularly important in the midst of a changing economy and workplace where jobs are being created that have never existed before, and the rate of change is faster than we can imagine. The traditional model of preparing students for a particular trade or job no longer prepares students for the ever-changing environment of the work market.
Developing in students a mindset of connecting their talents, passion, and interest to solving real world problems offers them a wider view of their future, and places the control of that future in the students’ hands. The Middle School Career and College Readiness series is founded on this principle and will help educators revisit their roles in preparing students for career and college.
The series aims to marry the intent of Career Technical Education to the learning of content subjects, students’ talents and interests, and the work market. An integrated approach complements core subject knowledge acquisition and allows students a greater understanding and purpose for learning because they understand why the subject matters and how it connects to the world they see beyond the classroom walls.