Providing more college and career opportunities, the office of Career Readiness will work diligently to prepare students for life after high school. We have received more information than we have ever had about the direction of the district from students, families and other stakeholders through the LCAP survey, Perkins Advisory, business partnerships, research, and informal conversations. As part of it, we know that our students need the combination of a strong academic background and career-related skills. This need is the focus of my work this year.
We have created an acronym, TCELL, as a guide for college and career readiness. Technology skills (T) include skillsets that transcend industry, such as word processing or the use of presentation software and other industry-specific skills. The district’s career and technical education (CTE) teachers will continue to be instrumental in renovating existing courses and maintaining strengths of the curriculum to ensure that students have technology skills upon graduation.
We will also work to engage students in career assessment and exploration—the C in TCELL. All students are expected to complete a career assessment twice in high school and design an academic plan that supports their goals. In classrooms across the district, teachers and students are making connections between the curriculum and the real world, giving them the opportunity to research a career. Our counselors continue to lead this process with tremendous success.
Students in the Chaffey District also gain employability skills (E). We are increasing the variety of work-based learning opportunities students can choose from and continuing to build strong partnerships in the area as well. CTE teachers have an instrumental role in this process. In addition, we have a number of new instructional tools students will have access to in other classes, bringing them opportunities to learn more about the expectations held in jobs and higher education.
Learning and life skills represent the last two letters in TCELL. District students acquire and refine their learning skills when they research, make a presentation, or solve a complex problem. Life skills include financial literacy and stress management, as well as how to apply for a job. Many students are gaining these specific skills in a specialized course, Computers, Careers, and Finance.
Working together, we will strengthen the connections between the knowledge, skills, and experiences students have in our schools and the professional world. I am looking forward to working with the staff and community to ensure that all students graduate ready for college and career.