School Beat: College and Career Night at Rockford High School on January 10, 2018

College and Career Night at Rockford High School on January 10, 2018

Preparing Students for Their Dream Job

In Rockford, we are blessed with a great community, an exemplary school district, and high- achieving students. Despite this success, we are always looking for areas to improve. One area that we have made a focus is the area of “career pathways and college and career readiness.” The first step in improving our students’ preparedness for life beyond high school is to bring awareness to them and their parents of all their options for their future success. Students must ask the following questions for each of their identified career interests:

  • What education beyond high school is required?
  • Does the career align with my interest and abilities?
  • How much will it cost to attend a college/university?
  • How much debt can I expect after completing the degree?
  • What is the expected salary?
  • What is the likelihood of getting a job in that degree area?
  • Will this career most likely require relocating away from West Michigan?

We are having an important event on January 10 at 6:30 p.m. at Rockford High School for all 7th -12th grade students and parents to better prepare them to answer these questions. It may seem that 7th grade is too early to include in college and career planning, however, this is a mandate from the Michigan Department of Education. The agenda for the meeting will include a keynote presentation by Kevin Stotts, President of Talent 2025. Following his presentation, we will have breakout sessions in which students and parents will be able to choose four sessions from a list of different topics and presenters. Breakout session topics include skills/trade opportunities, college funding, two-year college overview, four-year college overview, scholarship opportunities, the early college program (earning college credits in high school at no expense to students), financial aid, military opportunities, NCAA Clearinghouse – college athletic eligibility, development of a four-year plan, how to get into an Ivy League school, and many other career-related topics.

Our goal for the evening of January 10 is to bring awareness to parents and students about the importance of planning for a successful career in an area that aligns with their talents and abilities, and will provide for a career that is rewarding and fulfilling. We want every student to get the job of their dreams, and we do not want any of them to experience the nightmare of incredible student debt and/or unemployment.

As a school district, we want to enhance any program that will better prepare our students for success beyond high school and will give our students the edge in competitive college admissions and career placement environments.   Business and industry are looking for students that possess the following employability skills, referred to as the six C’s: Collaboration, Communication, Creativity, Content Mastery, Confidence, and Critical Thinking. These skills will be a topic of discussion on January 10.

In conclusion, with proper planning at the 7-12th grade levels, we can predict an increase in the number of students that are successful beyond high school. Ultimately, we hope that the end result will be each of our RHS graduates becoming productive citizens in the Rockford community, or wherever their path takes them. Mark your calendars to attend this important event on January 10 at 6:30 p.m. at Rockford High School.

Dr. Ryan Kelley

Assistant Superintendent of Instruction