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Mental Health, Social Media & Resume Help: College & Career Readiness Class Offers Life Lessons

College & Career Readiness Class Offers Life Lessons

I thought I already knew a lot of stuff. … But this class just threw life right at me. There’s a lot of stuff that you need to know for your future – if you want a successful one.

Jefferson High School student feedback from College & Career Readiness Class 

A critical component of high school Academies is career exploration. That begins in eighth grade through a course called High School Readiness, and it continues in the freshman seminar course, now known as College & Career Readiness. All students are encouraged to take this elective course. It’s another way -- in addition to attending the Academy Expo -- for students to spend time exploring career themes to choose an Academy. All students select an Academy for their time in grades 10,11 and 12: Business, Health, Production, or Service.

In the College & Career Readiness class, students not only hear from community members and explore Academy/pathway courses, but they also work on what are commonly called soft skills and general life readiness. Some examples include banking or financial literacy, learning about credit scores, sewing a button, changing a tire, study skills, time management, mindfulness, coping mechanisms, social media etiquette, and much more.

Jefferson High School teachers Christine Wilke and Tina Lamb gathered feedback from students on their experience in College & Career Readiness. Here are some of their responses.

"I learned how to do taxes and the difference between credit and debit. This made a big impact in my life because now I know what path and career I will be choosing for my future. I now know how to properly fill out a resume in the future for whenever I need a job."

"I figured out my strengths and weaknesses in this class. I realized how the adult world is not as easy as it seems."

"CCR has really helped me find the pathway that I want to take. Now I feel less lost and have somewhat of a plan for the future."

"I had so much fun since the start of the school year because we are always learning and planning for our future. I really like that we always talk about our future in CCR because it just makes it better for us so we can plan our future jobs and how our lives may go."

"I feel like CCR was one of the most important classes for me during my high school year because it helped me learn a lot about jobs and communication. CCR has also impacted me because I learned about apprenticeship school, and I learned more about the jobs and how long it takes to be a certified worker in those types of jobs."

"I thought I already knew a lot of stuff before the beginning of the school year, but this class just threw life right at me. CCR impacted my life because there's a lot of stuff that you need to know for your future if you want a successful one."

"I didn't know what this class was going to be used for, to be honest. I wondered why we needed this so early on since college is three years away. But then I realized this is more than college. This talks about mental health, social media, jobs, choosing careers and more. I also learned that college is closer than I thought. I have to apply for scholarships, grants, and to programs so they can help me on my journey through college/university. I now know how important this is for my life right now, and if I had never learned it, then I would have had a lot of trouble getting through the rest of high school and college/university without it. I am very lucky to have had this class and believe that it should be mandatory for everyone in high school to know."

"I really don't like talking about my future because I don't see myself having one. Then I started doing the assignments and I got the hang of it. CCR made me realize I have to grow up because no matter what I do, I am going to get older and have to deal with actual things in life. At the end of the school year I set my main goals, so along the way I can add more goals to get my dream future."

"At the end of the year I felt like this class was my go-to class whenever I felt stress, because I felt like everybody was free to express themselves without being afraid of being judged."

"In CCR I learned about how important it is to get your high school credit and how important it is to get good grades. I also learned about my dream job which is an Army field surgeon which I am dedicated to become."

"In CCR I also learned about how to get a job and the types of things I need in order to get a job, such as a resume and references. Thanks to CCR I got my first job and I learned so much in this class. I am really grateful for the teacher I had who encouraged her students to keep trying, no matter what."

Bridget French headshot

Bridget French

Bridget French was born and raised in Rockford. She is the Rockford Public Schools Executive Director of College and Career Readiness, overseeing high school Academies. Prior to working with RPS 205, Bridget was the Executive Director of Alignment Rockford, a nonprofit that connects community to serve our schools. She is the mother of two RPS 205 students.

  • College & Career Readiness
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