A lot of time and resources are focused on our juniors and seniors in preparing them to attend four-year colleges. Honor and AP classes are offered, admission officers from universities and colleges come to our schools for visits and information on scholarships and a variety of preparing for college related links are posted on our website. Half of our graduating senior class attend a 4-year college, the other half either goes to a community college, the military or directly into the workforce.
As part of CTE month we took the opportunity to prepare a series of events to encourage our students who do not have an interest in attending a 4-year college to explore the many opportunities out there that are available for them. Our CTE department presented a week-long series of CTE Talks a take off on the TED Talks featuring local entrepreneurs, half of them presented in our Media Center and the other half presented in the Student Services Center. They included:
3D Game Designer Motivational Speaker
Graphic Designer Internet Marketer
Occupational Therapist Business Coach
Early Childhood Literacy Specialist Chef
Franchise Owner Engineer Entrepreneur & Inventor
The library also coordinated with our Guidance department and the CTE department to organize a one day Technical College Fair in the Media Center. We included representatives from three of the area community/technical colleges – Cape Fear Community College, Miller-Motte Technical School and College of Wilmington, the military programs and the NASCAR Technical Institute located in Charlotte.
Some of the programs that these institutes covered were Phlebotomy, Medical Office Administration, Nursing, Automotive Systems, Cosmetology, Dental Assistant, Landscaping, Massage Therapists, HVAC, Marine Mechanics and Welding. Cape Fear not only brought instructors but also students who were in the program to speak with our students.
The library prepared a book display and bulletin board that tied in with these career options and also included more information on our College and Career Libguide that focused on Community College information and careers without college. Students were given a handout as they came in that included links to the visiting schools and military websites and the link for the Libguide. A quick survey was completed by the students before they left and the common answer from most of them were that they got a lot of information about their options and that they would like to see even more programs the next time we conducted a Technical Fair. We are already in discussion mode with the colleges about doing this again in November.
Here are some online resources to share with your students. Please add any other resources you use with your students or any activities that you have found successful that focus on community college or careers without college.
Author: Joann Absi
I am the media coordinator at Eugene Ashley High School in Wilmington, NC. I have had positions at elementary, middle and high school libraries during my career. I am a past president of NCSLMA. Currently I am serving as the Communications Chair for NCSLMA and a member of AASL/ALSC/YALSA School/Public Library Cooperation.