Education Matters!

Five student-boosting topics worth a second look

FIVE

Here are some articles we’ve been sharing in social media this summer. The messages are so helpful, we think they deserve an encore. Peruse away, and take note of whatever is helpful!

1. On career guidance:

 

One career consultant who maintains that 25 percent of youth are unemployed has some strong ideas about why this is so – and it’s not just about the economy. (Hint: one reason has to do with assuming you can’t get a job without graduating from a university.) See what you think about his assessment at http://www.careerealism.com/youth-unemployment/.

It seems like a no-brainer, but educators across the nation are placing a growing priority on preparing students for college and careers, and at an early stage in a student’s school life. See why it’s never too early to start planning for the future in this story at http://edsource.org/2015/career-guidance-helps-students-figure-out-their-paths/80474#.VWXH7s_BzRY.

We understand that not everybody has a career picked out by the age of 15, or even 18. Still, the Bureau of Labor Statistics agrees with DCPSS partners that it’s never too soon to start thinking about rewarding ways to make a living. But instead of making it a chore, the bureau has a page that should inspire that kind of thinking early and often. See if you agree by exploring http://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2015/article/career-planning-for-high-schoolers.htm.

One of life’s most nerve-wracking experiences is one that has a lot riding on it. We’re talking about the job interview, which has pitfalls for even the most experienced employees. For first-timers, it’s particularly important to get some basics right. Pick up pointers that can make a difference at http://jobsearch.about.com/od/interviews/tp/jobinterviewtips.htm.

Rural communities face special challenges in helping their young people to get reliable information about careers and job training. They also have concerns about retaining talented youth who may assume the only good opportunities are in metro areas. See what the National Career Development Association has to say about ways to meet those challenges at http://www.ncda.org/aws/NCDA/pt/sd/news_article/102067/_PARENT/layout_details_cc/false

Increasingly, graduates looking to stand out from other job applicants will need more than the old, standard one-page resume. See what the experts have to say about working with students on compiling digital portfolios. http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/classroom_qa_with_larry_ferlazzo/2015/06/response_ways_to_help_students_develop_digital_portfolios.html?cmp=ENL-EU-NEWS3

The tips are simple, they are focused, and they work. EducationPlanner has a career planning checklist for high school students that breaks the process into simple steps. There’s also a section for parents and counselors – and middle school students, too. It’s a great tool, and it’s at http://www.educationplanner.org/students/career-planning/checklists/high-school.shtml.

Take a look at this list of high-paying jobs that don’t require a college degree. Preparation such as job-specific training may still be required, but some companies will pay for that. This could be valuable information for those students who are ambitious but recognize they are not college material – and there’s room for them in the job market. http://careers.alot.com/career-paths/10-highest-paying-jobs-that-dont-require-a-college-education–6462

Here’s an interactive website that’s part of the U.S. Department of Labor’s toolbox on training. Use it to explore youth programs, CareerOneStop and other programs geared to research options to help make you career career-ready. Tons of resources are at http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/training/index.htm.

2. On education/life skills:

We at DCPSS know that student success is predicated on more than traditional indicators. The National Assessment of Educational Progress is working to include measures of noncognitive factors in background information collected with tests, starting in 2017. (Motivation and mindset are a couple of those factors.) Read all about it at http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/curriculum/2015/06/education_not_enough_to_ensure.html?cmp=ENL-EU-NEWS3

Planning a career and the education to take you there also means thinking about whether you’ll need a short-term break from academia. Long a European staple, the gap year is becoming more popular with U.S. students. Still, the time needs to be used productively. Here are ideas for how to make the most of a gap year, or if that’s even a good choice for your needs. http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/college-admissions-playbook/2013/07/08/decide-if-a-gap-year-makes-sense-for-you

“Mom and Dad, I’m bored.” Little kids look to parents for activities, but teens probably won’t. That doesn’t mean they can’t use a nudge in the right direction to stay sharp and focused. These tips are geared toward summer vacation but are good for any extended periods at home or during vacations. Get some ideas on what to do about that at http://www.ed.gov/blog/2014/04/how-to-keep-your-teens-learning-this-summer-2/.

What are we as a nation doing to reach out to the 6.7 million youth defined as “disconnected” – meaning those between the ages of 14 and 24 who are homeless, in foster care or involved in the justice system, and who are also neither employed nor enrolled in an educational program? Find out about efforts that can apply to Douglas County disconnected youth by going to http://youth.gov/youth-topics/reconnecting-youth.

3.On STEM/STEAM learning:

A newly released study by Georgetown University confirms that not all college degrees are created equal. And while it’s not true that liberal arts majors will always take home lower paychecks, it is true that STEM field majors are likely to get bigger boosts on the career ladder. Read what the study concluded, and what that could mean to the student in your home, by going to http://www.wbir.com/story/news/2015/06/07/picking-college-major-could-mean-big-money/28647635/ #DCEdmatters

A teacher in Vermont has some tips to share with STEM educators. She’s gleaned some nuggets from her experiences taking students out to the woods every day, and here they are: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/curriculum/2015/05/lessons_for_stem_learning_in_forest_mondays.html?cmp=ENL-CM-NEWS3

Even within STEM subjects, it can be tough to bridge concepts. Researchers at the Association of Psychological Science conference are sharing new findings on ways to help students link their math learning to science, technology, and engineering. Get the lowdown at http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2015/06/03/findings-show-ways-students-can-transfer-math.html?cmp=ENL-CM-NEWS2-RM

According to a California community college chancellor, half the people nationwide who go into STEM careers started not at four-year universities, but at community colleges. That makes two-year colleges great places to host campus events emphasizing agencies’ STEM links and programs. Read more about a session on “Community Colleges: STEM’s Secret Weapon” at http://www.usnews.com/news/stem-solutions/articles/2015/07/01/outreach-from-community-colleges-helps-to-build-stem-pipeline?int=a66309.

Take a quiz at http://stemtype.stemjobs.com/#/assessments/1 to see what STEM type you fit – advisor, designer, explorer, integrator, investigator, maker, producer or solver. The site will then direct you to occupations to match your interest as well as resources you’ll need to follow those paths.

4. On post-secondary education:

Did you know that Umpqua Community College is a great starting place for high school students to get information on classes, programs, scholarships and options for post-secondary training and education — even for those students who might not end up going to UCC? UCC’s High School Connections web page has information for students, parents and faculty ranging from details on community and workforce training to programs for low-income students who are the first in their families to consider college. Find out more here: http://www.umpqua.edu/high-school-connection/94-high-school-connections/356-high-school-connections-students.

Plan, plan, plan. It’s not pleasant to think about college expenses, but it’s vital for families with future college students at home. Or anyone seeking any kind of skill, apprenticeship or other 2-year degree. Get 10 tips on how to be prepared for your child’s first post-secondary courses. Taking steps now takes away some of the confusion that otherwise may pop up later. http://alotfinance.com/personal-finance/10-things-you-should-know-about-paying-for-college–5353

5. On local resources:

Yes, we know all about smart phones, eBooks, online games and YouTube. We still think the local library is a great place to hang out. Chances are that wherever you live in Douglas County, no matter how rural your neighborhood, it’s not too much of a hardship to get to your local library at least a couple of times a month. Make the most out of your trip by consulting this link: http://douglas.ploud.net/event_listing?mode=future. Then you can see what’s happening on a given day and plan your trip to make the most of it, whether it’s Glendale Hero Sock Puppets, Drain Root Beer Float and Prizes or Roseburg Story Time. #DCEdmatters

Got some spare time and skills to share? News-Review columnist Ada Duncan has summarized some of the 80-plus volunteer opportunities in the area that are described in www.JustServe.org, a website created by nearly 30 Roseburg-area organizations. The variety of sites and jobs is such that you’re sure to find a worthy occupation that fits well with your schedule. See the full article at http://www.nrtoday.com/news/17172538-113/volunteer-opportunities-wide-array-of-volunteers-needed.

Response was so positive from our June workshop that we’re presenting it again Sept. 18. “Building Developmental Relationships With Youth We Serve” used tools from The Search Institute to help adults learn how to make meaningful connections with children and teens. Many participants told us they picked up skills they will use personally as well as professionally. They also said they were struck by how seemingly small interactions can have such a powerful impact on youngsters. See more about their feedback at http://www.dcpss.org/wp-admin/post.php?post=1520&action=edit. Keep checking in for details and registration forms for the Sept. 18 conference.

What did we miss? What tools do you like to use? Let us know in the comments!