Academic Innovations

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Program Goals

The Career Choices series is used successfully in reaching a variety of WIA goals. Whether the objectives include classroom academic enrichment for 14-15 year olds, a contextual learning experience at the work site for older youth, or meeting the objectives of School-to-Work and other year-long efforts, this curriculum offers unique adaptability and effectiveness.

Goal: Basic Skills Remediation in Reading, Writing, and Math

By teaching self-knowledge along with a positive exposure to reading, writing, and math, Career Choices helps motivate students to improve basic skills. Learning to calculate 20% of 65,000 may seem irrelevant, but determining how much money must be saved to make a down payment on a house is relevant and interesting. Writing a report on the War of 1812 may seem boring to some, but receiving career advice and inspiration from Martin Luther King, Jr. and writing about their personal hopes and dreams is fascinating to virtually all adolescents.

Goal: Life Skills

It's difficult for adolescents to make wise decisions about the future until they give some serious thought to their own values, abilities, interests, and goals. Through a series of interactive exercises, young people learn the life skills of projecting into the future; effective decision making and problem solving; setting and achieving goals; recognizing and overcoming obstacles; and developing a career and education plan.

Goal: Work Maturity

This program is designed as a "front end" work maturity component, providing youth with the skills to be successful on the job. Using activities from the Career Choices text, students learn that attitude is everything and that ethics, honesty, and energy are essential to succeed. The exercises focus on the personal traits that make work rewarding for both the employee and the employer.

Goal: School Retention

Academics come alive for students when they finally see how it relates to their lives. Young people are willing to pay attention, to work harder, to stretch themselves, because suddenly what's going on in the classroom is of urgent, personal interest. Recognizing that education is the pathway to a positive future gives young people a reason to change their attitude about learning.

Goal: Gender Equity

Career Choices not only illustrates the need for all students to take responsibility for planning for their own future, but it also demonstrates how young women, in particular, can enhance their potential and become good parents and partners by seriously preparing for a successful career outside the home. With components on problem solving, decision making, balancing lifestyles, budgeting, and planning for the future, this is an ideal Family Life course textbook.

Setting: Worksite Academics

This curriculum does not need to be taught in a classroom. Worksite supervisors or teachers can use the specially-designed lesson plans to effectively deliver this program at the job site. This provides on-the-job youth with a motivational academic experience as they gain life and employability skills.

Setting: Year-Round Program

This curriculum is designed to offer disadvantaged youth the opportunity to develop an educational and career plan. For example, Jobs for American Graduates, a national program for at-risk, in-school youth, adopted the Career Choices curriculum for their freshmen career curriculum. School-to-Work programs across the country use the curriculum to provide a key, school-based component of career awareness exploration.

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