Vermont students complete career readiness program

Friday March 29, 2013


Associated Press

MONTPELIER -- At just 15, Shaylee Martin knows she wants to become a preschool teacher. Taylor Beaudet, 16, is interested in graphic design. And Dylan Martin, 17, a senior, plans to be a truck driver after high school.

They are among 11 Williamstown High School students who have completed a 15-week pilot program run by their school and the Community College of Vermont to get them ready for work or college after high school. The school was among six in Vermont that were awarded grants in the fall of 2011 to engage in innovative learning.

During the fall and winter, the Williamstown students learned how to put together resumes and an online portfolio of themselves and worked on computer, speaking and collaboration skills. They took tests to assess their achievements in reading and math. And they did some of that outside of school, at Community College on Vermont.

"We weren’t just stuck in the classroom five days a week," Martin said. "We actually got to go to CCV and try different things."

On Thursday, Gov. Peter Shumlin presented them with the Governor’s Career Ready Certificates at the Statehouse. Later they met with legislators to talk about what they’ve learned.

Beadet said she and some other students impressed perspective employers at a technology job fair in Winooski when they handed out their resumes for possible summer internships.

"They were impressed with the resumes because they hadn’t seen many kids actually had resumes with them," she said. She doesn’t have job experience to list but can tell potential employers what she’s interested in and good at.

The program is part of a move to find different ways to engage kids in their learning, said Williamstown High School Principal Scott Lang.

"We’re a rural, pretty poor community with not a lot of families who are educated. So for many of our kids it’s a first experience," he said.

The Legislature is considering a bill that would combine and expand secondary school programs including dual enrollment and early college to increase the number of students completing school and help prepare them for life after high school.

"It offers a lot of different choices for kids. It keeps them engaged," said Johannah Donovan, chairwoman of the House Education Committee. "Oftentimes it gets these kids working toward a future and they actually have concrete plans."


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