Thursday, April 13, 2017

Chicago School System Aims to Expedite Graduates' Career Planning

According to this Vox article:

Chicago Public Schools has a new requirement for its 435,000 students: To graduate, they must prove they have a post-graduation plan. That means a college acceptance letter, a job offer, military orders, or enrollment in a job training program.

In many observers' view, emerging adulthood best serves as a time of intentional exploration, in which individuals contemplate and try out different educational and career pathways, en route to finding ones that embody their "true selves." This period of life, however, can also involve what some would consider unproductive use of time (e.g., heavy drinking, excessive media usage) and floundering.

Chicago's plan can be seen as an attempt to direct more students toward a purposeful trajectory. Vox quotes an important point from city school official Janice Jackson: “In schools with high levels of support, every child was already walking out with a postsecondary plan... There are schools where we need to push a little bit more.”

College attendance is not simply a matter of skills and motivation. Financial considerations and what many teens consider an intimidating process of applying to college and for financial aid, also can determine whether a student ends up at a university. Chicago is seeking to combine its new graduation requirement with extra counselors and other resources to help students find their way.

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