Kuder Best Practice: Kuder® Navigator Supports Wyoming High School Career Academy Initiative
By Kathleen Pilch
Instructional Facilitator for Career Relevance
Sheridan High School
Sheridan High School in Sheridan, WY, has been working on several initiatives the last three years to address the dropout rate and look for ways to help unmotivated students with no clear vision of their future.
One initiative we researched in-depth was the development of career academies to improve grades and motivation for our at-risk students. Staff members researched and looked at data that supports how career academies or small learning communities could help our students, especially those considered to be “at risk.”
The planning began in the fall of 2007 when a team of teachers, a community member, and a parent traveled to St. Louis, MO, to attend the National Career Academy Conference. When we returned home, our first goal was to develop a separate 9th Grade Academy for a select group of incoming freshmen as well as a required Freshman Learning Community program for all incoming freshmen. Both of these programs were initiated in the fall of 2009, and we have seen much growth in just two years.
The 9th Grade Academy group of students shares the same common core teachers who provide interdisciplinary learning, field trips, team teaching, and a close monitoring of attendance, behavior, and grades.
Kathleen Pilch, Instructional Facilitator for Career Relevance
Our next step was to develop Programs of Study that would support and align with the States’ Career Clusters initiative. We have been using Navigator to help our students with career and educational planning to meet their required career portfolio requirement for graduation and knew this powerful tool could help us reach our goal in developing our Career Academy Programs.
After we participated in an online webinar provided by Kuder, we realized there was much more Navigator could do for us. We had previously uploaded all our courses through the Kuder® Administrative Database Management System (ADMS), which makes it easy for our students to use the Education Planner.
We were excited to find sample programs of study templates on the site and quickly contacted Charlie Winterboer in Customer Support for guidance. Our entire staff got involved, and we created 16 Program of Study guides that show our students the path of courses they can take in high school to support their chosen career cluster of interest. We were able to easily upload our plans of study into Navigator.
Kuder Navigator Education Plan