Harwood Union graduation is rapidly approaching and with it the members of the Class of 2022 will be launched into their next steps towards education and career. Some students will be off to two- and four-year colleges, some are going into voc-tech programs, some are going directly into the labor force for apprenticeships and on-the-job training.
For far too long, too many high school students have graduated without a plan for how to enter the workforce, with little direct experience in any potential fields and will little familiarity with the higher education experience.
Earlier this month, 23 Harwood students took a field trip to Vermont Technical College’s Try A Major Day on May 2 where they spent time getting hands-on experience in multiple potential majors.
Try a Major Day is part of a VSAC Aspirations Partnerships with Harwood Union, a four-year program focused on helping Harwood with the tools to graduate all students with a plan for their future education and training. This is the first year of Harwood’s partnership with VSAC and the Try a Major Day is just one of the tools in the Aspirations Partnerships program.
This four-year partnership is driven by student- and staff-based leadership with a steering committee meeting regularly to plan, communicate and advance program goals. Additionally, VSAC personnel are continuing to work on opportunities for learning opportunities and exposure to potential education and career paths for students in grades nine through 12 that offer developmentally appropriate ways (by grade) for kids to explore options and plan for what happens after graduation.
This type of programming is exactly what students, the Vermont economy and Vermont employers need. Kids need to be exposed to a variety of potential post high school choices sooner versus later and that repeated exposure can help them make better choices. Two- and four-year colleges are not the best or most immediate choice for every graduating senior, nor is voc-ed or an apprenticeship.
Only if kids are provided with the opportunity to explore potential career paths can they make informed decisions about their high school careers and coursework and their post-graduation path.