Federal Programs Director
Hartselle City Schools
Back in the day, if someone spoke of CCR, that someone was talking about the music of Creedence Clearwater Revival. But that CCR’s version of Fortunate Son does not quite align with the good fortune to students that college and career readiness seeks to bring.
As its name suggests, College and Career Readiness is the end goal for students who walk the stage in their May graduation ceremony. The ceremony is called Commencement, because the evening is meant to celebrate students’ accomplishments and mark their entry into the welcoming world.
But without appropriate skills and knowledge, that world is not so welcoming.
In Alabama, being college and career ready means that a high school graduate has the English and mathematics knowledge and skills necessary to either (1) qualify for and succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing college courses without the need for remedial coursework, or (2) qualify for and succeed in postsecondary job training and/or the education necessary for their chosen career (i.e. technical/vocational program, community college, apprenticeship or significant on-the-job training.)
There are several, specific “somethings” that mark readiness and that count in a school’s documentation of whether a student is ready to enter the world. Most HCS students check more than one of the “boxes” below, but the checking of one makes a student ready for their next steps.
- The successful completion of at least one college level course-
Many students take dual enrollment classes at Hartselle High School. These classes are offered through a partnership with Calhoun Community College. The successful completion of a college level course is seen as an early mark of college readiness.
- A score of “Silver” or higher on the ACT WorkKeys Exam-
This exam is used by many employers to measure the math and reading skills needed to function in the workplace. HCS pays for this test and makes the results available to HHS students. Students can use their results as evidence of their readiness for employment in ACT Work Ready Communities. Morgan County is certified as such a community.
- The ACT-
Students who can meet benchmark scores on ACT subtests are deemed ready for their next steps after graduation.
- AP test scores- Students who takes advanced placement classes and then demonstrate their learning with high scores on end-of-course assessments are ready for additional challenges.
- The completion of courses in a Career Tech Program-
Students who step out of several classes in manufacturing, engineering or one of the other HCS career tech programs of study step out with skills that will be usable in the workplace.
- Enlistment in the military-
A student who has enlisted and whose next steps for service are in place is considered ready.
New to the pathways to readiness is the apprenticeship model. Very specific guidelines and standards accompany the apprenticeship model, and HCS is just beginning to explore the ways in which we can guide students through this pathway.
Hartselle City Schools works to ready its students for their next steps by offering numerous pathways to success. Ready, set, go!