Field reports show the progress of Career Coaching

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As Arkansas Tech Institute (ATI) develops a pilot career coaching program this year, the people chosen to lead the initiative every day are witnessing what’s possible when short-term academic goals are connected to long-term ones. -Professional ambitions in the future.

“I have a student I taught in eighth grade who never did well on an exam and couldn’t get an ACT score because of anxiety and other learning barriers,” said Hannah Edgell, who serves as a career coach in Russellville. the institute “We were only able to get him to try the Accuplacer, and he went through scholarships and repair courses. It was wonderful.”

Helping students enroll in appropriate classes based on their abilities and interests. Connecting students with post-secondary financial aid resources so they can continue their education. Creating work-based learning opportunities that lead directly to employment.

These are the kinds of stories coming from the field as career coaches in the Russellville, Clarksville, Ozark, Johnson County Westside and Mulberry/Pleasant View school districts that bring to life the vision set forth in the Ready for Life grant awarded so far. Govt. Asa Hutchinson and grants from the Arkansas Department of Education’s Division of Career and Technical Education (ADE CTE).

The 2022-23 academic year is the first of a two-year pilot program being overseen by the ATU-Ozark Campus under the auspices of the Arkansas Tech Institute, a non-formular entity of Arkansas Tech University. Career coaches funded through the ADE CTE grant are employed by the Guy Fenter Education Cooperative. ATU, Guy Fenter, and participating school districts work collaboratively to guide and support the work of career and technical education career coaches.

“Working as a career coach helps students develop self-awareness, career planning and financial preparation for the future,” said Melanie Dean, Ozark’s career coach. “I have worked with several first-generation college students. For these students, I am able to decode college and help them prepare as much as possible. One in particular did not meet the requirements for admission to the university. The student had a rough patch during the pandemic, earning a low grade point average despite a good ACT score and improved grades. We worked through an admissions appeal process and the student was accepted into the university. I thought it was such a huge victory.”

Dean has introduced younger students to a variety of postsecondary options, including manufacturing, military branches, and college tours.

“The career coaching program is important to me because our mission/vision is ‘Together…Developing Leaders one student at a time…Every Time’ and the career coaching model is a wonderful opportunity to provide a personalized plan for success to each student on our campus,” he said. said Dr. Lonnie Myers, superintendent of the Mulberry/Pleasant View School District. “It represents our approach to finding success for every student, one student at a time.”

Dr. Sheila Jacobs, ATU-Ozark’s chief academic officer, explained that ATI’s approach to career training aligns with the “Building the Regional Workforce Advantage” executive report that the Russellville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Russellville Regional Workforce Development Cabinet used in planning. future needs of the region.

“The mission of the career training program is to support students in comprehensive career development planning by developing strong partnerships with public schools and local industry and community leaders to connect students to career and educational opportunities,” said Jacobs, lead facilitator. ATI career training program. “It’s about sustainable economic development, based on an organized and cohesive method of regional and national workforce infrastructure development. Arkansas Tech University is uniquely positioned to advance a synchronous workforce education and training system through the Russellville campus, the Ozark campus and the Arkansas Tech Career Center and numerous K-12 affiliates.

Other goals of the ATI career training program are to increase the work-learning experience for students and to increase communication about career paths available in their home region.

“We need to see it as a viable career option for graduate students,” said Greg Dawson, human resources business partner at ABB. “A career coach can identify local opportunities and help guide a graduate student to a successful career and life. For example, here at ABB, great career opportunities, great pay, health benefits, an amazing retirement plan, and career advancement We offer a wide range of options.Many students do not know what type of college education they would be interested in, but when they are involved in manufacturing they can see and experience the paths that may be of interest: engineering, maintenance, programming, supply chain, quality, management, safety, human .resources, etc. Career coaches are a great force in helping our students realize these opportunities.”

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