Following meetings with the Greater Scranton Chamber Commerce, Senator Blake, and numerous business and industry representatives, the Abington Heights School District has made a commitment to increasing student’s career exposure and research beginning in third grade and proceeding through to graduation.
We recognize it has become the accepted standard to measure graduation rates at four-year colleges on a six-year time frame. Similarly, two-year colleges are routinely publishing three-year graduation rates. This extra time completing educational requirements means families assuming more debt, and worst still, delaying their entry into the work force. Student debt has now hit the trillion-dollar mark, exceeding American’s combined credit card and car loan debt.
Many times this is the result of students going to college without a clear plan or ignoring the potential of great paying careers that only require a 16-month or two-year program. Students now begin exploring careers as early as third grade using a program called Career Cruising and continue with this program through their junior year of high school. All of this research will be invaluable to students when they meet with school counselors in their junior year to discuss plans for after graduation.
One of the new programs we are very proud to offer to high school students is our ninth period presentations. We invite representatives of educational programs and local and international business and industry to speak with our students in grades 9-12 about job opportunities and employment trends.
For example, we recently hosted a program that informed students their program costs about $13,000 per year, is completed in two years, boasts 100% job placement and graduates are earning an average starting salary of $50,000 per year. This is the kind of information students and counselors often lack when considering career planning.
Parents and students are invited and encouraged to take a look at the calendar of presentations, which can be found on the AH Guidance website at ahsd.org/guidance, the Community Portal, and the AHHS Facebook page. It’s never too soon to start planning for a successful future.
Director of Student Services
Abington Heights School District