First published in the Jan. 12 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.
La Cañada High School College and Career Center staff Lisa Chung and Kelly Proctor have planned what could be a pathway for high school students in their endeavor to attend college or start a career.
At a recent La Cañada Unified School District Board meeting, Chung presented a plan for the new LCHS College and Career Center.
In early October, Chung and Proctor kicked off an implementation committee which included Wellness Counselor Rachel Zooi, LCHS Principal Jim Cartnal, Vice Principal Jennifer Nebor and Superintendent Wendy Sinnette.
The plan for the college and career center, dubbed C3, is to include developing specialized programs in areas such as career development, college planning, financial aid, scholarships and business internships. Eventually, the team would like to involve students starting in the 6th grade with these opportunities.
Chung said the committee wants to build upon what is already good within the LCHS counseling services.
“At LCHS, we believe that career should not be an afterthought and career readiness is very important and is at the forefront of our C3 center,” she said.
But their overall goal is to help students acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to make a successful transition from school to college or work. Students could access programs such as Challenge Success and SCOIR, which connect high schools with colleges for a comprehensive college/career counseling program.
From day one, Cartnal was adamant on having something more than a calendar of events for students at the center.
The implementation committee has drafted a three-year plan that involves creating a curriculum the first year to implement and enhance it as it continues. Additionally, there will be training for students, parents and staff on SCOIR in year one and the creation of job and internship postings by the second year. In year three, they plan to include middle school students into the curriculum.
They also plan on providing an aptitude test to help students expand on their strengths and explore career options. Chung said that research has showed her that a good age to start the test would be 14 or 15 years.
The mission of the center is a collaboration between the LCHS administration and staff, counseling team, wellness team, district leadership and board.
The center will be located on the 2nd floor of the information resource center. On Feb. 2, there will be a ribbon cutting that the LCUSD board is invited to. The community will then be able to see the space on April 14.