This past week St. George News published a great article entitled ‘How to give your high schooler a leg up; programs to bridge gaps, brighten futures’. I value not only Dixie Applied Technology College’s innovative idea of ‘providing a kinetic approach to studying the four education focuses of today’s industries; of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math‘, but throughout the article included the influential component of the parent and the concept of the ‘vision gap’. High school students, along with their parents, ‘look towards and transition into college and career, but struggle for direction and purpose.’ As high school students are establishing their independence it is important for school districts to work collaboratively with parents to help guide and influence what is truly best for the student. It is important to help educate parents to the variety of available avenues of post-secondary education and training opportunities. The post-secondary education and training opportunity route, for their student, may look vastly different compared to when they were enrolled.
The article briefly mentioned Mike Rowe (TV host, writer and spokesman) collaborating with Caterpillar to launch a new initiative ‘Profoundly Disconnected’, focused on technical recruitment. Mike Rowe also runs the ‘mikeroweWORKS Foundation’, which awards scholarships to students pursuing a career in the skilled trades. Mike Rowe is closely associated with the Future Farmers of America, along with the SkillsUSA organization. Mike Rowe’s website has a vast amount of information pertaining to the Skills Gap. The Trade Resource Center of his website contains an interactive U.S. map to locate resources on school, organizations, training programs, financial aid and more.
A public school counselor in the U.S. now has an average caseload of 471 students, according to the American School Counselor Association, or ASCA. It is vital to not only educate the students in post-secondary opportunities, but the parents as well. Parents can play a valuable role in helping to influence a successful post-secondary path for their son or daughter.