Career and College Preparation

Program Overview and Goals

Selecting the appropriate college, major of study and/or future career path is a challenging, multifaceted task. With thousands of colleges, hundreds of majors and an almost infinite number of career paths available to high school students, it is no wonder many of them experience confusion, indecision, and even paralysis in the task of planning for life after high school. To make informed decisions, students must have a good understanding of their unique personality, interests, values, and skills. Then, they must proceed with a plan to find the best vocational fit for who they are — and who they are becoming.

At Westside Christian High School, we promote our work as that of helping students “prepare for purpose”. As students engage our five guiding principles or “pillars” of Listen, Relate, Inspire, Discover and Lead, our primary goal is that each student would identify a life direction or career path which is a “best fit” for him/her as a unique individual created in God’s image. Our great desire is that this path allows the student to have a positive impact on the Kingdom of God.

Westside’s College & Career Preparation Program takes a three-pronged approach to preparing students for life beyond high school. The goals of our approach are to maximize student understanding of self, create a network of adult contacts in a variety of career areas, and increase students’ awareness of the breadth of vocational opportunities available to them in the future.

In addition to these in-class activities, students at all grade levels are exposed to college admissions and military representatives during lunchtime visits. Additionally, Westside hosts the Portland stop on the NACCAP college fair tour each fall, making nearly 50 Christian College representatives available to our students. The Senior Leadership Project, required of each senior, also adds to our students’ understanding of career opportunities as they work with an outside mentor to guide them throughout their project. “Network Nights” is a voluntary program offered in both the fall and the spring where panels of parents in broad career areas provide students with the opportunity to hear from professionals currently working in a field of interest to them.

The activities outlined below are almost exclusively delivered by the school counselor during the identified grade level Bible class.

Program Activities

Grade 9

4-year HS Goal Setting Plan – A goal setting activity for Academics, Extra-Curricular Activities, Relationships and Spiritual Growth. Assigned and submitted via Google Classroom. Due by November 1.

Career Contact Network list – Students generate a list of ten adults and their contact information who they might contact for an informational interview at a future date. Assigned and submitted via Google Classroom. Due by January 1.

Grade 10

Goal Setting Review & Update #1 – Students review goals from last year and make changes they deem appropriate. Assigned and submitted via Google Classroom. Due by November 1.

Career Contact Network list – Students add five more adults to their list from last year. Assigned and submitted via Google Classroom. Due by January 1.

Coffee Interview #1 – Students will complete short, face-to-face interviews with one individual from their Career Contact Network list. Assigned and submitted via Google Classroom. Due by April 1.

Grade 11

Goal Setting Review & Update #2 – Students review updated goals from last year and make additional changes they deem appropriate. Assigned and submitted via Google Classroom. Due by November 1.

Junior Bible Class Visits – During a series of five consecutive Fridays at the beginning of the second semester, the following assignments are given, discussed and submitted via Google Classroom. All assignments are due by the beginning of Spring Break.

Knowing Yourself Pretest – Written responses to questions about personality, values, interests, skills and occupations.

Gifting Assessment Parts 1 & 2 – Student and adult response to three questions about the student’s abilities or talents and the use of them the student’s future.

Career & Skills Assessments – A series of three inventories: Interest, Skills and Workplace Values. Students will take the inventories and answer questions about them.

Personality Type (Myers-Briggs) Assessment – This assessment and accompanying questions help students consider the role of personality in career selection.

Coffee Interview #2 – Students will complete a short face-to-face interview with one more individual from their Career Contact Network list.

Sample College Application – Students complete a paper version of the Common Application to familiarize them with the process for fall of their senior year.

Personal Recommendation – Students write a college recommendation about themselves from the perspective of an adult who might write one for them next fall.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC) Estimator Assignment – Parents complete a web-based financial aid estimator or indicate they’ve already completed a FAFSA.

Going to College Plan – Students create a plan to include the following tasks suggested prior to college enrollment: Testing, Career Goals, College Criteria, College Exploration, College Application, College Funding. A similar assignment is made available to those students who do not plan on entering college immediately after high school.

Going to College Test – Students complete a multiple-choice test which assesses their learning of important information presented during class visits and assignments. Students must score 80% or better to earn a passing grade and may retake the test as many times as needed to earn that score. Going to College Test Questions are provided to students on the first visit of the series.

Job Shadow #1 – Students will complete a minimum two-hour job shadow following established protocol in a document residing on the Google Classroom for this program. (Assigned in September. Due by April 1)

Grade 12

College Application Essay – Students will write and revise these essays as one of their first assignments in their English 12 class (September).

Going to College Plan/ Work Plan Review – Individual meetings with the School Counselor throughout the fall reinforce and support each student’s implementation of his/her GTC Plan. The focus of these meetings is on ACT/SAT testing, college search/application, procurement of recommendations and scholarship search/application.

Job Shadow #2 – Students will complete a minimum two-hour job shadow following established protocol in a document residing on the Google Classroom for this program. (Assigned in September. Due by April 1)