Career Cruising Now Affects Report Cards

The Career Cruising program here at BASH has some new changes to get more students to comply with the requirements.

Starting in the 2014/2015 school year, Career Cruising progress for each student will be recorded on his or her report card. All classes, including freshmen at the junior high schools, will receive a “P” (Pass) or “F” (Fail) at the end of each quarter and school year for completing assignments in their Career Cruising portfolio.

The official name of the program is the Career Portfolio Graduation Project. Each class has specific requirements that need to be met by the end of the year to prevent loss of privileges and a possible “F” on their report cards.

The goal of the Career Cruising Portfolio Project, which has been at BASH since 2009, is to prepare students for life after high school. Starting in 9th grade, students engage in a variety of activities to get them thinking about their future goals.

“The portfolio process will provide every student maximum opportunities to research careers and come to an educated, informed decision as to what next steps need to be taken to ensure success beyond high school,” said BASH Assistant Principal Mrs. Kelly Mason.

Even though the ninth graders are at different schools, they are not exempt from this program. Each freshman created a resume early in the year and uploaded it by October 1st to keep on track.

During their sophomore year, students have many requirements to fulfill. All students attend a local business visit as well as write an essay that outlines their experiences and what they learn about being a good employee. In addition, 10th graders complete a Career Matchmaker survey online to find careers that match up with their interests. Sophomores also take the ASPIRE test earlier in the fall, which focuses on career preparation.

The business visit is in cooperation with the Berks Business Education Coalition. Some have found the trip very worthwhile, learning about skills that make a good employee at companies such Reading Hospital and Enersys, while others did not get a lot out of it and found it rather boring.

“For my trip it was raining, so we didn’t get to see much of the career options. Instead they taught us about electrical safety, and I personally disliked that,” said sophomore Garrison DeSieno.

Another sophomore, Maggie Cave, who visited Brentwood Industries, a Reading-based plastics company, said, “I thought it would have been more helpful if we got to pick a business that actually interested us. When am I ever going to work in a factory?”

Juniors are responsible for completing a job shadow at some point during the year. In order to receive credit and keep privileges for the following year, each 11th grader must complete and upload the job shadow before May 15th.

“I went to Reading Hospital and job shadowed a wound-care professional. I liked it a lot and it showed me I wanted to work in a hospital after college.” said Hannah Mellott, a senior.

Senior Seth Manno also said his experience was worthwhile: “I job shadowed my boss who owns a deli. I think I might end up owning it in the future. It was good to see what really goes on behind the scenes.”

Seniors must present their entire portfolio from the previous three years as their final requirement. This was done this year on October 13th. Twelfth graders were required to contact guidance and administration members to set up a meeting to present their portfolio. Those who did not present will receive an “F” on their report card and lose privileges.

Senior Matt Eachus found the whole portfolio experience worthwhile. “It was pretty easy I guess,” he said. “If you were uncertain about where you wanted to go, it may have led you somewhere. The program may have also narrowed down what you wanted to do.”

On the other hand, some students did not like the Career Cruising project and thought it was more of a hassle than a help.

“It was just a pain having to add that to my pile of extracurriculars and AP classes. It was an unnecessary stress,” Mellott said.

Now, things are a little different; in order to retain privileges and a good report card, meeting the Career Cruising requirements is a must-do.

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