Step Into the Real World ~ Careers & Service Learning

Overview Do high school students really know what they want to do for the rest of their lives? Do they really understand what choices are available? This project recognizes that new immigrants need sudent-to-student guidance on college and career choices long before high school graduation. School partners, Liberty Mutual Group and The Boston Private Industry Council (PIC), provide opportunities for on-the-job observation and training. Students help organize career fairs and share insights with their grade nine peers. They research colleges on the Internet, visit workplaces, and reflect on how serving the community leads to promising careers. When they display their computer slide shows and exhibits at the culminating learning festival, presenters and career buddies feel confident that they will be ready to successfully Step Into the Real World.

Classroom Activities
Community Activities
Career Activities
Use career center resources (literature, computers, periodicals, catalogs) to research college & career options.
Complete & interpret career interest inventory surveys.
Collaborate on career day fair planning & activities.
Create individual resumés & cover letters.
Form teams & rehearse mock interviews.
Prepare fact sheets on service & internship opportunities.
Develop action plans for learning festival presentations.
Use technology to produce computer slide shows & brochures on job related information.
Create presentation boards, for learning festival exhibits.
Graph & post survey results on career center bulletin board.
Advertise career day fair throughout school community.
Visit middle school & schedule regular meetings with career buddies.
Perform mock interviews for career buddies.
Brainstorm ways to individually serve the community.
Report & reflect on individual service experiences.
Distribute fact sheets at learning festival.
Present computer slide shows (see samples: banking, desktop publishing, & pharmacy at learning festival
Answer career buddies' questions at learning festival & give guidance based on personal experience..
Greet & introduce 30 visiting professionals in a Career Day "Speakers Forum."
Participate in two Liberty Mutual workshops on resumé writing & interview techniques.
Work with retired human resources professional on career choices.
Contact personnel from Boston PIC to discuss career pathways.
Visit industry sites, museums, agencies, hospitals, & community centers.
Experience workbased on the job training.
Report & reflect on site visits & on the job training.
Include information & reflections in learning festival presentations.

Learning Standards English Language Art

Use technology to obtain, use and present information effectively
Understand and use the writing process effectively
Make effective presentations
Collaborate on projects that apply learning to educate others
Obtain information from a variety of sources
Engage in and facilitate group discussions

School to Career Competencies

Develop Communication and Literacy Skills
Organize and Analyze Information
Complete Entire Activities
Use technology
Take responsibility for career and life choices

Assessment Based on teacher/team decisions on final products (brochures, flyers, slide shows, etc.), on-going peer evaluation of this material simulates work place reality. Teachers also evaluate and grade student contributions and participation in school based career day fair and learning festival. Student and teachers review resumés and cover letters until final drafts are produced. Each team rehearses presentations before the entire class and receives constructive criticism. All participants evaluate written feedback from career day fair and learning festival visitors.

Software or Materials Used For documents and computer slide shows: Microsoft Office. For literature on college and career preparation see list.

Web Sites Web Sites for Step Into the Real World

Keywords Careers, College, College Majors, ESL, Internships, Interview, Jobs, Learning Festival, Resumés, School to Career, Service Learning

Final Words When high school students realize how to pursue career dreams, they can communicate valuable information to younger peers. As their knowledge and experience increase, these role models become increasingly self-confident. At the learning festival, middle schoolers were fascinated by the presentations. They asked pertinent questions and had fun answering the high schoolers' oral quizzes.

Teacher Tip Networking is important when looking for internships and service opportunities. We are fortunate to have great partners who show how students and teachers can make "the workplace a learning place."

E-mail contact Kia Ling Chang -
Teresa Feeney -
Valerie Wong -

Teacher Bios
Kia Ling Chang teaches science and technology to bilingual students at Charlestown High School, a School to Career school. Her ever-expanding computer curriculum currently includes C++, web design and Cisco Networking. In addition, she works with Liberty Mutual Group in an annual computer programming competition that challenges students to demonstrate skills learned throughout the year. For the past three years, Kia Ling has received the Schott Gender Equity Grant and has developed a project aimed at encouraging Chinese girls to pursue opportunities in the field of computer technology.

Teresa Feeney is the School to Career Coordinator at Charlestown High School. She oversees the Upper School pathway classes and supports teachers within that setting. Working closely with bilingual and ESL teachers along with SPED and regular education teachers, Teresa acts as liaison to school partners Liberty Mutual Group and The Boston Private Industry Council (PIC). She directs activities in the Career Center and has successfully written grants for school-to-work initiatives. As a veteran teacher skilled in business and computers, she brings a repertoire of real world experience to students and colleagues.

Valerie Wong teaches ESL at Charlestown High School. As a BPS Lead Teacher, she welcomes and mentors newcomers to the profession. Currently, she is developing several ESL curriculum guides that incorporate technology. Her goal is to prepare students for college and successful careers. She believes a strong commitment to technology combined with academic excellence is the way to go.

Subject Areas Computer Technology, English as a Second Language (ESL), Science

Grade Levels 9 - 12

Students Bilingual/ESL students high schoolers mentored Bilingual/ESL middle schoolers. Recommended for all high school students

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