Plotting a course for life after high school can be a daunting task. Although some people know from an early age exactly what they “want to be when they grow up,” that seems to be the exception, rather than the rule.
Plotting A Course
Many people drift into adulthood with no clear target. Others have a target — but aim too low. For instance, when I was in high school, my dad offered me this advice:
Learn how to type and you'll never go hungry.
(This is part 3 in our series. If you missed our first post, you can find it here.)
He gave that advice back in the 70s, in the days when IBM Selectric typewriters were cutting-edge technology — way before voice recognition had been invented. (Do you remember those days?)
Back then, if you wanted to see your words in print, first someone had to type them. Things have changed just a bit since then….
Today, typing is a great skill to possess, but it doesn't provide much job security. Though I appreciate the heart behind my dad's counsel, I wouldn't say it encouraged me to reach my full potential. However, shortly after my father offered this “practical” advice, my mother invited me join her in building a small business. We launched it before I turned 18, and then another before I turned 20.
Mom knew how to identify my strengths and put them to good use. This early encouragement has had a lasting impact.
(Life with mom was interesting, to say the least. But that is a story for another day….)
Life-Planning with Navigate
Parenting is hard work. With some kids, it’s easy to recognize what careers might well-suit their temperament and gifts. But with other kids, it can be really hard. And, although we can guide and instruct our children and try to help them set a course for the future, inevitably, the day comes that they must take ownership of their own lives. They must engage in a process of self-discovery.
My sons, Roger and Ryan, are actively engaging in this process as they work through NAVIGATE, a program offered by CollegePlus that is also included in UNBOUND (the program we're reviewing).
Navigate is taking them step-by-step through a series of resources designed to help them determine their goals, select a major, and plan their career path.
Recently, when I logged into Roger Dean's CollegePlus dashboard, I was deeply blessed to see how the Navigate program emphasizes the importance of developing a long-term perspective — long-term as in eternity. It is clearly written from a biblical worldview.
A Quick Rundown of Navigate Programs
Navigate is the first of four programs CollegePlus offers:
NAVIGATE is a three-month course designed to help students determine their goals, select a major, and plan their career path. Students invest approximately 30 minutes per day working through Q&A-style reflection sheets, interactive quizzes and assessments, and watching short video testimonials. A personal Academic Life Coach calls twice a month to encourage them and keep them accountable. The focus of Navigate is life-planning. It does not include college-level coursework. (No college credit is earned.)
PREP is designed specifically for high school students who want to earn up to 18 transferrable college credits. By investing 2-3 hours per day, it enables students to complete an entire semester’s worth of college before graduating high school. Students learn advanced study skills and build habits that will equip them for future success in college.
PATHWAY students to earn up to 60 college credits they can transfer to the institution of their choice, allowing them to start college as a junior. Approximately 75% of colleges accept credits earned in this program. Pathway is self-paced, so students willing to invest more time can expedite the process and graduate faster. (Most full-time students finish their first 60 credits in one year.)
UNBOUND allows students to custom-design a plan that will enable them to obtain their degree online, saving thousands of dollars and gaining the flexibility to complete coursework in far less time than traditional college. (It includes Navigate.)
Do you feel equipped to counsel your student on career planning?
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