Category Archives: Career Readiness

New School Counselor Professional Learning Legislation

New legislation that goes into effect on February 6, 2020 will greatly impact the work of school counselors across the state. The lack of professional development opportunities specific to them will be a pressing concern.

The criteria of MCL 380.1233 (7-9) will require all stakeholders with a school counselor license (SCL) or a teaching certificate with the school counselor (NT) endorsement to attain 50 hours of professional development specific to college and career readiness.

Of those fifty hours of professional development, 25 hours need to be focused on college preparation and selection, and the other 25 hours need to be around career consultation (with 5 of those hours focused on exploration of military career options).

The College and Career Readiness department at Kent ISD is aware of our area counselors’ concerns around the lack of professional learning specific to their work. We are working hard to clearly identify and promote opportunities to assist school counselors in the renewal of their certificates. A combination of programs already offered by Kent ISD, in addition to newer planned opportunities, will help facilitate the professional learning counselors throughout Kent ISD are yearning for.

Current programs offered by Kent ISD Career Readiness staff, such as the “Teachers in Industry” program, already offer SCECH hours for participants and fit naturally within the requirements of the new law.

We are working on ways to offer SCECH hours for our “Talk & Tour” series, as well as the “Fall Update” and “Spring Enrollment Breakfasts” hosted at Kent Career Technical Center. These programs already work to fill the bucket of needs counselors have in meaningful ways to support their students.

The Career Readiness department is also in the process of developing additional learning opportunities. This could include education development plans (EDPs), Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF) training, talent transcripts, and other college, career, and military options for counselors through both in-person and online formats. Kent ISD has heard the needs of our hard working counselors and is working to get ahead of the curve in leading their learning while satisfying the requirements of the new legislation.

If you would like to see upcoming courses that are offered for this credit, click here. Please continue to check back for additional offerings to be added in the new year!

This blog post was written by Gerry Verwey, Career Readiness Consultant at Kent ISD and edited by Amanda Walma, Professional Learning Coordinator for Kent ISD.

CORE Program is Making a Difference

Originally posted on GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOTV) January 2017 – Kent Transition Center (KTC) offers a new, innovative program designed to meet the needs of Kent County’s secondary students that are not yet prepared for independent, competitive employment, which is an enrollment requirement for KTC. Check out the video above where Maranda visited the CORE Program. Continue reading CORE Program is Making a Difference

Student Registration Open for Groundhog (Job) Shadow Day

“Young people who had mentors report setting higher educational goals and are more likely to attend college than those without mentors,” according to “The Mentoring Effect”, a January 2014 report from The National Mentoring Partnership.

Kent ISD’s Career Readiness Department is excited to announce that the student registration for Groundhog Shadow Day 2017 opens on December 1 (click here to register). This program will run on February 2, from 9:00 am -2:00 pm and will be open to all Kent County students grades 9-12 that register. Continue reading Student Registration Open for Groundhog (Job) Shadow Day

Are Your Students College and Career Ready?

Upon graduation, educators all hope and believe that our students will go on to be productive, healthy, happy, contributory members of our society. This means they will have a career path, and hopefully a trajectory that will fit well with their likes, their capabilities, and the market. Continue reading Are Your Students College and Career Ready?

Lights, Camera…Engagement!

Looking to do something different this year?  Searching for a way to help your students demonstrate learning as well as practice those critical skills they’ll need in their future like collaboration, critical thinking and problem-solving?  How about having them make a movie?

What’s that you say?  You want something more serious, more academic?  Something that will help prepare them for real jobs someday?  Again I say, what about using film as an educational medium?

Before you dismiss it, just hear me out.  Consider this.  You’re a Language Arts teacher reading Macbeth.  You’re trying to teach your students some of the main themes of the play – like what happens when ambition goes unchecked. Continue reading Lights, Camera…Engagement!

Funny You Should Ask

When I first started teaching at L’Anse Cruse Middle School South (over in the Detroit Metro area) years ago, there was a teacher on staff who had worked in the industry prior to switching over to teaching.  He was a very popular teacher with the kids (being one of the football coaches might have had something to do with it!).  I asked him about it once.  It’s not like he hated what he was doing.  But he wanted to do something more meaningful in his profession – something that made a difference.  I’m sure all of us in education can relate to this.

However, years later, I look back and wonder what drew kids to him (besides being a football coach that is).  It’s just a guess, but wonder Continue reading Funny You Should Ask

The Key to Student Success


What is the key to student success?

This is an on-going question with no clear answer.

On October 20 at 6:30 pm, Kent ISD and Celebration Cinema North will be hosting a free screening of the film Most Likely to Succeed. It is an exploration of one school’s attempt to prepare students for the demands of the modern world through project-based learning.

Many districts and schools in Kent County are implementing non-traditional educational models, and some were created to align closely with the New Tech High model that is featured in the film. Continue reading The Key to Student Success

There is a monster at the door!

There is a long list of exciting and effective tools designed to stimulate and improve student learning being employed in our public schools.  But there is a monster at the door of the schoolhouse that is depriving too many of our students of the benefits of these supportive and stimulating resources.

That monster is chronic absenteeism and truancy.  The sad reality is that too many students do not spend enough of the scheduled school year in the school environment to take full advantage of the unprecedented opportunities offered there.

Research shows lower performance among students with higher absenteeism “at every age, in every subject, in every racial Continue reading There is a monster at the door!

Helping Students Become Active Thinkers, Part 2

Last week, Tim Hargis wrote about four areas of focus to help students become active thinkers and independent writers. He described purpose and craft in detail.  In part 2, he will go over the final two focus areas: genre and text structure and content.  To learn more about this subject, register for The Writing Diner 2: Creating Active Thinkers for Common Core Success (Elementary & Middle School) on August 6th at Kent ISD.

A Focus on Genre and Text Structures

Teaching the three different types of writing through genre and text structure units is another way to up the level of thinking for student writers. If students have to grapple with Continue reading Helping Students Become Active Thinkers, Part 2

Helping Students Become Active Thinkers, Part 1

The ultimate goal of all writing instruction has to be to help students become active thinkers while they are independently writing. This is the foundation of my writing beliefs. We need to teach writing in a way that will allow students, when they are sitting alone with a blank paper or computer screen in front of them, to have writing knowledge and skills inside of them that they can apply, on their own, in any situation.

If this is our goal for our writing instruction and we achieve it, then students will not only be successful in our classrooms, but they will be successful in grades, on standardized tests, writing in the content areas, and beyond.

The Common Core State Standards demand this of our student writers. The authors of The Standards outline seven characteristics of students who are “college and career ready.” At the top of the list is that students “demonstrate independence.” As teachers, we need to Continue reading Helping Students Become Active Thinkers, Part 1