Category Archives: College Readiness

Transferable Skills: Your Career Path is Not Linear

A few months ago, my wife went back to work. With our youngest starting kindergarten, we decided it’d be great to have some extra income. Armed with a degree in graphic design and plenty of experience under her belt, she went about looking for some part-time employment. Whatever the reason, however, whether it be a shortage of need, not having been in the game in a while, only wanting part-time, etc., she was struggling to find opportunities.

Then she found a posting for a Lab Coordinator at an Orthodontist’s office. It mentioned graphic design in the job description. She applied and got the job. When she asked why graphic design experience was listed in the description, they mentioned some design and marketing, but primarily it was because there was a good deal of computer software savvy and visual acuity and hand-eye coordination needed for the role. Continue reading Transferable Skills: Your Career Path is Not Linear

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

ELA Students Become Project Managers

Something amazing is happening at Kent Innovation High this semester.

Volunteer project managers from all over west Michigan are coming into the classroom to share insights into their craft. In cooperation with the Western Michigan Project Management Institute (WMPMI), Future Leaders in Project Management (FLiPM), and the Kent ISD Career Readiness Department, an English Language Arts class at Kent Innovation High School is learning how to think and write critically with a business mindset, all while earning a business certification. Continue reading ELA Students Become Project Managers

Join DU for Shark Week – Win a Scholarship

Davenport University Scholarship Opportunity

Business students from high schools across Michigan are invited to attend Davenport University’s Annual Shark Week Event. Students will compete in small teams to develop an innovative idea and pitch it to the judges for a chance to win a $2,500 Davenport scholarship!

Please share this information with your high school students!

Connect. Explore. Achieve.

Davenport University is hosting our 3rd annual SHARK WEEK competition and we would love to have your students join in the fun!

The event will focus on an entrepreneurship idea-pitch concept (similar to the hit TV show on: CNBC: Shark Tank).  Students will draw on all their learned business skills of marketing, accounting, finance and management to develop the idea for a new product or business solution.  All students are welcome; they don’t have to specifically be business students.

The most exciting part of the event is that we are offering a $2,500 Davenport scholarship to the winning team of the week!  (This will be split evenly between team members to be used toward DU Fall 2015 tuition, fees or books.)

Dates to choose from:

Monday 5/2, Tuesday 5/3, Wednesday 5/4, Thursday 05/5, or Friday 5/6

*Space is limited*

Additional Information:

Time: 9am – 1pm (tentative)

Lunch: FREE and provided by…

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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

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

Why do we need to Learn this?

“Why do we need to learn this?”

Regardless of the subject area, most teachers have encountered this question by students at one time or another. Some may hear it on a daily basis. How do you respond? Do your content and classroom activities relate to the world outside of school and to students’ daily lives?

A national survey of recent high school graduates (released in December) found most high school grads feel unprepared for college and career and wish Continue reading Why do we need to Learn this?

The time to innovate is now!

Miles and miles of trenches snaked through the landscape of Western Europe from 1914 to 1918, often only a few miles apart. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers fought and died in trenches, some only a few feet deep. Rain flooded the trench, rodents and insects infested the men, and the dead were a constant reminder to the living for what may lie ahead.” (Trench Warfare in WWI, Slide Share, 4)

History classes teach about WWI and Trench Warfare, but how many of them help their students relive this experience?

Every year, Trevor Muir at Kent Innovation High, helps his Global Studies students learn Continue reading The time to innovate is now!