The following was found regarding the effectiveness of the lessons and the data collected (see Section 9: Data attachment for details):
Process: We reached an average of 96.6% (301/312) of the 6th graders. Lessons were delivered twice because of an A/B schedule—1/2 of grade goes to P.E. on A day and other ½ goes on B Day.
Perception: Students’ attitudes about and skills for writing a quality resume increased dramatically. The level of knowledge amongst students regarding how their grades, extracurricular activities, strengths, and interests influence their resume increased significantly.
Outcome: The number of Ds and Fs decreased which supports our school’s goals and program goal #1.
Indicating a positive impact on student achievement, these results will inform future school counseling activities. Additionally, our school added a Magnet program—academically rigorous program students qualify for based on GPAs from the four previous semesters and standardized test scores from the two previous school years. This program provides a variety of quality high school options and opportunities for students—if they qualify. When 8th grade students apply for high school Magnet programs they realize their 6th grade academic performance can either help or harm them. Emphasizing the connection between academic, extracurricular, and future career/college plans, the Middle School Resume unit provides students time for self-reflection and, as the results indicate, an opportunity to improve their GPA.
Improving Delivery: We’ll continue to have both counselors co-teach the lesson, but will deliver it to groups of 30 students or less at a time. For this unit, we presented lessons in the gym to about 150 students each time. It went well given the constraints of the bleachers. With a smaller group of students, more individual support can be provided and may have a positive impact on the perception and outcome data. Over time we’ll have 8th grade students who have completed unit speak with the 6th and 7th graders about the importance and value of the activity. We’ll also continue to parent and teacher workshops.
Improving Content: Connecting the world of work with what they’re learning at school, home, and in their communities, students are more likely to experience academic, personal-social, and future postsecondary success. Next year, we’ll emphasize more STEM-related careers since we’re now a STEM-Magnet school. We may offer a mini-lesson before students sign up for clubs at the beginning of the school year.
Improving Timing: Before the classroom unit, a parent workshop was offered two different times to accommodate schedules of our students’ families, but were poorly attended. We can add the parent workshop to Panther Prep in the summer giving parents an opportunity to encourage students to get involved before school starts. Due to scheduling conflicts, the teacher workshop was offered a few weeks before the unit; moving forward, we’ll plan better and offer the workshop to teachers leading up to club signup days. Teachers may promote club signups to their students which will help students become more engaged academically and socially. We’re debating the most beneficial time to offer the unit to students depending upon their grade. We won’t wait until December again and will try to deliver it to 6th graders right after the transition to middle school lesson. We may partner the 7th grade unit with our 7th Grade Halfway Through, Now You Choose lesson—both encourage students making intentional decisions about their extracurricular choices; the end of August may be best and is before club signups. End of the year or before high school registration may be best for 8th graders to update their resumes. Exposing students to college/career information early on better prepares students for making academic decisions as they transition to high school and again when they explore postsecondary options.
Commentary: This was our first time delivering this unit. We intend to scale across all grade levels moving forward based on the results; in 2018-2019, we’ll deliver it to 6th and 7th grade students and stakeholders. 7th graders will update their 6th grade resumes. Expanding this unit across grade levels will continue making the connection between academics and career, as well as build a more sequential counseling program. We’re hopeful the data we collect in 2018-2019 will support the school’s goals, number of Magnet students, and our students’ academic and career/college goals. This unit was based upon Gottfredson’s Theory of Circumscription and Compromise because students are likely to prematurely eliminate attainable, realistic career/college options without knowing how their current choices, strengths, interests, and achievements connect to future career and college options.