I taught college and career readiness courses for Austin Community College (ACC) for 14 years until December 2019. It was a wonderful experience, but I needed more time to work on my own college and career readiness curriculum and books.
One of ACC’s premier courses is EDUC 1300 which is a full semester college success course which includes strong career development and readiness components. Because of the work we did in my classes on career exploration combined with self-knowledge building, many of my students discovered the college major and career they wanted to pursue. This increased their motivation to successfully complete college. So I am a strong believer in the value of teaching students courses for both college and career readiness and success.
Students from grades 9-12 were also able to take EDUC 1300 as a dual credit course if they qualified.
In 2016 the EDUC 1300 college success course became mandatory for almost all entering freshmen. Now thousands of students are taking the course. ACC also introduced “Guided Pathways” in 2016 (ten major career paths from which to choose). These two changes seem to be positively impacting graduation rates. The graduation rates have significantly increased since EDUC 1300 became mandatory.
Combined with the transfer rate, the college is No. 1 in the state among large community college peers in Texas.
Graduation rates are projected to double in 2020.
I have taught college and career readiness courses to college and high school students and have seen the excellent results first hand. I continue to hear from my former students who have graduated from universities.
I highly recommend that every high school offer students a full semester college and career readiness course.
My books have also been used in middle schools. College and career readiness can begin in middle school.
I have also written college and career readiness articles on my Tumblr blog and educators can use them with their students free of charge. You can find them at: raymondgerson.tumblr.com.
By Raymond Gerson
Raymond Gerson is the author of Achieve College and Career Success series. This consists of brief and full semester books on college and career readiness and success. For more information go to: https://www.upbeatpress.com.