“Each school has a slightly different schedule and format for the course selection process,” said Ron Webber, coordinator of career and secondary education. “All students, however, will be using the same resources as they follow their Personal Pathways to Success and their Individual Graduation Plans (IGP) called for by South Carolina’s Education and Economic Development Act of 2005 (EEDA).”
The Personal Pathways to Success initiative begins in elementary and middle school with career exploration and culminates in the eighth grade. At that time, students develop IGPs with their parents and their guidance counselors. After that, the IGPs guide students as they select high school electives that enable them to complete selected majors.
High school elective courses, identified by the IGP, are organized around sixteen career clusters. Clusters contain majors which are concentrations of related coursework. To complete a major, a student must successfully finish at least four required units. They also have the option of completing other recommended courses that support that major.
Students choose a cluster of study by the end of the eighth grade and a major by the end of the tenth grade. Students can then focus their academic coursework and work-based learning experiences and successfully reach their future career goals.
For example, a student interested in becoming a doctor or nurse can choose a career major in the Health Science cluster. Then, in addition to selecting courses required for graduation, the student selects the courses required specifically to complete the health care major.
Course selection for the upcoming year is the next step for rising ninth through twelfth graders to complete their IGPs. Students will use the 2011-2012 Career Planning Guide, a comprehensive listing of courses and their descriptions.
The guide also provides graduation requirements, information about the clusters and majors as well as sample course progressions.
According to Webber, students and parents are encouraged to access the career planning/course selection guide online. “We’re trying to be good stewards of the taxpayers’ money and the environment, so once again we only printed a limited number of guides,” he said. “Hard copies are available at the high schools for anyone without Internet access.”
Webber also stressed that students and parents should use other resources as they select courses.
“We hope that they will use the many resources on our website,” he said. “Along with the career planning guide, they should examine the 2010-2011 Course Requirements for Majors and SDPC Schools of Study (Personal Pathways to Success Guide) and SDPC Schools of Study document. Our 2011-2012 High School Course Selection page has links to all the resources.”
Webber added, “Most importantly, students should work with their guidance counselors to review their IGPs, make adjustments, and select appropriate courses for the next year.”
Each high school will distribute its own schedule and information for course selection. Information will also be posted on each school’s website:
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