Archives for October 2014

The Power of the Resume

The Academies of Nashville business partners are an essential element to high school redesign. While many partnerships occur in the classroom through guest speakers and mentoring, there are some partnerships that occur with students outside of the classroom. Ryan Pryor, a Nashville community volunteer, shared his experiences after working with Academy Ambassadors on a resume writing workshop.

resume ambassadorLet’s be honest, resume writing is kind of scary.  It’s you represented on a piece of paper, and it might be the only shot you have at getting that crucial interview.  “What do I say?  Should I include my GPA?  Is this the best wording?  Does this resume look bad?”  These are the types of questions I addressed with the Stratford STEM Magnet High School students last month.

It was a welcome opportunity to see the Stratford student body in motion.  A few junior and senior students already had internships or job interviews in mind, causing them to dial into the specifics.  Some of the younger students were getting their first exposure to the process.

Resumes are powerful tools for helping students see the way their school work and extracurricular activities and hobbies or interests prepare them for the job world.  Resumes can also show students the gaps they may have in their preparation for future jobs and life outside of their high school experience.  This enables them to set goals to fill those gaps, or possibly realize they already have experiences that do fill those gaps.  I worked with one such student who wanted to work at an elderly care facility.  When we spoke about it she came to understand that her years of babysitting experience was a huge item to make sure she included in her “relevant experience” category.

I’m encouraged to see the students being exposed to such a fundamental element of life outside of school.  Keep up the good work, Stratford.

My Academy Experience

By Jorge C, a student in the Academy of Science and Engineering at Stratford STEM Magnet High School

Choosing to take part in the Academy of Science and Engineering is probably the best decision I made at Stratford. I am currently in the engineering pathway in ASE. ASE stands for Academy of Science and Engineering and the academy’s mission statement is: The Academy of Science and Engineering will equip students with the skills necessary to be prepared for college and ready for a career in the fields of engineering or any branch of science. This is clear what the academy wants for its students: success.

I personally enjoy all of my classes that are provided by my pathway, specifically Advanced Design Apps which is the third engineering class in the pathway. Right now we’re designing a bottle rocket on a website named WhiteBox Learning. After the design process comes the construction part. This is one of the websites that the pathway will use to simulate the design and construction process engineers use on a daily basis. I appreciate the staff for the growth and support of the academy, because of them students can have various opportunities rather than just one or none.

NES Employees Showcase Career Opportunities

Originally posted at www.nespowernews.com

 

Maplewood_High_School_Academy_ShowcaseSeveral NES field and safety employees participated in the Maplewood High School Academy Showcase on October 15 to support NES’ partnership with the Academy of Energy & Power. The showcase provides incoming freshmen and sophomores the chance to learn more about the academies offered at Maplewood.

Students were able to interact with NES employees to learn about electrical safety, protective equipment, tools used for overhead line work, operations and engineering careers in the energy industry and continuing education after high school.

NES partners with the Academy of Energy & Power throughout the year to develop curriculum and annual class projects for students interested in engineering.

“Preparing Students for College, Career, and Life”

By Susan Cowley
University of Tennessee- Knoxville

 

Metro Nashville Public Schools prepares students for “college, career, and life.” It’s a part of the vision statement for Nashville’s school district, but how exactly does this happen? One method involves students receiving industry related professional certifications before high school graduation.

Students in the Academies of Nashville are meeting industry standards to receive professional certifications before walking across stage in their caps and gowns. In fact, during the 2013-2014 pilot year, more than 180 students received certifications in more than a dozen areas.

After completing a yearlong preparatory course, students have the opportunity to take the certification test. If a student passes the exam and meets other certification specific criteria, he or she will walk out of high school with a competitive edge in the workforce. The certifications range across multiple fields from healthcare to broadcasting.

Teachers in the school system have been instrumental to the success of this program. Criminal Justice instructor Jeremiah Davis has seen more students to receive certification than any other teacher in the district.

“Obtaining a certification helps demonstrate maturity at a young age and determination to accomplish goals” says Davis, from Whites Creek High School. It is evident he feels that these certifications leave longstanding positive effects as he states, “When I see my former students and even students from other schools I offered the certifications to, they let me know they are working because of their certification.” Davis knows that it is well worth the effort to see students reap the benefits of industry certification. “My students know that the way to get ahead in life is to stand out in a positive way. Certifications allow a student to graduate with a great distinction and work as they are in college or start their career immediately.”

Stratford STEM Magnet High School graduate, Reggie Mayes sees the benefits of industry certifications in his own life. Mayes says his certification aided him in becoming a more mature individual. He is now working as an unarmed security guard at a local grocery store.

Mayes believes that his certification has “helped me get my life on track to start a good life after school.” He also considers the certification process to have fostered strong, positive relationships between him and his teachers.

Not only does the industry certification program profit the students, it strengthens the teachers as well. “I’ve seen significant improvements to my own work as a result of the training and certification” says Becky Banazsak-Pendergrass, Broadcasting/Media Production Teacher and CTE Cluster Lead Teacher at Hillsboro High School. Banazsak-Pendergrass recently became certified to host a testing cite at Hillsboro; bringing the school the distinction of being one of the only testing facilities for Final Cut Pro in the state of Tennessee. She feels this has given her greater insight into the process as a whole. She strongly supports student certification, and says, “not only does it hold students to a much higher standard, but it also gives them a real-world benefit…obtaining a professional certification that is recognized by their industry of study is a very practical step they can take towards a successful career.” Banazsak-Pendergrass believes the greatest benefit that students receive is an overall boost in motivation; she sums up her experience with certifications by stating, “Students who in the past may have done just barely enough work to pass the course are now taking ownership of their learning experience, actively taking notes and asking questions throughout instructional time, and seeking out additional opportunities for learning and practice.”

This opportunity would not be possible without the support of the Nashville Career Advancement Center, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, as well as federal CTE grants. Through the generous donations of these organizations, students were able to earn certifications worth hundreds of dollars for an individual fee of $10.

Industry certifications are an exciting new benefit for graduates of all MNPS high school programs. “Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools will provide every student with the foundation of knowledge, skills and character necessary to excel in higher education, work and life.” Certifications play a key role in instilling confidence, motivation, and success in each individual student. It is evident that the opportunities allowed to students through professional certifications strengthen the goals and values of the MNPS school system.Pe

Why Academies? Its about the Relationships

One of the key objectives of the Academies of Nashville is to develop relationships between students, teachers, business partners, and the Nashville community. In the post below, Austin S. writes about his academy experience and the relationships he has developed through his time in Metro Nashville Public Schools. 

 

The Academy of National Safety and Security Technologies is a wonderful academy in which to belong. I enjoy the academy because of the teachers, the learning environment, and the activities we get to experience.  Within the academy, I am in the Computer Gaming/Programming pathway. I especially enjoy the computer gaming and programming class because of the different experiences and standards I get to learn. This pathway is really fun to be in, and I love all the variety of technology speakers who visit with us. A specific teacher I would like to thank for the experience is Mr. Osborne. He’s taught me a lot throughout the three years he has been here. He has taught me how to program sprites and objects, programming languages, and made different apps on the software, Eclipse. Mr. Osborne is a wonderful teacher to be around, and he has made a huge impact on me. Without him I wouldn’t know how to program apps, sprite, or create code for games.

Another great experience I had was going to Emma. Emma was one of the greatest places to job shadow.  During my experience, I learned lots of new terms, different roles each person plays, and the diversity of the tech world. In addition, I gave the staff a presentation on what I learned and how I could apply the information. The job shadow experience boosted my confidence because I am not much of a public speaker. When I spoke in front of the Emma staff, it really opened my eyes that I have the ability to speak to anyone without being nervous. If it wasn’t for Dr. Berry, my academy coach, I would not know about Emma.

Thanks to all of my academy teachers and peers for this wonderful experience throughout my years at Stratford STEM Magnet High School. The experiences and classes have provided me with so much knowledge that it allows me to teach to my siblings and other students.  It is for these experiences, events, and understandings that have made my academy experience so wonderful.

Choosing Day

Click here to watch the video full screen.

Glencliff HS highlighted in Nashville Arts Magazine

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