We begin the educational process by building relationships between student and staff, and then set in motion the student thinking about their life, their future, and their values with our college and career assessment system. This assessment process includes exploring:
- The Strong Interest Inventory
- Myers Briggs type indicator
- California Personality Inventory
- Worksheets about where and what type of college they would like to attend
- Subjects of interest
- Projective drawing of themselves in college
- Two card sorting tasks:
1. What is most important to them in a college
2. What is most important to them in a career
- Worksheets about the lifestyle they hope for
- Career opportunities the student shows interest in
- Personal values
This assessment paves the way for a deeper understanding about themselves and provides them deeper direction and attainable goals to work towards. This process is also important, in that they see we are trying to build a relationship with them and that we truly care about their future and helping them reach their goals. The relationship building sets the foundation and tone for the relational and collaborative problem solving approach we take. Through this process it allows students to start trusting more and become less resistant to our efforts as they realize we are simply trying to help them get where they want to be.
The next step in our program is instruction in Career & Character Development classes, which we feel are some of the most important classes to teach and are not offered at most schools. Our Career & Character Development class provides the opportunity for students to earn credit while learning about careers, college, themselves, their interests, and motivations. We also discuss values, ethics, hazards of substance abuse, drug prevention, bullying, STDs, anger-management, coping skills, social skills, the Anatomy of Peace, the RULER approach, life skills etc. This is a focused time that we can discuss relevant topics and provide psychoeducational groups. Students read some of the previously mentioned books in this class as well Strengths Finder 2.0 and What Color Is Your Parachute? Discovering Yourself, Defining Your Future.
The Ten-Year Plan
An integral part of this class is assisting our students in developing a Ten-Year Plan for their future. This course facilitates the in-depth exploration of three fundamental questions:
- Who am I?
- What do I want?
- How am I going get it?
Who am I … It ties into individual, group, and the family therapy, identity development, and the work we do to help a student understand and clarify his values and interests.
What do I want … It flows out of knowing oneself, the assessment process, goal setting, individual interests, passions, and motivations.
How am I going to get it … It necessitates that a person make a plan, sets goals, and takes consistent action to reach those goals. This step relates to the student’s individual treatment plan, individual academic plan, 10-year-plan, courses they need to take, belief in ones-self, determination, perseverance, and sustained effort.
These questions drive the academically-integrated curriculum, making it relevant, rigorous, and relationship-rich. The course culminates with students developing an individualized, online, 10-year plan that motivates them to envision a self-sufficient, productive life beyond high school, college or post-secondary training.
These questions drive the academically-integrated curriculum, make it relevant, rigorous, and relationship-rich. The course culminates with students developing an individualized, online, 10-year-plan that motivates the student to envision a self-sufficient productive life beyond high school.