A new initiative at Clinton Community College in Plattsburgh is expected to transform education in northern New York.
Jennifer Wilson is studying human services at Clinton Community College. "I came back to school hoping to find something exciting that I hadn't studied before," she said.
Wilson's resume may look impressive -- she has earned a bachelor and masters degrees in English and psychology, but she has not been able to land a job. "Within the past three years I have submitted 50 to 100 resumes -- out of all of those, I received maybe three call backs," she said.
A new initiative at Clinton Community College hopes to better prepare students for their future by better tracking them from a young age -- or cradle to career. It's called the Strive Network. Local schools and business leaders will work together to improve the quality of education in the area.
"The prevailing thought has always been if you finish school you are ready," said Scott Amo, Beekmantown's School Superintendent. "That's not enough anymore... It's going to require transformation of our schools to thinking differently what success looks like."
Currently there are five sites in the country. This is the first in New York and the first to be launched in a rural area. The network is designed to bring together local school districts and businesses to better prepare students. The goal is not to necessarily retain students for the local workforce, but to better prepare them for the global economy.
For example, students will take standardized tests their junior year in high school to see if they are ready for college levels courses. "There is enough room there the senior year of high school for students who aren't quite ready to address those needs, so by the time they graduate they are ready and prepared," said John Jablonski, Clinton Community College's President.
Now that Wilson believes she is on the right path to success, she is looking forward to graduation in May. She says its not too late to start a career. "I think a program like this would have taken my strengths and skills and said ok, these are some areas you could excel in, let's work with that," she said.
A program striving to improve the North Country's youth.
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