Future Plans Helps Students Succeed After Graduation
Author: Dr. Michael A. Grego, Superintendent, Pinellas CoJuly 10, 2015
Last fall, Pinellas County Schools along with the Pinellas Education Foundation and Helios Education Foundation launched Future Plans™. Future Plans is a career guidance program that is a self-administered, engaging, online tool aimed at helping high school students and young adults discover their strengths, interests and values. The program then helps students align their skill set with educational pathways to in-demand and globally-competitive careers. By lessening the factor of uncertainty, the program allows each student to confidently plan for a successful future.
After completing an online program, students receive a detailed report that can be used by guidance counselors and parents to help outline coursework in preparation for postsecondary and career success.
High school juniors, seniors and second semester sophomores are eligible to use the program. Future Plans can also be used after a student graduates. In fact, the program serves as a secure vault where students can store their transcripts, resumes, certifications and other important documents. The program sends students reminders of important dates, such as the SAT, ACT and college application deadlines.
Future Plans was designed with student input and focuses on careers in demand. Pinellas County Schools was eager to implement Future Plans as it is a key element of the district’s five-year master plan for career education. One of our primary goals is to make sure every student that graduates from our schools has a plan for their future. Future Plans supports the district’s vision of 100 percent student success and will transform the career planning process for students.
Before our district launched the program, only six percent of Pinellas high school students used a career guidance system. Traditionally, K-12 preparation has been dedicated to achieving the next grade level. The focus has been on a generalized education path with little emphasis on career planning. The consequence of poor planning has often led to underemployment or unemployment for many students without a career plan.
Student loan debt now exceeds all credit card debt and approximately 52 percent of college graduates are either unemployed or underemployed nationally. Future Plans assists students with developing a plan for post-secondary success before they begin investing in a college education or technical training.
Pinellas County Schools partnered with Helios Education Foundation and the Pinellas Education Foundation to combat this problem. Future Plans provides students and parents more personalized planning tools, which can evolve with a student’s career goal and progress towards achieving it.
We are excited to continue to build on the success of the Future Plans program and are confident it will ensure that all Pinellas County high school graduates are prepared to engage in and complete their postsecondary goal in preparation for the 21st century’s global economy.
Category: College and Career Readiness