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St. Charles seniors may get college credit

STACEY PLAISANCE / L’Observateur / September 14, 1998

HAHNVILLE – The St. Charles Parish School Board hopes to collaboratewith Nicholls State University in the development of a program that will offer college credit and experience to high school seniors.

A meeting to discuss and possibly finalize the program among board members and NSU representatives will be held Sept. 30.While still in its preliminary stages, the high school/college connection project is being designed to give students direction and guidance into the start of their college careers and make the transition to college easier, Superintendent Rodney Lafon said. In this program, high school seniorswill spend most of their day on the NSU campus, and at least one teacher will be available for guidance and counseling. Lafon said transportation toand from the NSU campus would be provided by the school system.

“This is a major step that would be meaningful for students and their parents,” Lafon said.

Currently, instruction within the parish school system is being re- structured to better prepare students for their career options following high school. At Wednesday’s meeting, the school board approved a newCurricula Program Plan that will provide learning environments and experiences that develop academic, occupational and workplace skills for successful performance in the workforce.

The Curricula Program Plan was developed by Juanita Haydel, the administrator of expanded learning opportunity programs at Hahnville High School. The state will receive a copy of the proposal by Oct. 1, and theplan will be reviewed for approximately one year. If the plan is thenapproved by the state after the duration of one year, it will be implemented in the school system next year, Haydel said.

“We’ll have this year for revisions, and by the end of the year we’ll find out if we’re in the mandates of the law and make any necessary adjustments,” she said.

The Curricula Program Plan is divided into four clusters with majors in each cluster. Arts and Humanities, Business and Marketing, Health andHuman Services and Engineering and Industrial Technology are the four career option clusters. Currently, only four majors have been identified,but Haydel said more will be added. The four majors are communications,finance, health and construction.

“For the state proposal we only needed one major identified, but we provided four,” Haydel said. “We also want more majors for teaching,science and math, mainly because TOPS offers scholarships in these areas in college.”The plan has already been introduced to teachers and students in parish schools, and Haydel said the response has been very positive.

“This really helps the teachers and students in making career decisions, and it gives more structure and focus,” Haydel said.

Junior high students in the parish are already being given interest and aptitude surveys to help the students make a decision on which career option course of study they would like to choose based on their interest and ability in each category.

“The students aren’t locked into anything,” Haydel said. “We’re trying tohave them focus their education based on their interest and aptitude. Theycan change at any time, and they are just getting ideas at the seventh and eighth grade levels. By 10th grade, we should know which direction thekids are headed.”

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