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  • 1. 1Plan B Program: Career Exploration and Planning Plan B Program: Career Exploration and Planning Frank Thornton
  • 2. 2 IU 1: The Learners, their Environment, and the Instructional Goal The Plan B Program: Career Exploration and PlanningOVERVIEWChildren that live in communities that have an inadequate educational system have tremendous barriersfor success, particularly for employment. El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz stated that “When you live in apoor neighborhood, you are living in an area where you have to have poor schools. When you havepoor schools, you have poor teachers. When you have poor teachers, you get a poor education. Whenyou get a poor education, you are destined to be a poor man and a poor woman the rest of your life.”(Cleveland, 2010) Today, this cycle endures in communities around the country.BACKGROUNDIn under-performing schools, the terms “at-risk” and “disadvantaged” have been used interchangeablyto describe the student population in general and more specifically their performance. Many of theseschools suffer from a myriad of socioeconomic issues that range from decentralization and expansionto the outer suburbs, a dwindling tax base, limited civic involvement, underdevelopment, mediocreleadership, and an eroded value of education through negative peer pressure. In Dekalb CountyGeorgia, which is in the metropolitan area of Atlanta, the graduation rate is 78%. The overallgraduation rate for the state of Georgia in 2008 was 75.4% (Georgia Department of Education, 2008).What happens to the students that did not graduate? How do we address their needs and bring them intothe new economy. My proposed approach is to reach them middle school, when they still believe thatthey have possibilities for the future. The Plan B program is a career exploration and planningroadmap for “at-risk” students that provides practical activities and skills for the youth to identify areasof interest for a future career or trade.LEARNING ENVIRONMENTThe learning context for the Plan B Program will be at school in the computer lab, which will beaccessed by the student learners during their Extended Learning Time (ELT). The Plan B Program willhave a maximum of 25 student learners per training cycle. The learning environment will be onlinewhere instruction is delivered asynchronously. The computer lab will be equipped with a computerbaseline of a 2 GHz processor that has at least 2 Gigs of RAM. The computer will be accompanied witha 19” LCD Monitor that has internal speakers.The Computer Lab Instructor will be available to provide assistance with verifying networkconnectivity, internet access, and that essential hardware is functional. The student participants will beable to access the Plan B Program instructional materials from home with a computer that hasMicrosoft Windows XP SP3 and high-speed internet access. To access the program from home, thestudent learner must have DSL/CABLE level speed access to have the best multimedia experience.The following are the technical skill prerequisites to participate in the Plan B Program; the student
  • 3. 3learner must have basic computing skills in the areas of browsing on the internet and utilizing Web 2.0applications. The student learner should be able to perform topic searches on a search engine;competently perform word processing; and utilize the web cam and sound recorder applications. Thetechnology tools that they will be utilizing for the session will be Google Chrome, Google, MicrosoftWord, Powerpoint, Moodle Learning Management System, and Dim Dim.INTENDED AUDIENCEThe audience for the Plan B Program will be eighth grade male students in the state of Georgia that arereceiving free or reduced lunch and eligible to receive Supplemental Educational Services through theNo Child Left Behind Program. This demographic illustrates that the student has been identified forsupport services by their previous testing scores for the state of Georgia Criterion ReferencedCompetency Test (CRCT). The CRCT is administered annually in grades one through eight. Thetesting scores for grades three, five, and eight are promotional.The student learners were chosen because they are on the margin of success. They are capable ofproducing better outcomes with their work, but they have to be motivated, competitive, and given realworld application to their learning. The student learners need to have goals in order to build towardsknowledge construction. Today, they are just getting by and doing the bare minimum required and notreaching their full potential. On their current course of mediocrity, the reality of a positive future formany of these student learners will be limited, especially if they do not identify and develop theirtalents and abilities. It is essential that they continue to matriculate through the educational processwith a purpose. The eight graders in the intended audience will benefit from the program by ponderingintrospectively about what their aspirations are for the future and researching the options to achievetheir desired goal.OVERARCHING INSTRUCTIONAL GOALThe instructional goal of the Plan B Program is to provide student learners with the knowledge, skills,and tools, to perform career exploration research and develop a basic career plan.SPECIFIC GOALAfter completion of the program, the students will be able to describe what their primary field ofinterest is and demonstrate the capacity to build a revisable plan to reach their intended career goal.TARGET AUDIENCE SURVEYThe specific goal of the proposed instructional unit was presented to two students of Champion ThemeMiddle School as a sample of the intended target audience. The students stated that they attend schoolbecause it is required of them. The students interviewed did not have insight into their preparation for acareer in the future. The following are questions that were posed to the students.Have you started to think about your future after high school?What do you want to be when you grow up?Do you know the requirements to be admitted in a college, trade school, or training program?How much do you think it will cost for you to attend college?Do you know what it takes to earn the HOPE academic scholarship?
  • 4. 4INSTRUCTIONAL OBJECTIVES • The student will perform a self examination and a two generation analysis of family work history and chart the correlation between highest grade or degree earned and career/job status. • The student will be able to identify the requirements for admission of their suggested • The student will be able to define a job skill or talent, and research traditional and non- traditional career paths and trades for the 21st century.PERFORMANCE OBJECTIVESSub Goal 1 – Preliminary WorkObjective 1.1 - The student will identify three potential careers or trades they are interested in and rankthem in order highest interest to lowest interest.Objective 1.2 - The student will complete an online survey of their current skills.Objective 1.3 – The student learner will interview a family member that has received training oreducation in their career field.Sub Goal 2 – Career Exploration and PlanningObjective 2.1 – The student learner will research human resource and workforce development websites.Objective 2.2 - The student will perform a Google search of the knowledge, skills, and abilitiesrequired for his top career interest. The students will find three job announcements and bookmark theirwebsite locations.Objective 2.3 – The student will research and review the admission requirements and costs of theeducational or training program for their primary career interest.Objective 2.4 – The students will perform a Google search for a professional organization or unionassociated with their anticipated career field.Objective 2.5 - The student will compile the information from the lesson and complete templates forcareer planning and seeking a virtual mentor.SUMMARYThe IU of the Plan B Program is designed to provide 8th grade male students with exposure to thecareer development process. Successful completion of the Plan B Program training will provide thestudent learner with the ability to create a basic career roadmap for the future. The expectation of theinstructional designer is that the student learners will chart a plan for the next five year period, whichshould lead them to graduation from high school. The instructional approach of the IU will providestudents with the tools, skills, and practical experience in an asynchronous environment. Thecombination of activities, assignments, and practice will build the skills towards reaching theoverarching instructional goal, which can be revisited by the student learner in the future to modify andadapt their plan.http://www.frankthornton.info/UTB/PlanB_IU1.pdf
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  • 6. 6The Plan B Program: Career Exploration and Planning ReferencesCleveland, G. (2010). Malcolm X and School ChoiceRetrieved from http://pileusblog.wordpress.com/2010/05/05/malcolm-x-and-school-choice/Georgia Department of Education (2008). The GaDOE Source DEC 2008 IssueRetrieved fromhttp://public.doe.k12.ga.us/DMGetDocument.aspx/December%2008.pdf?p=6CC6799F8C1371F618419AB0A7801DA8E7B11D50FD3F05EAD2DFB7C1F86F9F92&Type=D