Posted Date: 08/25/2021
Counselors Michelle Weber and Alexis Clark at West Elk utilize Xello, a college and career readiness program, to assist junior high and high school students in preparing for a successful future. Through online interactive planning tools and assessments, students gain self-knowledge and build valuable skills necessary for employment.
Xello starts in the sixth grade with a broad array of subjects, but advances to more specific topics in later academic years. At first, students complete personality quizzes and identify their individual learning style while focusing on decision making and time management. At this point, students are matched to careers they might be interested in or can choose careers they would like to further explore. Junior high students learn about self advocacy, dive deeper into their selected careers, concentrate on transitioning to high school and discuss how to make the most of it. Once they enter high school, the focus shifts to improving their study skills and habits, learning work values, planning for career and lifestyle costs and investigating educational program prospects. During the final year, students choose a college and/or career while considering how they will balance work and life. Seniors focus on implementing flexibility in each of their chosen paths through career back-up plans and they wrap up the program by preparing for job interviews and creating a resume.
"We are working to get students in the mindset of considering their futures early on and teach them that they need to academically prepare for it now. By providing Xello, we are also widening their knowledge of potential career choices. Each student has a profile that is created through participation of these activities, in which we as counselors and teachers can aid them further to ensure success." Clark vocalized.
Alongside Xello, West Elk offers Character Strong and Career and Technical Education (CTE) pathways to further strengthen students' readiness following high school. During Character Strong, students are supplemented with additional social-emotional learning and character development. Traits are reinforced in this program, such as honesty and responsibility, which employers look for in potential hires. CTE courses provide opportunity to earn certifications and the ability to explore areas of interest that help put student plans into motion. With the combination of these available resources, West Elk's graduates remain a step ahead in preparing themselves for future accomplishments.