DODDS now offering Career Pathway transcript endorsements

Monica Mendoza
Kaiserslautern American

***image1***High school-aged students in Department of Defense
Dependent Schools set to graduate in 2007 have a new pathway to college
studies and future careers.

Now, when they enter college or
the job market, they can earn a special endorsement to complement their
high school transcripts that says they concentrated their studies in a
specific career area. Motivated students could earn two or three
endorsements before graduation, school officials said.

there are up to 12 career clusters,  including architecture and
construction, government and public administration and science,
technology engineering and mathematics.

Students earning the
endorsement would take set courses related to those topics, said Bryan
Sanchez, Ramstein American High School Professional and Technical
Studies Department Chairman and Career Practicum co-coordinator.

can earn industry certifications in specialized fields such as CISCO
Networking and A+ Computer Technician, giving them an advantage in the

“The endorsement on the transcript shows that the
student has completed an in-depth course of study and shows colleges
that the student has chosen to go the extra mile,” Mr. Sanchez said.
high school counselors are now meeting with students, including
incoming freshmen, to plan next year’s course schedules. Among the
course opportunities are career programs, called pathways and clusters.
The idea is to show students the education requirements for 
various careers, potential salaries and job market outlook. The
transcript endorsement should help students get focused, said Mary Ann
Mead, RAHS Career Practicum co-coordinator.

“Students are being forced to understand that they are real close to needing a career,” she said.

career transcript endorsements are new to the career education program,
DODDS has prepared students in career education for years, Ms. Mead

A capstone of the career exploration program is a career
practicum course, or job placement, for juniors and seniors. It gives
students a chance to work in their field of interest. This year, there
are more than 100 RAHS students working on base and in the community.
Career exploration does not preclude students from taking Advanced
Placement courses. Course schedules are designed to include the
required math, science and language arts courses with the career
courses taken as electives.

That makes career exploration good
for both college-bound students and for students headed into the
workforce, school officials said. Students who graduate with an
emphasis in Professional and Technical Studies programs earn more money
on average than students who pursue a more traditional high school
diploma, school officials said.