New CPS program is helping students plan for the future
COLUMBIA - Columbia Public Schools is teaming up with the city to create a program that helps students figure out their future plans.
Hickman and Battle high schools selected incoming students to participate in Community Scholars, a program designed to help them plan for life after graduation.
The program gives students real-world experience by pairing them with jobs they might be interested in, from firefighters to park managers.
Program coordinators said this matching process helps students get their foot in the door for opportunities after high school.
"We had a student from Hickman who was really interested in nursing. So part of that is our Public Health Department so that student went out to the health department and got to shadow with several different people," Columbia Public Relations Specialist Sara Humm said.
Teachers in the program said they have already been seeing positive effects in student's behavior.
"It's hard to describe, many kids are distant at first but as the relationships start to develop, students start to open up to the idea of being successful," Battle High School teacher Justin Browning said.
The program has also brought students closer together with their peers and faculty.
"We've become a cohort - many of these students have relationships with each other following the program. And not just relationships with each other but they come back and they still stop by my classroom," Browning said.
Each student will earn up to 12 job shadow hours, adding to the 50 mentoring hours required by Missouri's A+ scholarship program.
Moving forward, program coordinators hope to add more partners and extend the opportunity to middle schoolers as well.