In the Sealy ISD board room, a poster sits on the wall next to the half-circle of chairs the board members sit in during their meetings. On that poster are three goals they wish to accomplish this school year and one of the first things on that list is to have at least 75 percent of their graduating students college ready, industry certified or enlisted in the military.
Sealy High School is taking a major step forward in accomplishing that goal with its new college and career center which will be open for the start of the 2018-2019 school year. It will be led by a director and also employ a paraprofessional who will help the students learn life skills needed for future success like writing resumes, how to prepare for job interviews and more along with educational services as well.
“Ideally we would want 100 percent of our graduates career or college ready when they leave Sealy so this is a really significant move in that direction,” Assistant Superintendent Doug Young said. “It will have a computer lab where students can take practice tests with the ACT, SAT and TSI and the director will be also be working with local businesses to open up some internships and create better relationships for our students to use if they go straight to a career after high school.”
The school has interviewed three people so far for the job and hope to have their finalist named in the next several weeks. Young said the program will include oversight of all four grade levels but juniors and seniors will meet with them face-to-face as they near their graduation to help form a plan.
The long-term goal for the center is to have three counselors but if the enrollment numbers go up, they will bring on more as needed. Their sole responsibilities would be working with the students and teachers to help prepare them for a career.
The school district has been working with Blinn to ensure the students are being taught the proper things to better prepare them for the college classroom and they are achieving all opportunities of gaining college credit early.
Young said he is excited that the center is fulfilling the school’s mission.
“We exist to prepare our kids for life and this is a major step to give these kids guidance they sometimes don’t have because you have some of these kids who don’t think they can go to college or have a career and this is allowing them to find it in themselves that they can,” he said. “These are skills that they will use years down the road still and we want this to be a place that graduates of Sealy High School feel comfortable to come back home and ask for help.”
The school district will track graduates for five years after they leave to monitor how effectively the center and other steps the high school is taking is working.
Young said one of the most important aspects is the one-on-one, human interaction students will have with those who work at the center.