“Why do I have to learn this?”
I can’t possibly be the only teacher that heard this question on a weekly basis, can I?
Much like how I felt with having to sit through some of my classes wondering how I might need this in the future, our students often have a hard time connecting school to career or college direction. We all want to live in the present and the future is sometimes just too foggy to deal with it.
Preparing our students for college and career is more than just a phrase we use in education.
It’s a pathway and an action we take as teachers. It’s a commitment to our students that we are doing everything in our power to make sure that we prepare and motivate our students the best we can before they leave high school – regardless of the paths they choose to take.
Preparing our students is also the action we take to help them see that, ‘yes, it’s important to learn ‘x’ because it will help you with ‘y'.' However, in addition to academics, we as teachers are also charged with assisting in developing strong civic, citizenship, and social-emotional skills to prepare all our students for life.
When students make the connection that school is relevant for work, they are more engaged, empowered, and often see themselves as responsible for being part of the community. Odysseyware has created tools that allow students to explore career interests, build upon their strengths, apply newly discovered skills, and define who they want to be and how they want to positively engage with their world.
Odysseyware not only has an extensive, 300+ standards-aligned course catalog in core subjects, enriching electives, CTE courses, and test prep, but it also offers flexibility for teachers and administrators to create their own courses to meet the needs of a diverse population on divergent paths. Odysseyware gives you rigorous, relevant, and purposeful curriculum via a single, engaging platform that allows you to help prepare students for college, career, and life in ways that are as unique as are our students.
Depending on the college chosen by the student, it can be challenging to get accepted. When we offer our students academic support through advanced courses and electives, and ample opportunity to practice preparing for high stakes exams, we know we’ve set our students up for success and enabled them to put their best foot forward.
High School Equivalency Exam Test Prep
It’s never too late for anyone to get their high school equivalency diploma. As schools continue to battle drop-out rates, chronic absenteeism, and adhere to ESSA and state bylaws to increase graduation rates, administrators are encouraging students to stay in school – or come back.
All states offer at least one of the three exam types that leads to a high school equivalency credential (GED®, HiSET®, and TASCÔ). Regardless of what high school equivalency exam is available by your state, Odysseyware can meet your needs in helping your students get the practice they need before taking the high stakes exam.
ACT Test Prep
Preparing our students for a college entrance examination can sometimes be challenging – especially since the last thing our students want to think about is taking another high-stakes test. And I’m sure you’re cringing with the mention of that word, too! However, with the implementation of ESSA, some high school students have a choice to take the ACT® and others may not. By leveraging Odysseyware’s online ACT test prep, you can:
- Help reduce test anxiety through preparation over the fear of the unknown.
- Get students acclimated to the test and what to expect during the ACT by preparing students through the use of practice questions.
- Offer extensive test prep options by giving students the ability to take up to four total practice assessments in each of the assessed areas on the ACT!
For high stakes exams like the ACT Prep or other state or national exams, the Odysseyware course's design supports the development of reading stamina, while incorporating a balance of engaging media, to provide the necessary preparation for students to succeed on this exams.
College Prep AP®, Electives & Career Technical Education (CTE) Courses
I don’t know about you, but I grew up during a time (and in a small-town school) where the only ‘career exploration’ option my high school offered me was a career aptitude test. I answered the questions on the long survey, and at the end, it told me what type of career would be best aligned to my personality. In addition to me feeling like I needed to pursue the career path it suggested, I felt like I had to follow it – and that it was my only option. But what if I had lied on my survey? What about the kids that were smart enough to manipulate their answers to get the outcome they wanted? Not to mention, what if I didn’t want to be a psychologist (as it suggested as my number one career ‘interest’)? I remember reading somewhere about marine biology, so I really wanted to be a marine biologist. But that wasn’t a career listed anywhere on the survey results as a possibility! So, alas, I never pursued that career because I didn’t think I could.
We’ve come a long way since those long surveys. Today we can offer our students something so much better: College Prep AP®, Electives, and Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses!
With over 80 CTE courses aligned to each of the 16 national career clusters, Odysseyware curriculum prepares students for postsecondary success.
Additionally, students have access to Advanced Placement (AP®) and elective courses, 124 NCAA approved courses offered through the Odysseyware Academy and more than 120 courses in the Odysseyware LMS that have been approved by the University of California “a-g” program as meeting college entrance requirements! Courses can be delivered fully online or as part of a blended learning model to supplement a district’s existing CTE program.
Career Exploration Courses
Starting in middle school, students have access to a variety of career exploration courses to help them narrow in on the career pathway that might be right for them. (Do you know how much I wish I had this as an option? Maybe I would have turned out to be a marine biologist after all!). This option is really popular with many schools and states because, as I’m sure you’ve encountered as well, middle school is a great age to get the wheels turning with kids to help the get to know themselves and their interests – and even start to dream a little about their future.
In addition to career exploration courses, we now offer two in-demand and highly popular courses for our middle school students, including:
- Principles of Coding
Many schools are replacing cursive with keyboarding and believe every student should take a coding course as these skills will be in high demand in the careers of the future.
Internships & Workplace Readiness
Soft skills and workplace readiness skills are another key area schools need to offer their students to help them prepare for college, career or life. The Odysseyware Customer Success team works with districts to create workplace readiness and internship course(s) customized for schools or districts.
The Workplace Readiness Course and the Custom Internship Preparatory Course allows districts to choose from a large variety of workplace topics and lessons, utilizing core, elective, and CTE courses including:
- Job Search & Interview
- Business Communications & Microsoft Office Basics
- Critical Thinking & Problem Solving
- Financial Literacy
- Workplace Mindsets, Habits, and Behaviors
- Professionalism & Ethics
- Information Management
- Collaboration & Teamwork
- Initiative & Self Direction
The Custom Internship Preparatory course from Odysseyware helps to ensure that business partners receive high-quality interns and supports the districts need to meet their career readiness standards.
Social Emotional Learning to Support Success
Odysseyware is also excited to add to its solution portfolio, BASE Education: A revolutionary online Social Emotional Learning (SEL) program to help students navigate life’s challenges!
Teach students about civic responsibility and support your students in making positive choices for personal health and wellness through BASE Education. Through a variety of courses available, students will develop healthy ways to interact with others, build connections, and implement effective communication approaches. Students will also learn about positive character traits such as empathy, honesty, integrity, accountability, and respect.
Get in Touch!
Odysseyware is committed to helping schools and districts, and teachers and administrators alike, best prepare their students for a path towards success. Engage with an Odysseyware expert today to discuss how we can help you prepare your students with college and career readiness skills and support your students on their path to self-discovery!
Listen in on our 30-minute pre-recorded webinar on College and Career Readiness and discover how to motivate and prepare students to find their success in school, college, career, and life.