Thursday, November 12, 2015

Great Partnership for Workplace Learning

We are so fortunate to have fantastic partnerships which help facilitate learning opportunities for our students and staff.

One great partner we have is the Workplace Learning Connection(wlc).  WLC was founded in 1998 as a not-for-profit partnership of Kirkwood Community College and Grant Wood Area Education Agency serving K-12 students in seven counties. 

In July 2011, WLC became a department of Kirkwood Community College.  WLC coordinates career speakers, career fairs, work site tours, job shadows, internships, and teacher professional development to help districts and area students become better informed in their post-secondary education and career decisions.

This year to date we have 37 students participating in job shadows and had three students participate in internships this past summer.  We'd like to see those numbers increase -- so if you are a parent reading this -- please encourage your students to talk to MS/HS Counseling Department to find out more information about application procedures.

Below is the most recent update we received regarding WLC.  If you'd like more information about how you may be able to partner with the WLC, please contact our Counseling Office (319-228-8701 ext. 356) or the WLC directly (319 398-1040).

Connecting Today's Students To Tomorrow's Careers 
In This Issue
WORK - Introducing WLC's Cheryl, Susan and Kimberly
LEARN - College & Post-Secondary Prep Options
CONNECT - Celebrating Young Women in STEM
Quick Links
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Workplace Learning Connection

Why we do what we do
We believe in a vibrant community with a workforce ready for a changing world, and we support the next generation as they navigate and connect to our shared future.

What we do
We are connecting today's students to tomorrow's careers through high quality, age-appropriate work-based learning opportunities.
Meet WLC's Newest Employees         
Cheryl Valenta - Linn County
Susan Gallo - Johnson County
Kimberly Klocke - Cedar & Washington County

 Cheryl Valenta is WLC's Event Coordinator, working on multi-school, off-campus events such as the STEM Institute for Young Scientists at the University of Iowa and the Financial Literacy Fairs held in the Spring.  Cheryl is also working as a Business Liaison in Linn County, partnering with companies in the Agriscience and Natural Resources pathway.
 Susan Gallo is the WLC Johnson County School Liaison, partnering with administration, guidance, and teachers at the Iowa City Community School District, Lone Tree Community, Regina Catholic Education, and Solon Community to provide quality, age-relevant programming to their students and teachers.
 Kimberly Klocke is the WLC Cedar & Washington County Liaison, ensuring that students and educators in those counties receive quality career exploration experiences through collaboration with local and Corridor-area businesses.  Kimberly will be developing business partners to be involved with creating the future workforce in Cedar and Washington Counties.
If you work for a company that values preparing the next generation and would like to connect with them, 
go to the WLC website and complete a  Volunteer Registration Form, or contact a WLC representative -North or South office.
College and Post-Secondary
Prep Options
Hear Why 3 Area High School Students Choose to Learn Through Academy Classes      
Josiah and Davin, CR Washington HS 
Josiah Lydon and Davin Knapp are Juniors at CR Washington High School.  Seth Fuller is a Marion Home School Association student.
All three students are preparing themselves for their future by taking advantage of traditional and non-traditional educational experiences.  

Seth, Josiah, and Davin are taking ACE Academy classes at the Kirkwood's Linn Regional Center.  ACE stands for Architecture, Construction and Engineering and is part of the Project Lead The Way (PLTW) program for area high school students.   Josiah and Davin have taken several AP classes, and Seth is enrolled in an AP class next semester.  When we asked them what factors played into the decision-making for taking an Academy class, Seth replied, "I'd rather be taught by an actual engineer for an engineering class than a non-trained engineer!" Davin echoed Seth's perspective.  "Architecture is really interesting and I'm getting more out of this class than I've gotten out of some of my other classes."  Davin explained that he took a PLTW class at his high school, which whetted his appetite to learn more about the field of Engineering.  All 3 of the students commented that the ACE Academy offered them a different experience than a typical high school setting and they were excited to try it out.
Seth, Marion Home School Association

Seth's post-high school goals include going to Iowa State University to get a degree in Architecture. Josiah is interested in pursuing a career in Filmmaking, and Davin wants to get a Masters in Engineering. 

We asked about fitting Academy classes into his schedule, Seth responded, "It's a 10-minute drive, so it's not particularly a problem."  Josiah and Davin are in a more traditional school environment, but scheduling was not a challenge.  Josiah said, "My counselor helped me make the Academy classes work in my schedule.  But, I had to defer some of my electives to another time."

Some might think that high school students are not thinking about careers.  Seth said, "I admit that I hadn't been thinking about careers until last summer when I worked as a referee at a paint ball park.  That got me thinking about what I wanted to do in my future! I think my Academy experience is definitely worth it."   Davin added,"I think that these Academy classes are more important than AP but they're not as encouraged as much as they should be."  Josiah agrees, "Teachers should push students more into these choices, it helps narrow down all of the options after school for those who don't really know what they want."

Seth has some advice for his fellow teens, "You should definitely take Academy classes before you get to college because they are free!  You don't want to waste money in college on classes you decide you don't like, and end up dropping!"  Josiah couldn't agree more!  "College costs a ton and you can waste thousands of dollars trying things out.  Why not do it when it's free?"

You can find out more about the ACE Academy by going  Opportunities include an Ace Mentor Program. For other high school career learning opportunities, check out Kirkwood's  College Credit In High School page to see all of the Academy programs. 
Celebrating Young Women in STEM      
Engaging Young Women
through Hands-On Activities

Getting young women involved and interested in Science,Technology, Engineering andMath careers is essential to our future. Celebrating their already existing interest is as equally important.

Kasey Keeling, Kirkwood Regional Coordinator for Project Lead the Way, is holding an event on December 15th at the Linn County Regional Center in Hiawatha to engage and excite 7th -12th grade young women who have already show an interest in STEM fields and careers.

The day will involve break out sessions held by local area women involved in engineering and technology that will include learning more about careers as well as hands-on learning where students will be interacting and creating. The day will also highlight Project Lead the Way, an engineering academy that is available to high school students.
Want to be involved?  Go to
Be part of the ripple!

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