WMCAT announces summer camps!

West Michigan Center for Arts & Technology (WMCAT) is offering 4-day arts and tech camps this summer to middle and high school students. Small class sizes allow you to get the most of your time in our studios with experienced teaching artists. With over 20 different camps being offered in areas such as photography, sewing, illustration, and video game design, there’s something for everyone. Camps are occurring July 10-August 17, 2017 with AM & PM Sessions available. These events are open to teens entering grades 7-12 in 2017-18. For a complete listing and to register, go to www.wmcat.coursestorm.com or email teenprograms@wmcat.org for an electronic enrollment form.

View the flyer here:
WMCAT 2017 Summer Camps


NAWIC Scholarship Window Open


Scholarship applications for the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) Chapter #194 are now being accepted until Friday, May 19, 2017. One scholarship is awarded annually to a student that is currently enrolled or planning to enroll in a construction related field of study and have a 3.00 or better grade point average. The scholarship automatically renews for 4 years as long as the student continues to meet the eligibility requirements.

NAWIC’s core purpose is to enhance the success of women in the construction industry through leadership development, professional education, and community outreach.

Applications and questions may be submitted to the Scholarship Chair:

Sarah Vlasblom
56 Grandville Ave SW, Ste 100
Grand Rapids, MI 49503





Nintendo, Tight-rolled Jeans & Career Development

It’s funny how Education (like life) is cyclical.  I remember when I first started teaching, as a wet-behind-the-ears rookie back in the Detroit area more than a decade and-a-half ago.  To help explain the era, No Child Left Behind legislation was JUST becoming the latest fad (for legislators, that is).  Words like “highly qualified” and “curriculum mapping” became the buzz words of the day.  And, as a young PE and Health teacher, I am willing to admit now that I started to panic and worry what it would mean (more for me than for the kids).

But I’ll never forget the response I received from the grizzled old art teacher.  He was beloved by the students, even though he’d been teaching for more than 30 years.  He told me, “Eric, this is nothing new.  It’s the same thing with different packaging.  They did the same basic programs 30 years ago; they just called it something different.”  What he was saying was that the latest and greatest ideas aren’t always all that new or fresh; they just have a fresh coat of paint on them with fancy new names or titles.  They might not be exactly the same thing.  In fact, they probably won’t be.  Oh, they’ll be touted as the next NEW thing, but in reality, they’ll simply be a distant and vague memory of something we’ve heard or seen done before.  Much like how the tight-rolled pants of the 80’s-90’s mimicked the 50’s and the newly released Nintendo Classic Mini mimics the 80’s-90’s.

How does this apply to Career Development?  For the past 20 years, give or take, our Education system has put a premium on students “getting a college degree” (by this, most take this to mean a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree).  We told students (and rightfully so) that if they wanted to have a good career, they needed to get a good education.  However, what was once a holistic approach to a solid, well-rounded, high school education – where students could explore their interests by trying different classes with their electives – has transformed to taking all the “right” courses necessary for a “college” degree, even for those students who have no interest in getting a four-year degree!  And if you don’t get a University degree, you’re somehow short-changing yourself.  Talk about students feeling defeated before they even walk through the doors!

Which brings us to today.  Now, in my current role, I’m definitely seeing the concept of Career Exploration and Career Development becoming the “next big thing.”  And I’m beginning to see other people nodding their head and agreeing with me when I say that “not every student needs a four-year degree, but every student needs some sort of post-high school training.”  And that there are some really great, high-paying jobs in the skilled trades that are just begging to be filled.  And that an Electrician’s license is just as valuable (actually more) as the Philosophy degree that’s sitting on the shelf but not being used.  OK, I haven’t said that last one before, but maybe I will now.

But that’s just it.  This whole idea of exploring careers and finding out what one is passionate about while still in high school  isn’t really all that new.  Neither is the idea that there are multiple pathways to a great career, and not ALL of them require a four-year degree.  Nope, it’s just a repackaging of another idea from long ago.

Tell us what you think.  Leave a comment at the TOP of the article.

Circle Your Calendars!

CAREER READINESS NETWORK (Wednesday, April 19, 12:00-2:30 pm)
Are you a teacher, counselor, or administrator who sees career exploration and preparation as more than just a “nice to have” when it comes to curriculum and instruction? Would you like a forum to brainstorm ideas and share best practices regarding content? Stay current on all the career readiness opportunities the county has to offer. Lunch will be provided, and sub reimbursement is available for those who need it.  Be a career readiness champion for your school or district and walk away with resources, connections and strategies!  Sign up on the PD Hub or contact erickelliher@kentisd.org for more information.

TEACHERS IN INDUSTRY (Thursday, May 18, 8:00-3:00 pm)
Ever hear students ask, “When are we going to use this in the real world?” Have you ever wondered, in turn, “How do I best answer that, because I’m not really sure?” If you answered yes to either question, then Teachers in Industry (TII) this is the “field trip” for you! Teachers, counselors, and administrators alike are all welcome! And teachers, we’ll pay for substitute reimbursement, up to $100! For this event we’ll be visiting Excel Electric, Trivalent Group and Autocam Medical. To sign up for TII, or for more information about the event, look them up on the PD Hub under Career Readiness, or visit us on our website. If you still need some convincing, check out our brand new promo video!

CDF TRAINING COURSE (Begins Monday, May 15; additional dates 6/21-22, 7/27)
Whether you’ve always wanted to dive into the world of Career Development or you’ve been swimming in the “deep end” for years, this class will help you navigate the waters. This 120-hour CDF training program is a hybrid course with 4 face-to-face sessions that will be held at Kent ISD. The rest of the work will be done on your own utilizing a textbook and online assignments. Graduate credits are available. Hurry soon, as registration closes May 3rd. To register, go to bit.ly/2017CDFTraining to download the registration form. Or, contact kgarceau@CDFtrainer.com for more info.

Love a challenge? If you are an Elementary teacher or a Middle or High School Math, Science, Business or Technology teacher, or looking for ideas with a STEM focus, this unique PD is for you. Come check out our new summer program that’s guaranteed to be unlike any PD you’ve ever experienced. You’ll tour companies to see the content you teach applied in business, discuss the REAL problems they face and apply a Design Thinking approach to solve them for yourself. Practice these new skills with actual students this summer, apply what you learn to your classroom this fall and coach your students in a Shark Tank-style competition for real prizes. Oh, did we mention a stipend will be included? Now that’s action-packed PD! Only 10-15 spots are available, so apply via the PD Hub today!