Careers CLiC (Connecting Learning in the Community) partners with schools, businesses, and community organizations to engage K-12 students in career exploration and preparation. Serving schools and employers in New Hampshire and Vermont statewide, Careers CLiC has connected almost 19,000 students in 190 partner schools to 1,300 partner employers.
As a recipient of the NH Alliance for College and Career Readiness grant, Careers CLiC works to increase business engagement in college and career readiness through early financial literacy and economics for elementary school students, career exploration in middle school, and career training and internships in high school.
Through its programs, Careers CLiC drives to answer the question that students are always asking: “when will I ever need this?”.
Careers CLiC works in two ways:
- It partners with schools directly to coordinate volunteers and businesses for job shadow days, allowing eighth graders in the Upper Valley to explore career clusters at over 100 workplaces;
- It serves as a resource provider by giving schools access to career readiness program modules through a train-the-trainer model, where Careers CLiC trains educators and employers for schools to run the programs on their own.
Job Shadow Days
Before the job shadow days, eighth graders take a career interest inventory to determine the career clusters they may be interested in. Then the Careers CLiC team matches them with job shadows within those clusters. Employers are quick to highlight how the courses that students take relate to the “real world” and their potential careers.
After the job shadow days, students work with their guidance counselor to plan for next steps: high school course mapping, internships, Extended Learning Opportunities (ELOs), and more.
Career Readiness Modules
This year, Careers CLiC launched the career readiness modules in New Hampshire (they have been offered in Vermont for several years through a separate grant). Twelve sites expressed interest, and eight were chosen to serve 11 Upper Valley high schools–a much larger pilot than expected, explained Kathi Terami, the organization’s Executive Director.
“It was a bigger pilot than we expected because the interest was so large, and we wanted to give as much access as we could,” she said.
Schools can choose from 14 lesson plans, from standalone courses to lessons that educators can incorporate into existing classes. For example, one school added a financial literacy module to their freshman health class.
“They made [the lesson] more whole-student wellness by incorporating financial wellness and career wellness. It was a new twist on what wellness means,” Terami explained.
How has The Alliance helped?
In 2018, Careers CliC received a $5,000 grant from the Alliance to help expand their work into New Hampshire with 10 pilot communities.
Terami says that the funds have been used to increase engagement and support the career readiness module pilot in New Hampshire.
Careers CLiC designed and delivered employer trainings in work-based learning, youth and career development, safety and liability, and more at the BIA-NH in Concord and at Hypertherm in Hanover for River Valley Human Resource Association members.
They’re also laying the groundwork for a third training in Kearsarge in partnership with the BIA.
Terami also shared that being a part of the Alliance network has been tremendously beneficial. Through participating in the monthly meetings, Terami learned about policy and legislative updates, networked with groups from across the state, received program referrals, and also had the platform to share updates on the Careers CLiC programs.
About The Alliance
The Alliance is a diverse and collaborative group focused on bridging policy, communications, and engagement efforts to help all NH students graduate college and career ready. Alliance members include representatives from K-12 education, postsecondary education, business &industry, and the nonprofit sector.
The Alliance works to create demand for a college and career readiness agenda by staying grounded in the reality of what is taking place in our classrooms and by taking a holistic view of the issues. As such, the Alliance operates as an independent and autonomous entity driven by its unique ethos of intentional grassroots engagement and support as an anchor for system-level changes to college and career readiness in New Hampshire.
Learn more about the Alliance at thenhalliance.org.