At a Glance
Seniors at Seneca Highlands CTC participated in a career portfolio contest that supported the development of the Career Education and Work Standards (CEW).
Seneca Highlands CTC facilitated the Career Portfolio Contest from October 2017 to the beginning of March 2018. Open to seniors, the contest aims to address CEW and to motivate students to produce a meaningful portfolio for postsecondary planning and use.
To kick off the contest, students received a copy of the contest rules and a folder with instructions on how to complete the portfolio assignment. The folder included seven sections for students to complete:
- Vocational Training,
- Extracurricular Activities,
- Community Activities,
- Honors and Awards,
- Task Lists/Assessments,
- Work Experience, and
(See https://sites.google.com/iu9ctc.org/homepage/career-portfolio-contest and the attached documents for a copy of the folder sections, contest rules and information about the contest winners.)
About 50 of Seneca Highlands 70 seniors participated in the contest. They completed most of their portfolio work during school hours. The school awarded a total of 27 prizes to students and nine grand prizes (one grand prize per CTE program). Prizes included gift certificates, CTC gear and movie tickets. Local businesses, the schools general fund and the schools enterprise accounts funded the program.
As to be expected when starting a new program, the CTC faced some challenges implementing the contest. These challenges included securing the support of staff members and scaling up so that the contest could be fully implemented. To help with implementation, the Student Services Department coordinated contest-related activities, and Special Education Learning Facilitator Risha K. Johnson promoted the contest at staff meetings to gain faculty support. Mrs. Johnson, who developed and organized the contest, recommends that CTCs interested in replicating the contest, keep the overall process simple to encourage student and staff buy in.
Due to the success of the contest, Seneca Highlands CTC plans to continue running it each school year.
Seneca Highlands faculty found the contest to be a success. Students created high-quality portfolios, many of which seemed to be of better quality than those developed in previous years. The focus on career portfolios brought attention to the need for students to develop career goals and to document their activities and evidence of their skill sets and experiences for use after graduation.
Seneca Highlands Career and Technical Center
Risha K. Johnson, Special Education Learning Facilitator and Co-op/Capstone Coordinator