EHHS program explores life after high school

By Annie Gentile - ReminderNews
East Hartford - posted Thu., Mar. 7, 2013
Sophomores at EHHS and their parents will have the opportunity to explore post-secondary educational opportunities at a March 19 program. - Contributed Photo

The high school years are a time of learning and preparation, and guidance counselors at East Hartford High School say they are constantly encouraging their sophomores to get out of their comfort zones to grow and learn. On Tuesday, March 19, beginning at 6 p.m., EHHS will be offering sophomores and their parents just such an opportunity with a free dinner and program in the cafeteria, entitled “Exploring Life After High School.” The program will feature keynote speaker Allison Lombardi, Ph.D., from the University of Connecticut Department of Educational Psychology, who will present the four keys of college and career readiness. Representatives from area colleges, technical schools and the military will also be on hand to talk about students’ options beyond high school.

“This is the second time presenting the sophomore program, and we have made it bigger and better this year,” said EHHS school counselor Patricia Cohen. “Dr. Lombardi will hopefully increase student and parent understanding of what it means to be college- and career-ready, and the importance of learning vital skills for success.”

Cohen said students will have the opportunity to learn about the many dual enrollment programs at EHHS such as the Academy of Finance, Allied Health and Culinary Arts and Introduction to Criminal Justice, which provide opportunities to not only learn useful skills and high school credit, but college credit as well. “Students from these academic programs will be available and are eager to talk with attendees. Students and parents will have the opportunity to explore some of the college and career options close to home,” she said.

Michelle Vigue, head of the EHHS Department of Career and Technical Education, who will also be speaking about EHHS career programs, said sometimes the information passed on to students don’t always get home to parents, and so they hope this program will help them create a partnership with parents. She said the program will help inform students and their parents what students need to do over the next two years to get on the right path toward their career.

“We have so many wonderful programs at EHHS, but so few students know about them,” said Vigue. For example, she said through the Academy of Finance, students can take accounting, insurance and entrepreneurship classes. There is also a paid internship program in this career path program. “We have a branch of American Eagle [bank] at the high school, and students work during the school year at the branch. Then evenings, weekends and during school vacations, they can work at the local branch office,” Vigue said, adding that there are other paid internship programs available for their students at Travelers and American Express.

Vigue said students who enroll in the Allied Health pathway can explore medical careers. “There is a patient care course where they do clinical time and they can learn nursing assistant skills and take the Certified Nursing Assistant test, so they can leave high school as a CNA,” she said. Vigue added that students who take the Advanced Placement college career pathway can do college-level work and earn up to a semester’s worth of credits at Manchester Community College.

“We hope students and parents and guardians come and talk with all the EHHS upperclassmen and adult representatives that will be presenting that night,” said Cohen. “Our students ‘don’t know what they don’t know,’ and it is programs such as this that help them learn what they need to know,” she said.

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