Naugatuck High School introduces a new College and Career Readiness (CCR) course

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Mr. Carino’s new CCR board

Britney Amankwah, Managing Editor

Naugatuck High School introduces a new College and Career Readiness (CCR) course. The course is taken for two semesters during junior and senior year. The course was designed to equip students with the skills to thrive after graduation regardless of their post-secondary plans.

“In four years of high school, students learn reading, math, and science skills, but there has to be a way to ensure there are also skills that prepare them for whatever the students decide to pursue after high school. We don’t want our students to feel like they’re being pushed out into the real world without any skills to navigate, so the CCR course was designed to help the students with the navigation, ” said Mr. Carino, a teacher at Naugatuck High School, who is teaching a section of the CCR class. 

The CCR course plans to teach students valuable life skills such as interview skills, goal setting, the college application process, social media etiquette, and presentation skills. 

During the first few days of the course, students are given a survey that allows the CCR teachers to gauge their interests and anticipated post-secondary goals. After the survey, some teachers have conferences with the students to find ways to create personalized steps to help them achieve their goals. 

The course is still in its early stages so the CCR teachers are learning more about their students through interactive activities. 

“ It takes time to develop a relationship with students to get to know them and see where they envision their lives going. As a sixteen or seventeen-year-old it’s really hard to see what your future is going to be like and what you want to spend the rest of your life doing. So the beginning of the course has been about trying to get to know the students and letting them know I am someone they can come to without judgment,” said Mr. Flynn, a teacher at Naugatuck High School, who also teaches a section of the class. 

After the introductory stage, juniors will set goals, research careers, and learn how to participate in job shadows and internships. For students looking to attend two or four year colleges, there will be processes to help them identify majors they are interested in and campus preferences. 

“I am hoping to learn how to apply for college, how to fill out my FAFSA form, and learn what schools are right for me, ” said Thomas Barry, a junior at Naugatuck High School. 

The objectives of the course align with many things that high school students have voiced questions or concerns about. 

Thomas continued by saying “my CCR  teacher has told us a lot about her career choice, different pathways to get to your desired career and I think that has been helpful to students who don’t know that much about where they’re going. ” 

The teachers teaching the courses have a crucial role to play because they are helping students make some of the most important decisions they’ll have to make in their lives. As a result, the CCR teachers are trying their best to make the class worthwhile. 

“During my three years teaching at Naugatuck High School,  I have taught mainly seniors, and every year I see a trend of seniors wishing they had more time to plan for college and more information before they had to go into the application process. I think the idea of the CCR class is good because it gives students time in the school day to think about what they want to major in, if they even want to go to college, and things they want to do after high school rather than having to figure it out on their own during their own time. I think it will have a positive impact whether students see it already or they see it down the road,” said Mr. Flynn. 

The first semester of senior year during high school is one of the most stressful times because there is so much going on with college essays and applications. Hopefully, the new CCR course alleviates some of that stress and makes students feel more prepared to tackle the process.