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Pathway Focus of the Month: Leisure Services

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Potential Career: Tour Guide and Geo-Tour Guide

Tourism is one of the world’s largest career fields. Because the number of recreational, fitness, and leisure jobs is growing faster than many other jobs, there is high demand for people with a background in this program of study. You can work in a wide array of settings and with many different kinds of people. You would also be helping enrich people's lives. It can also be an amazing way to turn your favorite hobby into a career as tourism can pertain to professional sports, entertainment and music, adventure sports, culture, government, art, fashion, architecture—you name it!

Some tour guides plan and oversee an entire vacation for a large group. They schedule activities for the group, such as sightseeing, outdoor sports and recreation, and dining out. They also make time in the schedule for tourists to explore places on their own. Other tour guides are in charge of tours at a single site, such as a museum or around a city. They guide several different groups each day rather than traveling with one particular group.

A growing field is geo-tourism. Geo-what?? Geotourism incorporates the concept of sustainable tourism—that destinations should remain unspoiled for future generations—while allowing for ways to protect a place's character. Geotourism also takes a principle from its ecotourism cousin,—that tourism revenue should promote conservation—and extends it to culture and history as well; that is, all distinctive assets of a place.

Job Outlook: Although jobs related to making reservations and travel arrangements are dwindling down to nothing, there will be considerable job growth in tourism. Employment in Scenic and Sightseeing Transportation is anticipated to increase in Massachusetts by roughly 34%—don’t get too excited as that only represents about 350 jobs until 2016. About 20% of tour guides are self-employed. Work in this field is cyclical which means for a few months, you’ll be swamped and at another time of the year, it will be hard to find work. Pay is not great which is why many in the field rely on tips. Tipping can sometimes account for more money than your paycheck!

For More Information: For every type or location of tourism, there is an association! Some career information can be found on the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations under the tab, “Tourist Guiding.” Because of the wide diversity of careers available in this field, the best site for information is the Vocational Information Center. Visit National Geographic for information on “geotourism.”

About BCC's Programming: BCC offers three options under Leisure Services Management: Tourism, Sports, and Geo-Tourism. These programs offer students the opportunity to develop strong communications, organizational, and critical-thinking skills as well as practical preparation for entry into these career fields. Because many of the courses are common for the three options, you could extend your time one year and double your credentials! All three program have articulations agreements with recognized four institutions.

Hint for Success: People who go into this field have very specialized skills that come out of a passion for something. You need to be a people-person, have an enthusiasm for local history, great communication skills, strong sales and marketing skills, and a good head for facts and figures. Fluency in another language is a plus. Successful workers in the tourism industry must communicate clearly with the public, work well within a team structure, and be able to solve problems quickly. The public nature of many of these jobs makes strong communication skills particularly important in the tourism/hospitality industry. Finally, as so many tour guides are self-employed, you should take as many business and entrepreneurship training classes you can!


Headlines

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Headlines

Achieve.org’s Perspective on the Race to the Top competition. “The common assessment competition is a tremendous opportunity for a significant number of states to band together and achieve two goals that have previously not been met by their individual state assessment systems: 1) creating high quality, forward looking, next generation assessments and 2) creating assessments that enable states to compare results against common, internationally benchmarked, college- and career-ready standards. Some think we need to choose between innovation and comparability. We believe we can and must find a way to do both.” Achieve.org’s December 2009 newsletter goes on to discuss how the different state’s data systems measure up (or don’t), resources that define great teachers and leaders, and strategies for turning around low-performing schools—all with an eye towards sustaining positive impact.

Announcing a new secondary financial literacy campaign from the US Treasury. I knew this would be of interest to those of you teaching financial management, running Credit for Life Fairs, or generally concerned about out students’ abilities to remain fiscally sound as it impacts them professionally and personally. The U.S. Treasury Department, in conjunction with the President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy, just announced its upcoming National Financial Capability Challenge (formerly the National Financial Literacy Challenge). Teachers can begin signing up for the 2010 Challenge today. The campaign notice contains more information but also briefly outlines the need and impact of financial education. Teachers with technical questions may contact the Treasury Department through the Office of Financial Education's Technical Assistance Center.

College Board Develops New Accuplacer Diagnostic Tools. The College Board has developed diagnostics in four (4) areas—reading comprehension, sentence skills, arithmetic and elementary algebra—that will be available starting Winter 2010. Each diagnostic test provides immediate feedback on a student’s strengths and weaknesses through a “score roster report.” Accuplacer is a more accurate predictor of college-readiness than MCAS; the diagnostic tools would allow students to address academic skill deficits before testing into required college remedial courses that cost students valuable time and money and can greatly decrease their chances of successful program completion. These diagnostics could be a valuable resource for those looking to implement early college placement testing in the schools, especially for students on EPPs.


Professional Development Opportunities

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Professional Opportunities

NEW: Underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Building for the Classroom January 9, 2010, 8:00am—4:30 pm, Bristol Community College. This PAID interactive workshop for middle school and high school teachers will provide a unique professional development opportunity that includes not only the math, science and technology instruction to incorporate underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) into the classroom as project-based learning, participants also receive the resources, instruction and support, for the designing, engineering, and building of a fully functional underwater ROV! This workshop will generate more interest and capability in science, provide free instructional materials for your program, enhance STEM outcomes, and provide students with viable workforce training. For more information or to pre-register, email or call SMART Director Meghan Abella-Bowen, 508-678-2811 ext. 2576, or refer to the flyer or application. Teachers will receive breakfast, lunch, $125 stipend and be eligible for PDPs. And, every school that attends will walk away with an ROV for their school!

Fund for Teachers Accepting Applications for 2010 Summer Education Grants.
Fund for Teachers invites educators from across the United States to design and submit proposals for their own educational adventures next summer. The program is designed to provide educators with the opportunity to pursue areas of personal and professional interest and bring their experiences back to the classroom for the benefit of their students. Eligible projects include tours, conferences, and independent studies anywhere in the world. The program offers individual grants of up to $5,000 each and team grants of up to $10,000 each for the summer of 2010. To obtain additional information and an application, visit: Fund For Teachers. Deadline: January 29, 2010.

2009-2010 EINSTEIN FELLOWSHIPS FOR K-12 TEACHERS
The Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship is a paid fellowship for K-12 math, science, and technology teachers. Einstein Fellows spend a school year in Washington, DC, serving in a federal agency or on Capitol Hill. Placement opportunities with federal agencies vary slightly year to year, but may include NASA, National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. To be considered for an Einstein Fellowship during the 2009-2010 school year, one must apply and submit three letters of recommendation online. For more information, visit the Einstein Fellows program or contact Liz Burck. Applications are due January 13, 2009.


Student Opportunities

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Student Opportunities

DuPont Challenge© Science Essay Competition: The 24th annual DuPont Challenge© Science Essay Competition is underway and is accepting entries now through January 31, 2010. Designed to inspire young people to excel in scientific writing, the competition invites students in 7th through 12th grade to research and write a 700- to 1,000-word essay about a scientific discovery, theory, event or technological application that has captured their interest. Essays are judged on mechanics and conventions; ideas and content; organization; style and creativity; and voice. Winners receive savings bonds up to $5,000 and an expenses paid trip to Walt Disney World and the Kennedy Space Center. The program also rewards the unique contributions of the teachers of the winning students with trips with winners, $500 education grants, and sponsorship to attend the 2011 NSTA National Conference on Science Education in San Francisco. Created to honor the Challenger astronauts, this competition is a great way to get students to push the limits of imagination and discovery.

National Job Shadow Day. Typically observed on Groundhog’s Day, this year, Tuesday, February 2, 2010 will be the event kick-off date. Job Shadowing allows a student at least a half-day in a professional work environment to learn about a career from the inside. Use this opportunity to help you decide what you do, or do not, want to do for a living. For the truly savvy students, this is a great opportunity to network and get known in your field. Who knows? It could even result in a job offer! To participate, contact your local ">School-to-Career Partnerships, local Workforce Investment Board or Junior Achievement.

2010 Moody’s Mega Math (M3) Challenge competition — Tackling real-world issued using math! This great online competition allows teams of students to use math modeling solve open-ended, realistic, real-world issues in 14 hours. Think “Iron Chef” for math! Register for the 2010 Challenge. Registration is now open for the 2010 M3 Challenge, which will be held during the weekend of March 6 - 7, 2010. The Challenge has expanded this year to include high schools along the entire East Coast; winners will receive scholarship prizes of up to $100,000. There are no entrance or participation fees and each high school may enter up to two teams of three to five students each. Each year’s topic is entirely unknown until teams download the problem at 7:00 a.m. on their selected Challenge day. (Past topics have included if the stimulus act will work, whether ethanol is the right choice for U.S. energy independence and developing advice on how to beat Wall Street.) Students have until 9:00 p.m. that same night to research the problem, formulate assumptions, develop and test a model, analyze their findings, and summarize their response in a solution paper, which they upload to the Challenge website. The goal of this annual and entirely Internet-based Challenge is to increase interest in and encourage high school students to pursue studies and careers in applied mathematics, economics, and finance. Information and registration forms can be found on the on Moody's Mega Math Challenge 2010 website.


Resources of the Month

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Resources of the Month

GRANT: Investing in Innovation (i3) grants. Last Fall, the U.S. Department of Education announced a new funding opportunity that will support local efforts to start or expand research-based innovative programs that help close the achievement gap and improve outcomes for students. This is part of the President’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The details are scant as the RFP has not yet been released but the funding opportunities are large. BCC is considering pursuing this grant as a lead to develop an early college high school model for academically at-risk high school students. Contact Chris Shannon if you are interested in partnering on this grant application.

WEBSITE: Vocational Information Center. OK, because I am still new to this, I may be the only one who didn’t know of this site before. If you have never heard of it, be prepared for an amazing resource! Started as a Perkins-funded resource, this site provides CVTE information that will help any guidance counselor become well-versed in any career! This clearinghouse houses career information, a treasure-trove of applied math resources for loads of careers, interesting sites with employment trends, helpful CVTE educator resources, and a large mix of general resources—including clip art!


Articulation Update

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Articulation Update

Based on the input and request of the Implementation Committee, the Bristol CVTE Consortium Office will work on two articulations days in mid-January. We will target four areas for articulations: Engineering, Business, Early Childhood Education, and Media Communication, based on faculty availability. As soon as we have a schedule, we will email our school partners.