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Pathway Focus of the Month: Office Administration

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Potential Career: Grief Counselor
(Primary information sources: masscis.intocareers.org and Association of Death Education and Counseling)

Another that is not your normal "Hot Job," employment as a Grief Counselor spans many different careers and industries. This additional credential could create more careers options for Career and Technical Education students, make them more attractive as potential employees, and help them weather workforce recession cycles.

This career examines how loss affects physical, psychological, and social well-being. Grief counseling is a form of psychotherapy that aims to help people cope with grief and mourning following the death of loved ones, or with major life changes that trigger feelings of grief (e.g., natural disaster, bankruptcy, divorce). This can be a career, in and of itself, or it can be a skill that would help a wide array of careers such as guidance counselors, law enforcers, EMTs, fire technicians, substance abuse counselors, veterinarians and cosmetologists. (An instructor joked that it should be required training for every hairdresser and bartender as those who excel in these careers tend to be skilled listeners.) Just think of how many news stories end with "Grief counselors will be on hand…"

Job Outlook: Grief counseling doesn't pop up as an occupation but does link to funeral director, social worker and mental health counselor. Funeral directors make good money (MA average of $72,000) but the industry expects only modest growth. Despite the slow growth in this occupation, the demand for funeral and memorial services will increase as the baby boom population ages and as current funeral directors retire. The average MA salary for a social worker is about $49,000 but there is a very high demand locally for new social workers. Of the three careers, mental health counselors have the lowest average salaries ($37,500) with more demand than funeral directors but less than social workers.

For More Information: Not many websites are targeted to those interested in exploring or entering the field. The they also sport a job bank for those with certification. The Children’s Grief Education Association provides resources that could help augment an Early Childhood Ed program, help students who want to learn more about this type of field or help students on a more personal level. The only association website with a section for students is the American Counseling Association website; they also house a section for career preparation.

About BCC's Programming: The Thanatology Certificate program is unique to BCC and can be taken on its own or as a program to enrich such care giving and service professions as education, nursing, criminal justice, human services, pastoral ministry, and funeral service. Faculty work closely with you so you can complete this certificate AND your two-year degree program of choice on time.

Hints for Success: Regardless of your career choice, to succeed in grief counseling, you have to be a great listener, be sensitive to the individual needs of others, and be able to draw upon an array of recovery resources for appropriate referrals. If you choose to go into business for yourself, regardless of whether you are a funeral director or social worker, you will need strong business and entrepreneurial skills.


Headlines

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Headlines

Common Core Update. Governors and state commissioners of education from 48 states, 2 territories and the District of Columbia have committed to developing a common core of state standards in English language arts and mathematics for grades K-12. It is anticipated that the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers will release the final common core standards in June at Common Core State Standards Initiative. To help states and others interested better understand the draft K-12 Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and English Language Arts standards, Achieve has developed a range of materials, all available at Achieve. The materials focus on the organization, content and evidence base used to support the standards, including fact sheets that describe the content areas and address frequently asked questions about the standards. Achieve has also compiled current public opinion on the draft common core state standards. These resources will be revised to reflect the final standards and many more materials to help states better understand the final standards will be added.

The Association for Career and Technical Education Announces 'Career Ready' Definition. The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE)released a paper entitled "What is 'Career Ready'?" that outlines three broad sets of skills students need to be career-ready: core academic skills, employability skills, and technical skills. ACTE created the paper to broaden the national discussion around the term career readiness. This could be helpful as schools and programs struggle to develop relevant curriculum in anticipation of the Common Core. You can read the press release or the brief paper.

Lean Manufacturing is Dead? A recent article by David Morgan, General Manager, Perkins Products of Perkins School for the Blind, argues that although there has been much success using classic methods analysis to manage operations and improve operational efficiency, these methods have modernized but not improved industry practices. Approaches like Lean, Theory-of-Constraints, Process Re-engineering, Demand Flow Technology, and Total Quality Management directed attention inward toward improving current system, not outward to questioning the very system itself. Morgan discusses Howard Owen and his research in Open Space Technology as an alternate means of analyzing and defining systems. A short and interesting read.


Professional Development Opportunities

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Professional Opportunities

New Models of Assessing Teachers' Impact on Student Learning: Challenges and Opportunities, Suffolk University Law School, 120 Tremont Street, Boston, June 3rd, 2010 3:30-5:30pm. In this session Professor Susan Moore Johnson, a national expert on teacher evaluation, will present on the challenges and opportunities of connecting student achievement and teacher effectiveness. DESE Commissioner Mitchell Chester will also be on hand to describe the state's plan for a new statewide teacher evaluation system. Panelists will provide a range of perspectives on ways to use student achievement to evaluate teacher performance. Participate in this event to be heard, be better informed and to be prepared!

BCC SMART Lending Lab Training, June 14, 3pm – 5pm. BCC is hosting a hands-on workshop demonstrating the uses of many the resources available for lending to middle and high school science teachers. Meet with SMART staff and use the equipment out in the field (weather permitting) including an air sampling pump and detection outfit, solar powered fuel-cell cars, and wind turbines. We will also demonstrate some additional water sampling equipment including the Imhoff settling cones and a 6-paddle jar tester. Space is limited, so, RSVP (508-678-2811, ext. 2576) as soon as possible. Participants will receive a $25 stipend upon workshop completion.

Biomedicine Works PD – Free in Maine, Plus $1000 Stipend. The Foundation for Blood Research (FBR) is recruiting 15 high school biology teachers to spend five days this summer (July 11-16, 2010) on the Maine seacoast to field test a piloted BSCS-designed curriculum in their fall classrooms. This five-day conference includes CEUs, all materials, lodging, and meals at Southern Maine Community College, plus $200/day. Transportation costs are not included. Interested? Contact Jeri Erickson, project director. Teachers will be considered on first come, first served basis.

Quantitative Reasoning and College Readiness Training, Durfee High School's Library, Fall River, MA August 2-13, 2010; 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. This is a two-week Professional Development Workshop for middle and high school teachers who wish to learn the benefits of a problem-solving QR approach. Take away tools and materials to help you incorporate QR in your courses, better engage and motivate your students, and help them retain what they learn. Course can be taken for 3 units of graduate credit through FSC. Daily stipends and free texts are available for eligible teacher participants. Math and other quantitative teachers from Fall River and New Bedford are given first priority; teachers from other school districts may register if space is available. Contact Corri Taylor, Grant Project Director from Wellesley College, for further information.


Student Opportunities

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Student Opportunities

My Idea Grants. America's Promise Alliance and AT&T are looking for the energy, enthusiasm, creativity and commitment to help make this country a Grad Nation through the My Idea Grants program. My Idea will empower young people to examine the high school dropout crisis and take action to help more of their peers to graduate on time. National grants of $10,000-$20,000 will be awarded to 20 - 25 youth for the best of the submitted ideas to help increase a community's graduation rate anywhere in the United States. Deadline: June 11

BIC 4 GOOD Grants. Did you create a sustainable community action project, program or organization that you want to grow? Lack the funds to take your project to the next level? If you answered "YES!", you are eligible to apply for a BIC 4 GOOD Grant! BIC 4 GOOD Grants are targeted towards established programs and organizations that have a large impact, proven sustainability, and measurable success. The best applicants are those that are self-driven, unique, community-oriented with measurable impact.

Ten outstanding projects or organizations will be awarded $2,000 BIC 4 GOOD Grants and 1 exceptional project or organization will be awarded the Grand Prize $5,000 BIC 4 GOOD Grant! Deadline: June 15

OAS Logo Design Contest. To promote youth participation in the hemisphere, as well as the theme of the Second Ministerial Meeting on Sustainable Development, and public participation as a priority and a cross-cutting issue to its working areas, the Department of Sustainable Development (DSD) is inviting all interested youth students of architecture, graphic design, art, marketing or related areas and nationals of an OAS Member State, to participate in the design of a logo/visual distinctive for the Second Inter-American Meeting of Ministers and High Level Authorities on Sustainable Development. The objective of the contest is to promote the participation and creativity of young students by participating in the design of a logo/visual distinctive for the Second Ministerial Meeting on Sustainable Development, creating awareness and knowledge about the ministerial theme "Towards Sustainable Development in the Americas." The winner will be given an official certificate of participation and be awarded a small monetary compensation from the DSD. Also, the winner will have the opportunity to do an internship at OAS headquarters in the fall of 2010. Deadline: June 21


Resources of the Month

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Resources of the Month

GRANT: Adopt-a-Classroom. Adopt-A-Classroom partners donors with teachers so you can have funds to purchase critical resources and materials for your classroom. By registering, your classroom will be posted on the Adopt-A-Classroom website available for donors to select. When adopted, you will have full discretion to purchase items that meet your unique classroom needs. Sponsor partners include Staples and Jones New York in the Classroom. (Also, go to their website now to nominate a teacher for a new professional wardrobe!)

PUBLICATION: Career Moves, 2009 Edition. Not exactly light summer reading, but this thorough state publication covers descriptions of specific jobs, education and training requirements, wages and salaries, and the industries where the jobs are currently found. Topics include industry growth rates, projected openings, projected replacement job openings, and career pathways. New in this edition is the "High Demand, High Wage, High Skill Job" identifier you can find throughout the publication. If you don't want to kill a tree printing off the entire document, you can choose sections in their own discrete PDF files.


Articulation Update

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Articulation Update

Even though the school year is coming to a close, we are still hard at work creating regional and individual articulation agreements. We have also been collecting data which indicates that, despite our joint efforts to create and renew articulation agreements, students simply aren’t redeeming the credit. There are many reasons for this; for example, only 1 in every 5 CVTE students who come to BCC will stay in the same or closely-related field of study. These students also have to maintain a B GPA in their career & technical programming and a C average overall to even be eligible for articulated credit. Another factor is that articulation agreements represent only 26% of the degree and certificate programs available through BCC. That being said, eligible students are simply not aware that the credit is NOT automatic upon matriculation; they have to apply for credit. Some Consortium schools have ramped up efforts to better inform students and parents of the steps they need to take to access this free college credit. To assist, the Bristol CVTE Consortium office has been collecting these better practices, in addition to creating additional certificates and checklists, so that sending high schools have an array of effective resources to help students. Contact Bristol CVTE Consortium Director Chris Shannon (508.678.2811, x.2339) if you would like more information.