New Get Focused, Stay Focused Course for 2016
This year, Alhambra High School is implementing a new course: “Get Focused, Stay Focused” (GFSF). The new mandatory one semester course focuses on facilitating the development of career interests and goals while helping students formulate their high school and college education plans.
In a seminar held in Santa Barbara, Mrs. Nieto, Mrs. Goldin, Mrs. Eyre, Mrs. Jacobson, Mr. Sanchez, Mr. Motta, Mr. Quiroz, Mr. Jelsma and Mrs. Trumpower went through the basics of the GSGF curriculum. They also found out that although many students go to college, not all persist through it. The goals of GFSF include exposing students to different careers while comparing each individual personality to potential careers.
“It’s the most important class you could take and it will introduce a new way of thinking,” Mrs. Goldin said.
Using workbooks titled “Career Choices” and “Workbook and Portfolio,” the program aims to direct its Career Choices curriculum toward creating a 10 year plan and portfolio by the end of the semester. Career Choices is actually a model based off of George Washington University’s Freshman Transition Initiative whole-school redesign project, targeting students of all learning styles while preparing them for their future.
Three years ago, Carpinteria High School in Carpinteria, California, launched a Career Choices seminar course in order to better prepare its students for the transition to college. In a video from the program’s website, seniors from that original class detailed the profound effect the class had on their college planning choices and revealed that while some students stuck with their plan, others changed course ‒ including a girl who planned to become a doctor and received a full ride to Harvard during her senior year.
Much of the GFSF curriculum relies on its teachers and the wide variety of careers and experiences they offer. The range of students’ personalities is even broader, many of whom are still trying to answer the puzzling question that plagues us all: “who am I?” It is in this area that GFSF has been providing quizzes and visuals that teach students to identify their passions and values as well as their personal interests.
“We cut up magazine pictures that represented ourselves” freshman Nam Nguyen said. Darren Tham, also a freshmen, added “We built houses out of legos to [express] who we are.”