Kids2College and Pathways to Professional Skilled Trades
January 2019 saw the launch of the CCAC’s sixth season of Kids2College; the fourth since adding Pathways to Professional Skilled Trades to form Kids2College/Pathways to Professional Skilled Trades (K2C/PPST). Over the years, the program has consistently expanded, the number of schools participating as well as an increase in its number of partnering businesses and schools. A total of 10 local companies and 9 colleges are currently participating in the K2C/PPST initiative. Through this collaborative effort, over 1,300 students from all 13 of Jackson's Connected Community Middle Schools have had the opportunity to take part in the valuable early awareness program.
The Kids2College program, provided free of charge by the Sallie Mae Fund, is aimed at 8th grade students and is structured as a series of in-class sessions designed to create awareness around the importance of post-secondary education. The sessions present information in a format that is interactive and easy to understand. The students are also given college and career training material to take home. This promotes family discussion on topics that have been covered in class. To wrap up the program, students and their parents are invited to take a fieldtrip to one of the local post-secondary institutions. Immersion into the college atmosphere reinforces the sense of 'college going culture' that the K2C seeks to create. Kids2College is managed by the College & Career Access Center and endorsed by the Cradle 2 Career Network.
In February of 2016, the CCAC proudly added a Pathways to Professional Skilled Trades (PPST) piece to our established Kids2College (K2C) program. The Pathways to Professional Skilled Trades includes: a two hour delivery of the navigation and affordability of the skilled trades and training, a visit to a local skilled trades business, and provision of literature that defines the field of Skilled Trades. The College & Career Access Center strives to provide every Jackson County resident with access to post-secondary options and opportunities. The CCAC encourages an expanded view of education; one that recognizes equally the importance of all career paths. The enhanced program has been made possible through generous funding provided by the Sigmund Foundation of Jackson. The combined skilled trades and college pieces cover the full range of post-secondary education. We are very appreciative of the support received from the Sigmund Foundation. Through the Sigmund Scholarship for the Trades and substantial contributions to this program, the students of Jackson County effectively receive increased options for their post-secondary successes.