Kids2College and Pathways to Professional Skilled Trades
January 2018 saw the launch of the CCAC’s fifth season of Kids2College; the third since adding Pathways to Professional Skilled Trades to form Kids2College/Pathways to Professional Skilled Trades (K2C/PPST). The program expanded this year, being offered to all 13 Connected Community Schools. The K2C/PPST initiative has also seen an increase in its number of partnering businesses and schools. A total of 12 local companies and 7 colleges participated in the 2017-18 season. Through this collaborative effort, 1,237 students in Jackson County were able to take part in this valuable 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 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 as well as the Walmart Foundation. 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 Walmart and Sigmund Foundations. Through the Sigmund Scholarship for the Trades and substantial contribution to this program, the students of Jackson County receive increased options for post-secondary success.