As our world moves at a breakneck pace, towards the millennium, changes occur at a rate that is absolutely breathtaking. These are exciting times for all, but in particular for our young people as they stand poised on the doorstep of a world filled with exciting possibilities, a world far different from that of their own parents at their age. New and fascinating opportunities present themselves daily to the upcoming generation and it is a huge challenge to adults, parents and teachers to provide guidance and information about a world that has so drastically altered over the past twenty years. The face of commerce and industry changes daily and information is either completely up to date or obsolete. To have internet access as provided by the Stellars Schools Project is not only desirable but necessary if we are to provide our children with the tools necessary to lead us into the twenty-first century.
It is the philosophy of Roncalli High School that career guidance and education is an integral component of a child's education. As such, it it the duty of the school to provide students with opportunities in this area. Not only must this school provide opportunity, it must also promote career exploration activities as most adolescents, left to their own devices, will neglect this aspect of development. They live very much in the "here and now" and tend to have fuzzy concepts of the word "future." While students need not be burdened with heavy decision making at an early age, it is our belief that some information gathering and focusing from Grade IX onwards would be desirable. Individual Internet searches by students seems to be the best way for interesting, self-directed career work and also tends to place the responsibility squarely on the shoulders of the student, providing an additional benefit of the growth of a sense of personal power as they begin at an early age to develop the concept of "master of one's own fate."
The Stellar School Project could also greatly enhance the present career education program at Roncalli. All Level I students are required to take one Career Education course using a textbook, which compared to Internet Information , is virtually obsolete. Student projects and assignments could be made far more interesting, practical and meaningful using information "hot off the press."
The Stellar School Project could connect well with other parts of the curriculum, not just that component directly linked to guidance and career education. It is a long term goal of Roncalli High School to involve teachers across the curriculum in the promoting and delivery of a career education person in their particular field. It is our contention that the most highly motivated and competent person to help explore careers in biology would be the science teacher.
Who better to explore English related careers than the Language Arts teacher? By involving a majority of teachers throughout the school, career education becomes an integrated and joint venture of all persons in the school and not sole responsibility of guidance department. As such, it may achieve stature as a worthwhile school endeavor and therefore, have more likelihood of success.
The proposed site for the Stellar Schools Internet connection would be the school library. The library is open to all students and easily accessible during non class time at recess, lunch and after school hours. The program would have to be monitored by the guidance department and level III students, in particular, will be required to provide up to date reports of their individual career searching endeavors. Small group internet training sessions would be provided by the school computer personnel so that all students have equal opportunity to access the world wide web. Worlds wide is the operative and important phrase, as through the internet the possibilities are endless for career exploration in any corner of the globe. The number of potential sites for career information is infinite and ever changing. The following is very limited list of possible web sites for student use:
Because the entire field of career exploration is rather nebulous and abstract one, quantitative measurement of this qualitative subject will be different and complicated. One possibility would be the development of a brief but relevant questionnaire to be administered to level III students in June of their graduation year. Another possibility would be a series of brief telephone interviews with parents in September of the year following their child's graduation from high school to determine the child's status vis-a-vis career choice and implementation.