Former Plymouth-Canton Educational Park (P-CEP) students were invited to Salem High School Monday to speak to P-CEP sophomores about their high school and college experiences.
The alumni graduated from P-CEP between the years 2008-2011 and are pursuing careers as financial analysts, nurses, educators, engineers and more at community colleges, four-year universities and in-state and out-of-state schools.
They spoke to the tenth grade students about which classes they found most beneficial. Many said Advanced Placement (AP) classes - such as biology, government, U.S. history, economics, psychology and calculus - helped prepare them for college and gave them college credit if they did well on AP exams.
Students at P-CEP, like in many high schools, have more control of the classes they take in their junior and senior years.
"It's important to realize where you're heading," said Barb Lehmann, Canton High School guidance counselor and P-CEP guidance department leader.
Counselors advised students to take time over winter break thinking about which classes they want because February is course selection month at P-CEP.
Lehmann said this is the second year P-CEP has invited alumni to speak to students. Before, the students would hear a presentation from counselors. This way is more engaging and students are hearing the advice first-hand, she said.
Alumni advice included:
- Take advantage of the variety of classes at P-CEP and sign up for ones you may not get the chance to take later.
- Get to know your teachers and ask them for help.
- It isn't necessary to pick a major during freshman year of college, so keep your eyes open to the different possibilities.
- Participate in extracurriculars, in high school and college, but don't just do what others tell you to do.
- It's important to get involved (in student organizations, sports, etc.) at college because you're only in class 30 percent of the time.
- Time management is important so invest in a planner.
- If you didn't get into the school that was your first choice, don't be discouraged.
- Networking is important; be friendly to everyone you meet.
- You can't predict the opportunities you'll get, so keep an open mind.
P-CEP Adds Academies to Curriculum
Another way that staff at P-CEP is trying to get students thinking about their post-high school plans is through the three academies that were implemented in the fall - STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), international and arts.
"Through these academies, students will have career opportunities," Plymouth High School Assistant Principal Lisa DelVecchio said.
She said they plan to develop the international academy into an international baccalaureate program, for which they are applying.