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Elizabethton High School unveils new course on postsecondary success

Contributed • May 23, 2019 at 10:09 PM

ELIZABETHTON — Beginning with the Class of 2020, seniors at Elizabethton High School will be enrolled in a new course designed to teach postsecondary success skills. The course, “Success! Skills for excelling in college and life,” will be co-taught by EHS teachers and Milligan College professors. Students enrolled will receive three hours of college dual enrollment credit.

The course will focus on developing and demonstrating skills that are needed to succeed in college, the workplace and life. These goals and expectations complement those in the freshmen Cyclone experience course. Skills will include time management, professional communication, leadership, decision making, career management, fitness/health and study skills.

“We always hear from employers that job applicants need to have better soft skills, and we know those skills are essential both in college and career,” said Corey Gardenhour, Elizabethton’s director of schools. “We really begin to focus on that during freshman year in Cyclone experience, so what we wanted to do is bring those concepts full circle. Our focus on project-based learning and professional communication skills are taught across the curriculum and have had a profound impact on our school and community. Our goal is to keep that momentum going as our students continue into the next phase of life.”

The original idea for the course was developed over the course of several conversations among EHS teachers and with members of Milligan’s Academic Affairs Department to address college dropout rates and the ability of graduates to acquire a job and excel in their chosen field.

“We are excited to partner with Elizabethton High School to teach “success! skills in excelling in college and life,” said Garland Young, vice president for academic affairs at Milligan. “We believe that student success requires certain skills and dispositions regardless of whether students are college-bound or workforce-bound following high school graduation. These skills include time management, interview skills, communication skills and leadership skills. Students also need to cultivate personal dispositions such as self-awareness, emotional intelligence and resiliency in order to be successful in life. This course will guide students toward both sets of goals.”

Student learning outcomes for the course include:

• Students will develop and implement skills to increase their college and career performance.

• Students will develop an increased appreciation of their capabilities and attitudes toward life through assessments taken during the course. Assessments will include a learning inventories checklist.

• Students will demonstrate an understanding of how their capabilities, strengths and interests can be used in a variety of jobs.

• Students will develop an understanding of how to conduct a job search and of materials needed to support a job search.

• Students will develop an understanding of the skills and behaviors needed to participate and succeed in various interview settings.

• Students will develop an understanding of personal branding and social media presence.

• Students will demonstrate the ability to communicate in a professional manner.

• Students will develop an awareness of mental health and fitness strategies to maintain a healthy lifestyle.