Academic & Career Planning

Preparing Graduates to be College & Career Ready

graduates quote

On average, a 4-year college degree will provide lower unemployment and 66% higher wages.1  93% of middle school students aspire to go on to college, yet only 44% enroll.  Nevertheless, many students who pursue a 4-year degree do so without an understanding of what they are investing in for their future.  On the other hand, there is an increased demand for jobs that do not require a 4-year degree, but students are not well-informed on how to access them. 

Average cost at 4-year public university is $20,770 (in-state) and $36,420 (out of state) per year2
Nearly half do not complete a 4-year degree within 6 years1
48% of college graduates are underemployed3

1. National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
2. College Board Trends in College Pricing, 2017
3. Center for College Affordability, 2013

Prior to graduation, all West Shore School District high school students will chart their own personalized pathway for a future career inclusive of the necessary skills, training and/or college degree necessary for achieving their post-secondary vision and plan.  

Personalized Academic and Career Education Roadmap (PACER)
The goal of the West Shore School District Personalized Academic and Career Education Roadmap (PACER) is to ensure that all students are considering their post-high school goals as they plan and select a sequence of rigorous interconnected courses and experiences upon entering high school.  We believe that engaging students in personalized plans of study and connecting them to pathway internships and/or workplace experiences will make their high school education more relevant while also preparing them to make more informed post-high school decisions.

Each student’s PACER may consist of: 

  • an entirely academic course of study or
  • a blend of academic, technical, online, college in the high school or dual enrollment courses
  • and all students will plan for pathway experiences [learning opportunities] outside of the regular classroom

PACER guides can be downloaded from each career field page and are available for easy reference below:

West Shore School District will:

  • ensure our high schools offer rigorous and relevant academics with flexible scheduling and coursework aimed at multiple pathways for students to become college and/or career ready prior to graduation.
  • ensure the necessary information and supports are in place along with high quality career and personal counseling.
  • ensure that students can develop meaningful connections and relationships with adults in the school and within the community.

Pathway & Portfolio Timeline 

Grade 7

Grade 8

Grade 9

Grade 10

Grade 11

Grade 12

Guest Speakers- All Grade Levels

Career Exploration Activities-All Grade Levels

JA Yes Program 


Career Fair


Ready for Work Seminar


CPACTC Visit-Before End of Grade 8

Additional CPACTC Visitations


Course Selection Process Begins- Utilizing Pathways and 4-year Planning Process


E-portfolio Development for Senior Presentation


Job Shadow #1

Job Shadow #2

Job Shadow #3


Resume Development

Resume Refinement


Personal Finance


Pathway Internships


Senior Seminar Presentation & Exit Interview

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