SmartFutures program constructs consistent career planning

Photo created with images sourced from
gantdaily.com, the Clearfield Area JS/HS Facebook page, and smartfutures.org

Cruz R. Wright

Photo created with images sourced from gantdaily.com, the Clearfield Area JS/HS Facebook page, and smartfutures.org

Cruz R. Wright, Staff Writer

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One of the greatest difficulties a high school student faces is finding their niche for life after high school. This idea grows in prominence as a student climbs the ladder to be pushed out with a fresh education and decisions that will influence the rest of their lives. Although this is a time of great confusion, proactivity has sparked a new career planning system to help aide students in the Clearfield Area School District.

SmartFutures is the districtwide answer to a state-mandated call to action. After countless years of messy, paperwork plagued career planning, SmartFutures moves the process into the future.

SmartFutures is a technology-based software used to track and ensure career planning in primary and secondary school. The SmartFutures program uses technology to collect career information from each individual student in order to help aide them in the career sorting process. Grades K-12 will come to know SmartFutures as a classroom tool that helps students find individual direction, specific to what future is most fitting.

After the government passed legislation ensuring all students are provided equal opportunity, each state was then required to find the most effective way to help students on their journey. Programs before were disorganized and were difficult when trying to recount the progress that had been made by students.

SmartFutures tracks the progress of students from kindergarten to graduation. Each grade has a certain number of benchmarks that the state would like each student to complete before the conclusion of their current year.

The benchmarks are laid out in a 13-schoolyear plan that creates a 20-piece portfolio for each student. A portfolio is made up of a collection of “career artifacts,” which are pieces of evidence that identify career exploration.

The three benchmark years are in grades five, eight, and eleven. By the completion of fifth grade, a student should have 6 artifacts. By grade eight a student should have 12 total artifacts, and by grade eleven a student should have a minimum 20-piece portfolio.

Assistant Principal Mrs. Prestash says that the new SmartFutures program is being utilized to help eliminate some of the career stress that a student faces. The program is also organized in a way that a student’s career exploration can be documented without a difficult search.