Guiding Light on the Lakeshore
Berrien County ISD Combines Technology and Educational Programs to Offer Students Pathways to SuccessBy Brian Warkoczeski, March 2008
When you are young and unsure of what direction to take with your academics as you prepare for a future career, it helps to have some guidance and direction to make the process smoother and less overwhelming.
In Southwest Michigan, Berrien County Intermediate School District (BCISD) is a guiding light, providing students with technology and recources that they can use to choose the right path.
The district has created Focus and Plan, the Berrien County Career/Technical Education Website, an online tool that students can use to determine which direction to take with their studies.
Through the website, high school students in the county can choose from one of six majors, then learn about available courses and view the career opportunities and outlook. Students can then take the courses through BCISD that will help them reach their future goals.
The "Focus and Plan" website is an excellent way for high school students to prepare for the next step, whether it's joining the workforce after graduation or continuing education at a university.
Interactive VideoconferencingBCISD also utilizes Interactive Videoconferencing via Merit Network and its Internet2 connection to bring authors, legislators, and events into the classroom.
On December 7th, students at four elementary schools in the district were able to interact with Margaret Willey, an author from St. Joseph, Michigan.
Last winter, middle and high school students met with Congressman Fred Upton and Senator Carl Levin via videoconferences.
Interactive videoconferencing allows schools to take virtual fieldtrips and discuss important topics with people in the news without leaving the classroom.
Student ActivitiesIn addition, Berrien County Intermediate School District offers area students activities that enable them to interact with professionals and challenge their minds with creatively.
In partnership with Lake Michigan College, BCISD presents Career Exploration Days, where 8th graders across Berrien County can spend the day listening to professionals from various occupations and get an early start on crafting their Education Development Plan.
Area students can also participate in the Berrien County Arts and Science Expo and the Science Olympiad each spring. Both events allow students to competitively use their creativity and problems solving skills.
Special activities and interactive resources are among the many ways that BCISD is preparing students for the challenges they will face after graduation.
About BCISDBerrien County Intermediate School District (BCISD) is an educational service agency serving in Southwest Michigan. It serves 29,000 students in 16 public school districts, 30 parochial schools, and three public school academies. BCISD has been connected to Internet2 via Merit Network since November 2001.
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