CCS, Jeff State partner for student success

Published 10:53 am Friday, August 11, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

In an effort to make sure Chilton County High School students are ready for college level work, Chilton County Schools teachers and administrators met with Jefferson State Community College Clanton campus personnel to discuss class descriptions and tips for success.

“The goal of the meeting was to discuss how we could bridge the gap between students exiting high school and when they enter college,” Ashlie Harrison, CCS director for teaching and learning, said. “The high school teachers had the chance to bring in lesson plans and course descriptions and have small group discussions with professors from Jeff State. The teachers and professors were able to collaborate and see what strategies they could use to help students be more successful when they get to college.”

Harrison said each high school, including the county’s K-12 schools, had teachers at the meeting. Subjects included language arts, science, math and social science.

“When educators know where students are coming from or where they are going, they have a better grasp on their job at hand,” Ashley Kitchens, associate dean of the Jeff State Clanton campus, said. “With a partnership between K-12 and our college, the students benefit because we are all working together, the middle and high schools benefit because instructors can better understand expectations for students as they continue their academic journey, and our college benefits because instructors will see students who understand what will be expected of them.”

Kitchens said high school students sometimes lack confidence in articulating ideas when they come to college because they are so focused in high school on knowing the right answers for a tests.

“They may have the knowledge, but they do not know what to do with it,” Kitchens said. “This partnership will hopefully build bridges between assessment at the K-12 level and assessment at the college level. Ultimately, we want students to come to classes being prepared to not only understand material, but to also argue a position on that material and place that material in context to the past, present and future.”

The plan is for the two educational organizations to meet twice each year as part of a Vertical Alignment Initiative to keep high school classes on track with what will be expected at the college level.