What’s Next: Thinking About Life After High School
Want to Get Into College? Learn to Fail (Commentary by Angel B. Perez)
Hidden Intellectualism (An excerpt from They Say/I Say:The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing)
Module Description and background: This module is designed to be used in the first semester of the 12th grade. The module focuses on supporting students as they confront choices they have to make about life after high school. As students enter the final year of their education, they are likely to begin thinking about their future. This module provides students with an opportunity, early in the year, to begin to consider not just what they wish to do after high school but how well prepared they are for life after high school. The module’s readings prompt students to think specifically about why they may want to go to college or pursue another kind of experience in their future. All in all, the readings in the module serve to promote self-reflection and provide information about life after high school. Planning for college or career after high school graduation calls for research, reflection, and preparation for any number of application processes. This module asks students • To generate a research and findings about potential paths after high school • To write a final personal application letter for college or a letter of introduction to a work community As the opening unit for the Expository Reading and Writing Course, this module attempts to establish some basic attitudes toward college and adult language practices. Students will be asked to use reading, writing, and research to identify their post high school goals, evaluate their readiness for such plans, and then effectively represent themselves to the community they wish to join. Furthermore, research in the module allows students to gain information about application processes, career opportunities, and college life. As an exercise in self-assessment, planning, and the production of an “ethos,” the module breaks into three interrelated projects. The first segment of the module focuses on reading what others have to say about going to college or entering the work force. In the context of the readings, students identify personal values and skills, assess those values and skills in relation to future plans, and find language or experiences that best represent the student’s self-perception at this stage of life. The readings are used as prompts for self-assessment. The second segment focuses on research. Students visit various Web sites to gather information about the requirements, opportunities, and their own readiness for college or work. Working in small groups or as individuals, students are asked to use the Web resources provided in the module to generate a more specific and socially informed sense of their readiness for their individual future plans. This segment culminates in students creating a personal Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) project. The FAQ is designed as a prewriting project that students should be able to use as they compose their final letters to a work community or college. The third segment focuses on writing a letter of introduction or a college personal application essay. All the curriculum leading up to this point in the module is designed to support the composing and revising of these texts; thus, there should be no confusion for students about the relationship between activities designed to support the development of one of these two texts—the letter of introduction to a work place or the college personal application essay. These are the culminating documents of the module.