Professional Business Development

  • Business
  • Education
  • Youth
  • Georgia
This project is led by Connor Borchardt, a Volunteer from Ohio

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The community school is small and based in a disadvantaged community. Students have exposure to poor physical resources and teaching methods and lack professional skills and motivation. To address these issues our project aims to establish a presentation room, a training of teachers, an employability workshop and motivational speaker presentations. An employability workshop will be held annually by the deputy director with the graduating class focusing on resume building, professional speaking and interview skills. Before completing the workshop students will be required to submit a quality resume. An existing room will be renovated to create a presentation room which will house the training of teachers, employability workshops, and guest motivational speaker presentations. In order to create a professional presentation environment the room will have its floors improved, be equipped with technology and supplied with materials to make lessons more effective. Teaching methods will be improved through a training of teachers and annual refresher courses which will teach project-based-learning and presentation skills. Utilizing Bloom’s Taxonomy teachers will learn project-based-learning which supports the most effective methods of learning. Implementation of new methods will take place with teachers conducting yearly projects with students, monitored by the deputy director. Motivation will be increased through a semesterly visit and speech of a professional motivational guest speaker which will focus on career opportunities and academic pursuits. Through inauguration of a presentation room, training of teachers, employability workshop and motivational speaker presentations the school will see exceptional employability development and capacity improvement.

In 2017 the deputy director and English Teacher, or DD, applied for an EE PCV. She did this in order to improve the schools capacity and exposure to out of school activities and opportunities such as grants, competitions, trainings and workshops. Once receiving a PCV, the DD and PCV planned several ways in which to improve the school. For the first grant project the DD wanted to focus on High School students who are at particular risk of failing exams due to poor teaching methods and physical resources and lack proper employability skills to pursue careers after school due to poor training and motivation.

The school staff met with PCV and the DD in order hold a needs assessment meeting. In this meeting teachers discussed and were surveyed on what improvements they felt were most important. Teachers discussed how to raise low test scores and motivation citing repetition and memorization as causes of low test scores. The DD and PCV made a presentation of their findings on Bloom’s Taxonomy and project-based learning. Teachers shared that an effective way to improve presentations would be through an additional PowerPoint training. The director suggested regular visitation and presentation held by professional motivational guest speakers. These speakers would serve three purposes; to motivate students to complete their education, to expose students to professional opportunities outside of the community and to provide examples of exemplary projects and presentations.  The staff also suggested a permanent room. This room would be a permanent technological improvement to the school serving two purposes; to provide a permanent base for guest speakers and to provide a regular  in class outlet for presentations by teachers and students. After the meeting, the survey concluded the most important factors for High Schooler educational improvement was use of project-based learning and regular visitation of professional motivational guest speakers. The survey also concluded the most important factor for High Schooler motivational improvement was an improved technology room and professional motivational guest speakers. To end the consultation meeting teachers brought up additional concerns at the lack of resume and interview training which was taking place, so that if students were to apply to a job after school they were lacking basic skills to acquire said job.

Post meeting the DD And PCV held bi-weekly hourly meetings for 2 months to develop and refine a grant funded project. Four major improvements were decided upon; physical resources, teaching methods, professional training and motivational exposure. The first step to the project would involve creating a physical space within the school for all trainings, workshops and speaker presentations to occur. This space would be created by renovating an existing room with technological and presentational improvements. Teaching methods would be improved with a training of trainers and a training of teachers. The trainers will be trained on how to conduct projects with students, host and grade presentations in class and powerpoint presentation development. The trainers will teach all teachers these methods. Professional improvement will take place through an annual employability for the graduating class. The deputy director will be trained by a speaking, interview and resume building specialist on how to best prepare students. Students will learn how to and be required to create their own resume, as well as conduct a practice interview. Lastly, guest professional motivational  speakers will make presentations to the high school body of students on the values of academia and preparation for the professional world. Speakers will be required to have a minimum of four years professional experience and will be chosen by the director and the deputy director.

There will be multiple features set in place to contribute to this project’s sustainability. It will begin with the installation of the computer and projector, the computer will be programmed with a virus protection software and the projector will be fixed as to avoid damage. A security door will also be installed as to avoid theft.  The project manager will learn computer maintenance from our computer specialist so she is able to troubleshoot any issues that may occur. This will keep the equipment running longer which will allow the school to  continue the sustainability of the project by keeping the trainings running. Upon closure of the grant, the costs of internet and utilities will be covered by the school. This equipment will allow the organization to offer courses in project-based-learning trainings, speaking techniques, presentation techniques and powerpoint skills.

In addition to physical sustainability, organizational sustainability will be achieved through specifically assigning semester goals. Goals would include: teachers having students create at least one project and presentation and trainers hosting an end of semester school wide presentation. To ensure a strong foundation the first training on project-based learning will be held by PCV and translated by the deputy director who is also an English teacher.  In addition to training teachers and students a training of trainers will be hosted by Connor who will separately train the deputy director and another Teacher. If one of these teachers is to leave the school they will be required to pass their knowledge to another teacher. In this manner two teachers will always be able to teach project-based learning. In a similar manner the deputy director will be required to teach the next deputy director all trainings including the employability workshop.

Most Importantly, the sustainability of the employability workshop will be maintained through annual checkups on graduate students of the school and the employability workshop. These checkups will be carried out by the Deputy Director which will log and monitor the improvement of student’s careers. During these checkups the Deputy Director will offer additional resources and knowledge gained as well as have certain students to return and offer insight to current students.

Funding Complete
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