These are excerpts from presentations given at the CESA Counselor Forum in Burbank, CA that was sponsored by CACE.
Do your students know God’s calling for their lives? In our session, we focused on the importance of students discovering their God-given identity allowing them to be more prepared for exploring potential careers and colleges. We provided practical curriculum and helped high school counselors understand how important this topic is and how it can enhance their counseling department when working with students making decisions about their future goals.
Besides tuition costs, the most expensive cost in college is changing majors and changing schools. One main solution to this problem is to help students identify their gifts and talents at an earlier stage. At Whittier Christian High School, we combine the Life Calling curriculum with Naviance, an online college and career readiness tool. Once students are able to discover their gifts using these aptitude assessment tests, College Advisors can then direct them to focus on a possible vocation. From there, we help them discover different majors for college and build a college application list. Using Life Calling ensures that students understand their gifts at this critical time in the college planning process. If the student waits until their second or third year of college to declare a major, many times these majors are impacted and the student is forced to switch schools or change majors. Ultimately, this program saves students (and parents) that costly expense.
Data from our post survey with junior students in our Life Calling course shows the value of this course. One question from our survey for example, asks students, “As a result of taking Life Calling, I know more of who I am and what I want to do.” Out of 239 junior students who took the survey, 86% admitted they have been helped in the areas of self-identity and self-awareness pertaining to a college or profession.
Dr. Phil Gelatt is the Director of High School Program for the Ron Blue Institute for Financial Planning. Phil brings over 35 years of Christian education experience as a teacher, coach, principal and school head. He is passionate for Christian education and has experience and expertise in the areas of discipleship, student development, dual enrollment programing, mission statement creation and development, school culture, and life calling and leadership. Phil holds an EdD. in Organizational Leadership from Indiana Wesleyan University.