CRD Program Helps Students Discover Alternative Paths

CRD Program Helps Students Discover Alternative Paths

“It’s all about knowing you,” says Mrs. Bullock, who teaches Career, Research, and Development, or CRD, which is, according to Mrs. Bullock, “about teaching skills students will use as they become young adults.”

In general, CRD serves those who are not necessarily on the four-year college track or who may be ambivalent about college. At Wilde Lake, where 55.6 percent of students in 2014 did not go to a four-year college after high school, the class provides opportunity and training to more than half of students.

CRD can serve as a graduation requirement for students who do not want to take a foreign language. Culinary Science, Computer Programming, and Project Lead the Way are other possible routes toward completing this requirement.

This year, Mrs. Bullock teaches three CRD I classes (about 60 students) and two CRD II classes (26 students).  26 of those students leave school to earn their “Site Based Work Experience credits,” according to Mrs. Bullock.

The program serves a wide array of students, however, according to Mrs. Bullock, many don’t see themselves as college-bound.  “Maybe they’ve taken a world language and not done so well, and maybe they don’t want to take the SAT. It’s our job to help them prepare to continue their education and find a school that meets their learning styles and academic strengths,” says Mrs. Bullock.

However, some of Mrs. Bullock’s students take the class to better understand themselves. “We also have students who are traditionally college bound and just want to clarify career goals.  One year I had three seniors who said that they were taking CRD because ‘We’re going to college in 10 months and we don’t know what we want to be!’” says Mrs. Bullock.

“I want students to have a clear plan after graduating high school,” says Mrs. Bullock, “I give students the chance to get kids to think about their future.”

Having taught CRD for the past 12 years, Mrs. Bullock has developed a curriculum that provides everything from leadership training to budgeting to job research and resume building. “There is no right or wrong way to teach,” says Mrs. Bullock.

Senior Meretia Saunders took the class because she wasn’t sure about her future.  “It has helped me. Overall I benefitted from this class. I learned a lot and it made me think about my future as a whole,” said Meritia.

Marcell Fields, a senior who is confident about his future, is currently taking CRD with Mrs. Bullock.  “The reason why I took CRD was to get a better idea of what I wanted to do with my life,” says Marcell. “I like the class and, career wise, I want to become an electrician. I have been thinking about becoming an electrician for two to three years.”

Aware that the future is near Fields said, “I feel prepared and one thing this class has taught me is to always give respect and you shall receive it in return.”

Former CRD student  and senior Daniel Dumorin also realized what he wanted to pursue after high school by taking the class. “I want to become a writer and open up a bookstore when I grow older,” said Dumorin.  “I loved CRD it made me think about my future. It wasn’t just the class but the way it was structured.”

Like many CRD students, Dumorin found that Mrs. Bullock helped him to grow. “CRD helps you plan your life,” said Dumorin, “CRD has helped me think about my future and it has made me grow as a person.”

According to Mrs. Bullock, the program entitles students to become independent. “I often say that CRD is about getting you ready to be an independent young adult when you’re 25.  None of our students hope to still live at home when they’re 25, and I can guarantee that their parents don’t want them to live at home when they’re 25 either.  A big topic that CRD covers is financial literacy — budgeting, saving, loans, credit cards, and investing — so that students are prepared to live on their own.”