Weekly Feature



2011-09-15 / Education

BEEP ‘Employability Portfolio’ showcased at national conference


2011 Academy graduates Taylor Jaszka, left, and Meagan Jean represented the West Seneca Central School District by recently presenting at the annual National Academy Foundation Summer Institute for Staff Development in San Francisco, Calif. 2011 Academy graduates Taylor Jaszka, left, and Meagan Jean represented the West Seneca Central School District by recently presenting at the annual National Academy Foundation Summer Institute for Staff Development in San Francisco, Calif.

Two recent West Seneca Academy graduates along with two of West Seneca’s faculty members were invited to present at the annual National Academy Foundation Summer Institute for Staff Development in San Francisco, Calif. this summer.

More than 1,500 Academy directors, administrators, teachers and counselors took part in various sessions focused on the needs and strategies of NAF programs from across the nation.

Tim Oldenburg, Academy director for West Seneca schools, as well as Academies of Finance and Information Technology lead teacher Renee Day and 2011 Academy graduates Meagan Jean and Taylor Jaszka were invited to present on the Business and Education Employability Portfolio course at this conference.

“It was a great opportunity for us to network and share the success of our local programs on a national level,” said Oldenburg. “Our students who complete this BEEP course, as part of their Academy experience, are far more prepared to interview for college enrollment and employment opportunities.”

In West Seneca, the BEEP course prepares NAF students for their Academy internships and future employment through pre-interview preparation, development of interview skills, and knowledge and application of workplace competencies.

With the help of business partners and community agencies, the West Seneca Central School District participates in this portfolio curriculum.

When students participate in BEEP, they learn to possess and showcase skills that employers want. Students complete an electronic portfolio and a hard copy portfolio book, which provides an all-encompassing overview of the student’s abilities to be viewed by employers, directors of admissions, mentors and internship and job shadow sponsors.

Through the employer review process, students are given the opportunity to defend their portfolio, develop their own voice in their areas of strength where they become the center of learning and compete for scholarships.

Through the development of their portfolio, students are able to apply 21st century skills, connect globally to the world of work and continue to understand their personal growth because the portfolio is a living document.

In San Francisco, the two recent graduates presented for two hours on these facets of West Seneca’s BEEP course. They spoke of the advantages of completing BEEP and demonstrated a mock job interview.

A clip used during the presentation at the NAF Summer Institute can be found at www.wscschools.org/academyprograms — click on “check out our BEEP video.”

Students can learn more about the Academy offerings on the school district’s website or by making an appointment with their school counselor.

Return to top