Online program helps local students plan for college and career

Posted on: 9:53 pm, September 5, 2013, by , updated on: 10:55am, September 6, 2013

A program helps students in the Quad Cities pick the right major before college, giving them a leg up once they get there. It’s also preparing them for their lives after college as well.

It’s near the end of a school day and Alleman High School senior Shannon Cusack takes notes in class. The school year might have just started, but already Cusack has planned out what she’ll do after she graduates.

“Already I feel like I’m saving so much more time then some applicants might be,” said Cusack.

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Alleman High School is just one out of the many local schools that uses Career Cruising Quad Cities. It’s a web-based career exploration program for middle and high school students.

“To identify careers of interest and then learn more about how to get on a pathway to those careers,” said Kirk Markse, director for Career Cruising Quad Cities.

Cusack who wants to go in the field of Biology has been able to narrow her search down.

“I’m able to put in just biology and then there’s links that connect you to careers or majors,” said Cusack.

There are more than 500 different careers, students can learn about and what makes this program unique, there are also 140 local career coaches.

“It’s great the online resources that we have, but it’s even better that they can reach out to the volunteers and get their questions answered,” said Marske.

It’s a one stop shop, where students can build their own resumes to even checking out colleges.

“You can learn about it without going out there for schools that are so far away,” said Cusack.

Giving students the tools they need at their finger tips.

“If I go in there knowing what I’m going to do, it’s going to be that much simpler,” said Cusack.

The program’s been active in Rock Island County and started this year in Pleasant Valley. Marske hopes to expand it throughout Scott County in the future.