Hoover City Schools

What Happens After Graduation? Natalie Noble Can Help back button

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14-Sept-2015 (HCS) - Students at Hoover High School and Spain Park High School will now have one more resource as they begin assessing “what’s next” after graduation: a Career Coach. Natalie Noble has joined Hoover City Schools in that capacity and has begun working with students needing direction.

“I help students identify their college and career aspirations and connect those with technical and community colleges where they can achieve those goals,” Noble said. “What I see with many students is a gap between their skill sets/interests and what they have in their own minds of what they want to do.”

Working with those students has become a passion for Noble, who holds biology degrees from both Howard University (B.S.) and Texas Southern University (Master’s). Additionally, she’s held positions at colleges and universities in Louisiana and Mississippi. Working in those higher-ed settings has given Noble unique insight into the evolutionary state of career and technical education and its impact on high schoolers.

Hoover City Schools’ Coordinator of Federal Programs and Assessment, Dr. Debra Smith, was instrumental in crafting the Career Coach role. She believes Noble fills a much-needed gap in the district’s offerings.

“You have to stay informed, study workforce development data, and be aware of the importance of student interest inventories. I don’t think we have used those in the past to the extent we could have to better match students’ interests and skills,” Dr. Smith said.

HCS and other districts work with the Career and Technical Education (CTE) division of the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) to enhance CTE offerings. Key to this process is the Alabama Career Planning System, which employs a website called “Kuder” to assess, track and inventory student career and technical interests.

“We are trying to strengthen the connection between school, home and industry to ensure students have more opportunities than ever before,” Dr. Smith said.

Strengthening those connections translates into lots of one-on-one meetings between Natalie Noble and HCS students. She will foster relationships with students, their teachers and school administrators to best match skill sets and interests - and beyond that, collect data on the whole experience.

“I will be measuring how many students see me; how many are connected with services; how many parents attend informational meetings; surveying industry partners; and surveying students to see whether programs offered are effective for what they learn,” Noble said.

“This helps us ensure that those students who were not necessarily connected in academies or other academic offerings are being considered and that we are identifying pathways for them to become successful,” Dr. Smith said.

Noble will split her time between Hoover High School and Spain Park High School.  Contact her via email or 205-439-1000.


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