You have questions. We have answers.
To find success in today’s economy, it is important for students to graduate with a clear path for their careers. It is equally important for schools to have resources to support this path in order to meet the individual needs of students. The SAE for All program provides the structure and process to guide students with career awareness, exploration and preparation for their chosen careers. The benefits of income, understanding the workplace and creating a financial plan all add value to students as they pursue their chosen career paths.
Having students graduate from high school with a clear path to their chosen career encourages a seamless transition to either the workplace or post-secondary education. The Foundational SAE provides the process through which students can explore, research and prepare for their chosen careers. This effort can happen alongside the Immersion SAE project to provide both an understanding of their chosen careers and the opportunity for validation of that choice.
No, the Foundational SAE is not a replacement for students without an Immersion SAE. Foundational SAE is a process-focused component that guides students through five critical career development areas to give direction in the selection and continuation of an Immersion SAE. The Foundational SAE component is active throughout a student’s time within the agricultural education program. The students’ activities in a Foundational SAE build on previous work as they progress through their agricultural education courses. Once students start an Immersion SAE aligned to their career choices, the Foundational SAE continues alongside the Immersion experience to provide validation and preparation for their career paths after graduation.
Once students have selected a career path in which they are interested, they can begin exploring which type of Immersion SAE best provides the opportunity for enhanced engagement in that field. This provides students the opportunity to validate that the chosen career area aligns with their interests and abilities. The individual learning guides for Immersion SAEs walk students through the process of setting up an Immersion SAE aligned to their careers. Starting an Immersion SAE before the Foundational work of career exploration occurs could lead a student into a “project” that may not provide the career preparation that is essential for students to graduate with a well-defined career path.
What if a student enters into the agricultural education program later in their high school career? Do they start with awareness-level Foundational SAE activities?
When students enter the agricultural education program later in high school, the Foundational SAE activities they complete will need to be differentiated, depending upon the career exploration and development work they have previously completed. If students have a well-defined career path chosen, the teacher may then lead them to the Foundational activities that carry them further down the career development process (intermediate- or advanced-level activities). If students do not have a chosen career path or have an interest in exploring agriculture careers, then starting them with awareness-level Foundational SAE activities might be appropriate. Having flexibility to individually meet with students where they are in their career development process is more important than having them do all elements of the Foundational SAE.
The Foundational SAE component is active throughout a student’s enrollment within an agricultural education program. The student activities within the Foundational SAE build on previous work as students progress through their agricultural education courses. Once students starts an Immersion SAE aligned to their career choices, the Foundational SAE continues alongside the immersion experience to provide validation of and preparation for their career paths after graduation.