Schools Join in Advisory Project

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Eleven colleges in South Florida are collaborating with four local public-school districts, a coalition of private schools, and Miami-area Catholic schools to help students plan their high-school activities so they will be better prepared for either college or employment.

Planning Your Education: A Guide to Getting the Most Out of High School, a booklet prepared by the group, stresses that the likelihood that students will succeed in college and in the world of work is greatly improved when they take academic courses that enhance reading, writing, mathematics, and logic skills; learn more about computers; and choose a career early.

Distributed to Students, Parents

The 28-page booklet will be distributed to 8th- and 9th-grade students and their parents, according to Douglas E. Matthewson, director of the Southeast Florida Educational Consortium, the higher-education group that is working with school systems from Palm Beach, Broward, Dade, and Monroe Counties, a network of South Florida private schools, and the Archdiocese of Miami.

The guide urges students to take more rigorous courses in English, mathematics, science, and languages instead of the "soft" electives they are apt to choose, particularly during their senior year, says Mr. Matthewson.

More than 20,000 copies have been printed, but the consortium hopes to have 100,000 copies available for distribution in the near future.

The cost of printing the booklet was assumed by Burdines Department Stores, a local retail chain.

"In the past two years, the consortium has become more effective by becoming project- oriented and pursuing projects that are timely, can be completed quickly, and have purposeful value for students, educators, and communities from Palm Beach to Key West," Mr. Matthewson says.

Among their current projects, consortium members are thinking of how best to emphasize the importance of mathematics education to students who go from high school to community college and then transfer to four-year institutions.

The group is also creating a model for faculty and other personnel exchanges among institutions within the consortium, sponsoring a study of international programs at local colleges, and developing a student-employment service that will further develop links between area colleges and industries.--sr

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