CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- In another effort to help students discover a career interest, Putnam County middle school principals are trying to choose eighth-graders who will participate in a new program, which will allow them to earn high school credits.
The "8.5" program will allow about 20 students to focus on career development in a high school setting, said Penny Fisher, assistant superintendent of pupil services.
Middle school principals are in the process of identifying the students who would spend morning hours at their middle schools and take a bus to Winfield High in the afternoon to attend class and earn high school credits.
"We're trying to help students get some idea of what works and what doesn't," Fisher said. "Those students who have plans to get a four-year [college degree] would focus on that and it can also help other students identify tech programs they might be interested in."
Putnam Superintendent Chuck Hatfield has said a large number of high school graduates in Putnam go on to college, but that nearly two out of three don't earn a degree. For that reason, Putnam schools have started focusing on career-readiness skills and are developing programs to help students figure out career paths.
"This is kind of a different look at career development than what we've traditionally been doing," Fisher said.
The group of middle school students would be in their own class, which would be taught by a high school teacher, she said.
Some of the program would include discussing career possibilities and taking field trips to businesses.