CIS Program Changes Are Needed

As a senior, I know firsthand how stressful this last year has been. Senioritis kicks in about the second week of school and motivation to finish, or even do school work, gradually decreases. By the time Spring Break comes around, seniors are dragging themselves to the finish line, and by the time prom gets here, most seniors will have mentally clocked out.
One of the main reasons this year has been stressful was problems associated with parts of the portfolio process, mainly with the Oregon standards of career-related proficiency. Oregon Career Information System, or CIS, is the program Marshfield uses in order to meet the state’s Career-Related Learning Standards (CRLS) required for graduation. CIS can be very helpful, especially for those people who do not really know where they want to go in life. However, for those of us who do, most of it is a waste of time.

CIS is supposed to be done during advisory time. Teachers take their students to the computer lab where the Special Education teachers, who are specially trained in CIS, direct the students through the program. While teaching students about CIS and the benefits it has for future planning is the Special Education teacher’s job, it is not their job to follow up on the students. According to the “PAT” syllabus for grades 9-12, advisory is a “time for [advisory] teachers to assist students in creating a Personal Educational Plan and Profile (PEPP) while using programs such as CIS.”

Some teachers do not really know how to regulate, or do not regulate, CIS to where students actually do it in the timespan that it is due. Although the majority of teachers present the urgency of doing CIS now and getting it done during the actual time it should be done, there are few who could relay this message a little more clearly.

CIS is a ridiculous state requirement students must complete in order to graduate. The portfolio process, without CIS, is actually very beneficial to seniors. Creating a résumé, writing personal statements and putting together an activities chart are all very simple steps seniors have to take in order to graduate, most of which can also be used for scholarship applications, which is a bonus. CIS is not difficult, but very time consuming and redundant. In fact, it could all be done in a matter of hours, though the benefits would not be gained because it is not meant to be done all at once.

While a lot of problems are managerial, many problems associated with CIS are technical, such as getting an assignment done and it not saving on the Oregon CIS website or finishing an assignment and getting it printed, but losing it due to folder mishaps, whether they were put in the wrong folder or just misplaced.

If teachers regulated CIS more, it would be more convenient for both them and the students to get it done in the allotted time given. Teachers were offered training during the summer of 2012 to learn how to manage and teach students about CIS and its benefits. Although teachers are responsible for helping students, students are responsible for making sure they get their CIS finished, whether their advisory teacher told them to do it or not. If one is a procrastinator, such as me, they need to recognize the inevitable and just do it, or else they will not graduate.

In order for CIS to be helpful and constructive for students, it needs to be better regulated by advisory teachers and the technical problems need to be sorted out by the website management. One way to do so would be to have a class early on in the high school career to finish all of the requirements, and revisit the objectives each year. For example, mix in a nine-week session for CIS during Freshman Health. CIS is not meant to be completed at the last minute, so it should be structured so underclassmen do it now.