Planning for the Next Step

NASH’s College and Careers Project has long been a graduation requirement.


photo by Mary Marzula

English classes working on their college and career project.

Mary Marzula, Staff Writer

Like many adults, NASH English teacher Mrs. Tallerico has firsthand seen the importance of planning for the future, as she has reflected on her journey to her teaching career.

“I think it is incredibly vital for juniors to start thinking about their lives after high school,” she said. 

Juniors know the immense pressure of preparing for the future. Even though they’re only sixteen and seventeen, they have to start planning for the rest of their lives. At times, the search may seem hopeless, but Tallerico is finding a way to make it a little easier. 

The College and Careers Project, which is a requirement for graduation at North Allegheny, allows students to research a profession and interview an adult in the field of work they are interested in pursuing, along with researching a college they want to investigate more thoroughly. In addition, this project allows students who aren’t interested in the college route to look into military and trade school options. 

This project allows students to really think about the careers they are interested in and how important it is to find a college that not only provides the proper education for that career but also fits in with them personally,” Tallerico explained.

In the first part of the project, students look into careers that interest them. They are asked to take surveys on Naviance to find a career. From those results, students begin researching.

Junior Megan Roth especially liked the interview portion of this project.

“The interview was helpful because I got honest answers, real stories, and helpful advice from a professional in the field instead of reading articles about it online,” she expressed.

After compiling their information, students have to give a speech about the positives and negatives they think come along with that career. 

photo by Mary Marzula

The second part of the project is all about future education. Students return to Naviance and utilize the SuperMatch tool to find and compare colleges that match their test scores, GPA, and their needs and wants.

“Naviance allows students to SuperMatch colleges, giving them a starting point of what colleges to research that align with their wants in a school,” Tallerico said.

After picking one school that interests them, students then continue to research said school. They use the information given on Naviance to find things like graduation rates, cost, and student life to give a more understanding picture about the school. After the research is complete, students give a presentation about their findings for the potential future college.

Most juniors may not know what they want to do in the future and won’t forge to find answers because they think they have all the time in the world. Working on this project, however, helps to open the eyes of many juniors to really start thinking about their futures. 

This project not only gave me the reality check I needed to realize this step in my life is coming so soon, but it also answered any worries I had before the research,” said junior Olivia Phillips.

This project is a vital piece for students at North Allegheny to make sure they are choosing the right options for their aspirations and lessens the stress going into these major decisions.