Photo Brockton High School, Brockton, MA

Brockton High School Access Center

"Desire, determination and discipline"

The Access Center/ Tech Center at Brockton High School is part of the BHS Guidance Department effort to implement the vision of the American School Counseling Association (ASCA) adopted by the Massachusetts School Counselors Association (MASCA). The vision of the Access Center is "to ensure that every student at BHS has the opportunity to access personalized peer-academic support and to receive customized information that can help them in the decision making process for their post-secondary plan". In order to fulfill this vision the Access Center provides both human and technical support.

Students-volunteers

Academic support is offered by upper class students (juniors and seniors), who have successfully passed MCAS and who excel in one or more academic areas. These students who are handpicked by their guidance counselors based on their academic and personal characteristics and are encouraged to volunteer part of their time peer-tutoring students in need of extra help. Peer-tutors receive credits for this service.

Volunteers are trained for about two weeks at the beginning of each term by the Access Center Coordinator. During this time they discuss strategies and psychological aspects aimed to enhance both their services as tutors and the academic skills of their assigned students. They also learn to maintain records of the work they do with each student. Peer-tutors have regular debriefing sessions monitored by the Access Center Coordinator where they assess their student's progress and exchange experiences and strategies which allow for the use and development of their critical thinking skills.

In addition, the Access Center peer-volunteers are trained in the use of career exploratory- career planning software. This allows them to help students develop career technical literacy and assist counselors in the registration process for the use of these tools. Peer tutors are also trained and updated periodically regarding scholarship opportunities, college testing registration procedures and deadlines, and similar matters. Summarizing, the Access Center volunteers are well prepared to help any BHS students to locate and use post-secondary career information resources. Throughout the semester each volunteer chooses an area or topic related to post-secondary options for students and develops a portfolio that is left for interested students to use as an additional career exploratory/planning tool.

Staff:

The Access Center is staffed with a full time guidance counselor and a teacher. The guidance counselor acts as the Access Center Coordinator and is under the direct supervision of the Guidance Department Head. This individual is responsible for the generation, organization and coordination of academic support and career oriented activities taking place at this center. Additional responsibilities are to recruit, train, and supervise peer-tutors, to lead and coordinate the delivery of services imparted at this center according to students' developmental needs, to assess the effect of tutoring services on the academic progress of students, and to maintain records and collect data for all activities.

The Technical Support:

Besides helping students strengthen their academic skills by supporting their learning process, the Access Center at BHS is also devoted to helping students strengthen their technical literacy skills. Staff and peer-tutors assist students in gaining the necessary knowledge and skills to take advantage of software and web-based career exploratory and career planning programs. These programs which are purchased by the guidance department offer students and parents support throughout the decision making process involved in the exploration and identification of appropriate post-secondary alternatives. Programs such as Choices Explorer, Choices Planner, and MassCis allow for the personalization of the career related counseling services. Parents are encouraged to take advantage of these programs which are free of charge. To learn more about how to register for these programs go to the links and resources page of the Guidance website.

Contact Information:

The Access Center is located on the first floor in the Azure Building at BHS (former Azure IRC). It is open Monday Through Friday from 7:32 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Students can be referred to the Access Center by their guidance counselors, teachers or parents. They can also request services on their own at any time during the year by reporting to the AIRC during a Directed Academic period, their lunch, or when a teacher is absent. However, students must have a valid pass signed by a teacher. Parents are welcome to contact the Access Center by calling at 508-894-4597 or by e-mailing Mrs. Rubilar, the Access Center Coordinator, at gloriarubilar@bpsma.org


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