This year an important event in Utica Community Schools celebrated a milestone.
The Academic Blitz – a night where families and students explore options in Utica Community Schools and beyond – marked its tenth anniversary with one of the largest group of parents and students in its history. Along with our Career Expo and College Fair, the Academic Blitz is a critical event that gives families and students information that will allow them to create a plan of success.
The program originated through discussions with a group of secondary students on the Superintendent’s Advisory Board. Student advisory board members in 2007 felt that students and families needed more information about their high school choices long before registration to take advantage of everything UCS has to offer. They also felt that a community event would reinforce the importance of students continuing their education past graduation – what we call our College Culture.
Ten years later, the driving forces behind this community event has made this culture even more critical. The economic recession and a changing national economy have shown the impact of successful post-secondary experiences – whether that is the military, college and university or vocational training.
Recently, the Detroit News reported that workers with advanced degrees earn 56 percent more than those with only high school diplomas. It also reported that these degrees lead to greater quality of life experiences, such as owning their own home or saving for retirement.
Like the forces that drove its creation, the Blitz has also evolved. The information now shared targets all K-12 parents, showing the importance of how decisions made early in a student’s education will open future doors. The sessions and informational booths have also expanded, as more options are centered on our students’ individual needs and career interests.
The Blitz also sets the stage for two other community events that explore colleges and career options:
• The Career Expo from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m at Eisenhower High School on Thursday, March 16
• The College Fair on April 19 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at Henry Ford II High School
The students who initiated the Academic Blitz are now leaders in business, technology and medicine. The vision they helped create, however, remains – that creating a game plan today will ensure success well into their future.