Rahway High’s Freshman Transition Initiative Highlighted

George Washington University researcher Rebecca Dedmond addresses Rahway high school guidance counselors and freshmen transition teachers. (Photo courtesy of Rahway High School)

RAHWAY — On Oct. 26, Rebecca Dedmond of George Washington University addressed the faculty of Rahway High School regarding her research on how Freshman Transition programs build academic persistence among students. Rahway High School has implemented such a program this September. The goal of such program is to increase academic success among incoming freshmen throughout high school and during post-secondary education by helping them to develop a vision for success. Professor Dedmond also spent time directly with the school’s Freshman Transition teachers.

Rebecca Dedmond is assistant professor and director of the Master of Arts in School Counseling Program at The George Washington University where she has also written and validated the Freshman Transition Standards and established the Freshman Transition Initiative. Previously, she has sponsored school and career initiatives both in the United States and abroad, serving as consultant to The World Bank and The British Council and Career Counseling Supervisor for the Commonwealth of Virginia. She also worked with the United States Army Recruiting Command, where she wrote and implemented a successful marketing campaign, “Planning for Life.”

On Wednesday evening, Nov. 2, at the Rahway Public Library, the community had an opportunity to learn more about the Freshman Transition program during Rahway Board of Education’s Town Meeting. Rahway High School Principal John Farinella and teachers Maria Hennessy, Dawe Peralta, and Linda Weissbrod shared information and videos and answered questions about the new initiative. This is a school-wide initiative, with all freshmen students, guidance counselors, peer leadership team and eleven teachers involved during the initial year. As freshmen, students gain financial literacy enabling them to create online ten-year life plans, which are then updated annually in higher level courses and available for advisory purposes to the entire faculty and guidance staff throughout their high school years.

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