One day, a young man named Andrew asked to transfer out of the 7 Habits for Highly Effective People class at the OCCC’s on-site charter school. Eager to find out why Andrew wanted to leave, Jarom Luedtke, the class’s teacher and school’s Director of Education, began to question him. Andrew felt the class was too theoretical and that he could not apply it to his life.
After about twenty minutes of discussing Andrew’s situation and looking at specific ways he could, for instance, use proactive language by saying “I chose to,” instead of “They made me,” Luedtke could see the concepts settling in behind Andrew’s eyes. After a pensive few moments, Andrew looked up and told Luedtke that maybe he needed the class after all. The following day, Andrew seemed more engaged in the class than ever before.
Not every school with an opportunity for young adults above the age of a traditional high school student to finish their diplomas offers classes that develop the students beyond the intellectual. The OCCC Charter School gives students the opportunity to improve themselves, while still maintaining rigorous academics. Instead of packet-work and solely independent study, students receive direct instruction from California-credentialed teachers with a passion for the improvement of their students. Students that complete the program earn their high school diploma instead of just a GED. The program is offered free of charge, and after four months of strong attendance and academic work, students receive the opportunity to join the OCCC paid job-training program. This allows students to build their resume and get a head start on employment.
This program has expanded significantly in the past few years: the student population has increased by 57%. The school improves students’ CAHSEE (California High School Exit Examination) scores more than any other school in California and has experienced a jump in the number of graduates.
The 7 Habits class impacted a different young man named Daniel so much that he returned to the high school he had dropped out of to recommend that they teach a similar class. He feels that he would not have dropped out had he understood the 7 Habits strategies earlier.
We invite anyone who is interested in learning what our school has to offer to visit and receive a tour of the campus, meet our friendly and competent teachers and see our outstanding students in action. We are confident that, like our students, you will leave better than you were when you arrived.