[RUNG] We Help Eighth Graders Choose the Right Course2020-04-04T20:03:26+00:00

We Help Eighth Graders Choose the Right Course

We help eighth grade students ‘choose the right course’ with The First Rung Curriculum, our unique, custom  electronic learning modules. The First Rung (curriculum and activities) is provided free to middle schools that send their students to high schools participating in The Internship Depot’s programs. 

Intervention with eighth grade students is critical because few have enough workforce information/real world experience to select a career and develop a plan to achieve that goal. Nor should they, given most of them lack the maturity to ensure success. But if they make uninformed decisions with course selections as they enter high school, they may never achieve the job or career they might really want.

Few budding teens wind up with career planning skills early enough to help define and achieve career goals unless someone teaches them the process. They will need to know how to develop and follow at least a rudimentary plan when the time is right, and that time is not that far away.

However, most teachers are too busy delivering academic material to include workforce readiness content, and most overworked guidance counselors have to focus on upperclassmen/women who are just a year short of immediate college/career selections to give any time to young teens. That is unfortunate, because the early teen years are exactly the right time to begin a slow, steady flow of information about preparation for post-secondary education and workforce readiness in a way that does not disrupt teens’ busy lives.

That’s where we come in!

We help students start to think critically about how their academic decisions, and many of the personal choices they make in social contexts, will impact their futures. We ensure they consider these decisions as early as possible. We help eighth graders understand how high the stakes really are and what kinds of decisions will generate positive life impact.

But we also mean that phrase [Choose the Right Course] literally. Students also need to choose the right academic courses as they move into ninth grade and beyond. The courses they choose and their performance in those high school courses are key to their future success. And it’s not just academic choice and performance that will change the trajectory of their lives. Many of their personal/behavioral choices — good or bad — will also impact their futures, often equally or more so than their academic decisions.

That’s why we developed our customized electronic curriculum, which emphasizes the need for students to focus on academic achievement (the basis for the ‘hard skills’ they will need to get a job) and attend to the behaviors they need to cultivate (the ‘soft skills’ they will need to keep a job).

We use widely referenced statistics and studies on top-notch websites to help steer our participating students into a mindset that will help them know how to make academic and career decisions. We tell them where they can get up-to-date information that will help them make some of the most important decisions of their lives — and for the rest of their lives.

Uniquely, we also help all our participants understand how they can use ALL of their activities (academic and behavioral) in middle and early high school to get a job — even years after they leave their eighth grade classrooms. And yes, that is more than possible!

To help middle school students get their workforce readiness up to speed, we have developed two dynamic and effective tools: a customized curriculum and a set of programs activities. Together,

  • The First Rung Curriculum informs eighth graders about what they need to learn, and
  • The First Rung Activities provides an opportunity for eight graders to practice and apply what they have learned.

Click on the links below to learn more about The First Rung Program Activities and how they fit in with the sequence of our programs across grade levels.

Information about The First Rung curriculum can be found in the bulleted list at the bottom of this page.


Don’t Miss This Additional Information:

The First Rung Helps Eighth Graders Climb Higher with Our Program Activities.

See How The First Rung Fits in Our Sequence of Programs Across Grade Levels.


Links to Other Relevant Material:

Check Out Our Program for High School Juniors and Seniors.

We Give Students the Opportunity to Get What Colleges Want.

What We Know About What Employers Want.


Click on Each of the Black Boxes Below for More Detailed Information:

Exercise Your Mind2020-04-01T06:59:33+00:00

Take a Bath in Hard Math

We have two electronic Classroom Learning Modules targeting Mathematics Class that showcase widely accepted research and emphasize that hard work in hard courses (especially in Mathematics) is the best way to build the mind for the next level of learning.

That counts for all future options, whether a student’s goal is to attend a two-year college, a four-year college, an industry training program, join the military, or go directly to work.

The mind is like a muscle. If you don’t exercise it, a lot of the strength you could have you won’t have.

These electronic presentations clearly connect learning to earning by emphasizing the relationship between school, work, and life — and how earning the resources required to have a healthy and enjoyable life starts in grade eight.

Multiple Languages Can Produce Multiple Paychecks2020-04-04T17:14:37+00:00

So Many Languages

We offer two electronic Classroom Learning Modules in which we detail the importance of language. These presentations help students understand why learning English is key, how learning specific foreign languages can help them snag great jobs that pay more money but not all languages are created equal.

We define the impact that appropriate and skilled use of language (both the spoken and written word) makes on decision-making individuals, such as employers and college officials. Adding appropriate body language can morph an interview into a job offer.

Adding a computer language to one’s repertoire makes a job candidate almost unbeatable.

To ensure that students have learned and understood the content in this module, there is an online debriefing exercise for each.

Mysteries of Histories2020-04-01T06:18:22+00:00

An Energetic View of History

The last of our five classroom learning modules targets History class and presents a completely different take on the progress human beings have made since the end of the Ice Age.

The module also emphasizes how the rate of change in technological advances has increased and how that rate of change will impact students’ futures.

To ensure that students have learned and understood the content in this module, there is an online debriefing exercise for each.

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Propel Yourself into Your Future2020-04-01T06:17:36+00:00

Dual Duty

Most importantly, The First Rung presentations show students how they can not only build their academic portfolio with hard work in challenging academic subjects, they can ‘convert’ their hard work into language that will impress college admissions officials and businesses alike.

Yes, that’s right. Even eighth grade students will be able to not only impress their teachers, but they will learn how to compile, evaluate, and present their performance in middle school in a way that will impress college admissions officials and employers alike!

Talk about communications!

To ensure that students have learned and understood the content in this module, there is an online debriefing exercise for each.

Brain Science Rules2020-04-04T20:12:16+00:00

Demanding Course Work Builds Brains

The agonies of math? The challenges of a new language? Even harder challenges of a new language that uses a different alphabet? The focus on details demanded by computer programming?

The research is unequivocal. The more you study, learn, and practice hard academic material, the more you get smarter.

Yes, you do!