As part of its Education Initiative, The Rapides Foundation funds The Orchard Foundation to administer programs associated with its Career and Postsecondary Readiness strategies. One of those programs is to provide Career Counseling to high school students.
Career Counseling is being provided to Central Louisiana high school students individually and through group seminars to help students prepare for success after high school. Administered by The Orchard Foundation, and in partnership with the Central Louisiana Technical Community College and the nine public school districts, The Rapides Foundation is funding Career Compass of Louisiana to operate and provide these services in Cenla schools.
Career Compass of Louisiana, is a nonprofit education organization located in Baton Rouge with coaches across the state. Career Compass coaches partner with high school counselors and are an added resource for students on their campuses. With state accountability, exit test coordination and administration, and scheduling and transcript issues, it is a challenge for guidance departments to help every student with postsecondary planning.
In partnership with the guidance department, Career Compass coaches act as a liaison between the students of Central Louisiana and the postsecondary institutions in the state. Career Compass coaches are educated on all of the postsecondary schools in the area they serve and the programs each offers, thus helping students find the right school for their needs.
Among the services offered to students by Career Compass coaches are assistance in navigating through the complexities of applying to postsecondary institutions, helping students go through a "career inventory" to find out what their interests and strengths are, and building good relationships with parents and guardians to assist with applications and securing financial aid for their student.