The TranZed Academy for Working Students (TAWS) offers MCPS juniors and seniors a path toward career and college through a combination of flexible academic schedules, career coaching, and career preparation.
Student/Parent: "Is TAWS a school?" Currently, TAWS is a program available in Montgomery County Public Schools. It offers various completion options for students to include dual enrollment, online learning, and modified high school scheduling.
Student/Parent: "How do I apply?" Use this link: https://www.tranzedacademy.org/. Students and families are also encouraged to email info.tranzedacademy.org.
Student/Parent: "What are the requirements for admission?" Students must be a current senior and on-track to graduate. This means the student has earned at least 18 credits and has a minimum GPA of 2.50. All students must also be employed (part or full-time).
Student/Parent: "Do students receive grades?" Yes. Students are concurrently enrolled. Therefore, they receive grades provided by Pearson Connexus. At the end of each semester, grades will be provided from TAWS to the Career and Postsecondary Partnerships Office of Teaching, Learning, and Schools to be entered onto each student's transcript.
Student/Parent: "Do students have to have a job?" Yes. Current employment is a requirement for acceptance into the program.
Student/Parent: "What about college?" Students will have the opportunity to take college courses during the program while being dually enrolled. A career coach will work closely with students and families to process and plan for college and beyond. Each student will have an Individualized Career Plan, which will include post-secondary education planning steps and actions.
Student/Parent: "Who will get updates on my progress?" It is important that there is a free flow of communication. Counselors and parents/guardians (for those under 18) will receive frequent updates on progress in the program. This update will include a detailed printout of current assignments and grades. Reports are given every 2 nd and 4 th Friday of each month.
Student/Parent: "Can TAWS help students find a job?" Students must have jobs at the time of registration. However, TAWS is part of a network of employers and apprenticeships, increasing the opportunities to move into high paying careers. We will support students as they look to enhance their job skills.
Student/Parent: "Can students play sports or be in the band at school?" Yes, if the schedule allows it. In this program, the work schedule determines the academic schedule.
Student/Parent: "Are there apprenticeship opportunities available?" Yes. All students enrolled in the program can join the TranZed Apprenticeship Services Program. This program allows students to take advantage of training in Information Technology, Cyber Security, and Digital Media. In addition, as students complete their Individualized Career Plans, they will be introduced to various experiences that will enhance the opportunity for internship or apprenticeships possibilities.
Counselor: "If a student comes to me expressing interest in the program, what should I do?" When a student comes to you inquiring about the program, it is important that you explain the program in a way that they understand. There are many similar programs available so understanding the differences and requirements are important. More information about the program can be found at: https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/career-readiness/taws/index.aspx .
Counselor: "Can I help with the application process?" Yes. Counselors are encouraged to support students while completing the online application. In fact, counselors can provide specific information during that time that students may not be aware of. Attaching an unofficial transcript helps to speed up the process as well so that we can begin programming.
Counselor: "If my student has an IEP or 504 Plan, are they eligible to join?" Yes. Having an IEP or 504 Plan does not disqualify students. Counselors should provide students with an updated copy so that it can be provided and reviewed during interview/enrollment process. The TAWS team will receive a copy so that all accommodations are received through Pearson Connexus.
Counselor: "What happens after my student has applied online?" After your student has applied, a TAWS representative will contact you and the student within four hours. The TAWS representative will ask detailed questions about the student to determine if they are a good fit. Thereafter, the student and parent/guardian will be contacted to further discuss the program before a registration packet for enrollment is sent to all parties. Meetings - either in person or virtually, as appropriate - are encouraged so that all parties understand collectively. This meeting generally will include student, counselor, parent/guardian, and a TAWS representative.
Counselor: "Will I receive updates on my student's progress?" Yes. Counselors will receive an update biweekly on their student's progress. The update will be in the form of an updated Pearson progress report directly from the instructor. The report will identify current grades and missing assignments. If a counselor would like to connect with an individual instructor, they are able to for immediate student feedback regarding performance. It is important that students are aware that counselors are still involved in their academic careers and will be with them every step of the way.
Counselor: "Can my student receive supports from school?" Absolutely! Students are concurrently enrolled. This means they can take advantage of all the same opportunities as their peers who remain in the high school. Being enrolled in TAWS does not mean they are no longer your student. The only difference is the instruction method.
Counselor: "Can my student enroll at any time during the year?" Enrollment into the program is rolling. However, counselors help to determine when their student should start the program in order to not interfere with any courses or programming students may be taking at that time.
Counselor: "Are all MCPS high school courses available online?" No. Pearson Connexus does not offer all courses. However, the courses that most seniors need are available! A course catalogue will be provided to each counselor before a meeting is scheduled. The purpose of the initial call from a TAWS representative is to ask questions while identifying courses needed so that we ensure they are available.
Counselor: "How do I code a TAWS student in Synergy?" Counselors of TAWS students will receive the appropriate codes to enter into the student's schedule. These codes are aligned to the appropriate TAWS course. The student should have ONLY TAWS course codes in their schedules as they will not be taking any courses through their regular high school.