A Carthage High School senior has become the first student in the area and one of the first in the state to score at the highest level of a new national test that determines the takers readiness to work in over 16,000 different kinds of jobs.
Jennie Snyder, Carthage, scored in the platinum level of the National Career Readiness Certificate test.
Jasen Jones, director of the Southwest Missouri Workforce Development Board, says she's the first student in Southwest Missouri to make the platinum level, a distinction that, according to the test's creators, ACT, “has the necessary skills for 99 percent of the jobs in the database.”
“The National Career Readiness Certificate, powered by ACT’s WorkKeys, verifies to employers that a worker has essential core employability skills in Reading for Information, Applied Mathematics, and Locating Information,” ACT said on its website. “ACT has established through its WorkKeys Occupational Profile Database that these three skills are important to the majority of jobs. The database contains more than 16,000 job profiles.”
Jones said there have only been 115 platinum level certificates issued in the entire state of Missouri out of thousands of test takers.
“It really is rare, we only have eight platinums in the Joplin metro and to our knowledge,” Jones said. “Jennie is actually the first student in our area to actually receive that. We just started testing in Joplin and Monett this year. Carthage has been testing for a little while, since 2007.”
Snyder said she initially scored in the platinum level in the reading for instruction and applied mathematics tests, but only in the high gold level for locating information, but that wasn't good enough for her.
She retook the third test and scored platinum on her second try.
“I think a big part of it was the first time I took it I took all three of them in one sitting and by the time I got to the locating information one it was a lot harder than I had planned for,” Snyder said. “Then I worked with Rhonda (Derryberry, placement coordinator with the Carthage Technical Center) a lot this year and we got to do some of the prep stuff for it, the pre-tests and I think that that helped a lot because it simplified things a little bit.”
Snyder recently signed a letter of intent to play volleyball and attend Ozark Christian College, and she said achieving the platinum level already has paid off.
She said one group offering scholarships heard about her performance on the test and told her to apply for money for college.
Derryberry said she's proud of Snyder's achievement.
“I have personally known Jennie Snyder for many years,” Derryberry said. “She is an amazing young woman. She has been a leader at CHS both in the classroom and her many activities. The CTC and CHS staff are proud of Jennie and excited she has earned a scholarship to pursue her career in missions. She is an example of how hard work pays off.”