Careers may be launched at school event

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On Educating LaRue County

By Ron Benningfield

Planning the subjects they’ll take through four years of high school that will best prepare a path to their careers is an extremely important task for eighth grade students and their parents.

LaRue County High School, with a program called Career Launch, helps those students and parents in that endeavor as they review with high school teachers the students’ interest inventory data and scores.

“We schedule a meeting between individual students and their parents with high school teachers and when they come in, we provide a packet of information that contains Explore Test Scores, Career Matchmaker Inventory results, and other interest and achievement data that allow students to see which of the 16 career clusters appear to best match their interests,” said Marsha Duncan, Youth Service Center coordinator. 

During this year’s Launch on March 16 at the high school, teachers reviewed in individual meetings with students and parents that data in the context of selecting classes for the 2015-16 school year and of mapping out a draft four-year plan for their high school coursework.

The reviews included career interests, corresponding career clusters and pathways available at the high school, and what it takes to be successful in that career.

“Students need time and opportunities to explore career interests with their families,” said Denise Skaggs, district instructional supervisor. “We want our students to participate in goal-setting activities so they are mindful of the future they want to achieve and are aware of what it will take to get there.

“This will help them make wise decisions about the high school classes and activities for which they need to engage to prepare them for a seamless transition to college and careers.”

In one classroom, Chris Thomas, LCHS agriculture teacher, met with student Preston Carter and his father Noah.

As Thomas discussed the information in Carter’s packet, he explained the courses he taught and how they matched the student’s interest data.

“This is to help you figure out what you want to do,” Thomas began. “The data will help get you started in planning for high school. You will be able to adjust the classes you choose to take along the way.”

Students and parents also were informed about advanced placement/dual credit options and the high school’s partnership with Elizabethtown Community and Technical College to allow on-track seniors to enroll in their technical programs.

Several Teens Leading Kids members acted as student guides, walking the parents and students to the rooms where they had interview appointments.

Dow Corning provided $1,000 in grants that helped fund the Career Launch.

“Dow Corning’s giving philosophy is based on supporting education, mostly math and science education,” said Pam Bowling with Dow’s public relations, “but, in this case we were supporting college and career readiness.”