Career Launch: Preparing students for success

Career Launch
Career Launch

By Ron Benningfield

Pictured: Eric Bowen, left, and his son Chance, a freshman at LaRue County High School, listen while English teacher and Career Launch mentor Heather Blackwell explains what subjects are offered  along Chance’s career path through school. Pictured below, Algebra II teacher Jessica Beaven, a mentor for Career Launch, confers with Sabrina Scott of Buffalo and her daughters, Haley, a sophomore, and Samatha, a junior.

School teachers and staff work hard to prepare their students for success not only while they are in school, but also for the time when they will enter the adult world.

A very important part of that goal is planning—choosing the classes that are the closest “fit” to the interests and aptitude of each student.

On Monday, Feb. 20, LaRue County students in eighth through 11th grades came with their parents to the high school for Career Launch, which, as the name suggests, helped them take off on an optimum career path through their high school years.Algebra II teacher Jessica Beaven, a mentor for Career Launch, confers with Sabrina Scott of Buffalo and her daughters Haley, a sophomore, and Samatha, a junior.

“It is a time when parents and their students meet with mentors to discuss their child’s four-year high school plan and information relevant to the upcoming grade level such as transitioning to high school/college/technical school,” explained Christina Boone, the district’s interim instructional supervisor. “We also had a college fair in the library that day.”

Those mentors — middle and high school teachers, counselors, administrators and college coaches — discussed class opportunities, when to plan to take the ACT and other relevant events and activities. Each student was scheduled for a 30-minute mentoring session.

“A mentor might mention the strength/conditioning class if this student is an athlete for an elective,” Boone offered. “Our goal was to schedule what students need to take and match their interests/goals/plans for the other classes.”

The students made decisions on electives based on their interests as indicated in their Individual Learning Plan’s career inventory survey, career technical pathways, and future plans, Boone noted.

“Parents helped guide their students and made suggestions as well,” she added.

Each year, the students update their Individual Learning Plans based on the results of questionnaires centered on what career fields interest them. The results suggest the career and career clusters that they might need to consider.

Mentors also discussed dual credit scholarship opportunities. Scholarship questions were directed to counselors, who were available throughout the day.

“We plan for parents and the students to come and participate together,” Boone remarked. “Scheduling is a collaborative effort.”

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