The Itasca Area School Collaborative has been working on the Career Pathways program to help students plan for their future and gain valuable real-world skills. The program creates a guided path for kids and parents to follow as students prepare for future careers and potentially gain college credits in a specific field.
As a member of IASC, ISD 318 has been working with Greenway and Nashwauk-Keewatin School District, Itasca Community College, and area business leaders to identify the needs of our future workforce while aligning class offerings with those needs.
What is the Career Pathways program?
- A program that fosters student interest in their professional futures
- It provides opportunities to gain valuable, real-world skills, both technical for their chosen trades and "soft" for working as professionals on teams and in diverse settings
- Identity-building opportunity for students to discover who they want to be
- A guided path for students and parents to follow to prepare for future careers
- Community involvement in education meets the needs of local industries
How it works
- Educators and leaders assess the needs of industry for the future workforce
- Educators and industry work together to create aligned programming to benefit students and their future employers
- Programming includes courses, mentoring, activities, internships, tours, and/or job shadowing, which will help students gain personal identity as a future professional in their chosen pathway and grow a set of skills to prepare for post-secondary training, education, and future career
- Programming includes gateway classes to introduce the career opportunities and spark the interest through a capstone experience to demonstrate competency in career skill areas such as work-based learning or industry project opportunities
- The student completes a set of courses in 9th through 12th grade and graduates with Certificate of Completion and recognition at graduation
The benefits to students
- Guidance - tools for students and parents to track a student’s path through high school and how to best prepare for their future occupation
- Independence and maturity - growing a student’s future professional identity will make the transition to college or workplace smoother because of gained skills and understanding of their chosen workplace or career
- Identity and Interest - activities and programming that intentionally grow a student’s passion for a career field, thus increasing significance in their learning
- Work skills - providing a skill-growing curriculum and activities so students understand the job and knowledge required to be successful
Who is eligible?
- Programming starts as early as 8th grade and goes until 12th grade