Schools & Programs

Path to Careers makes it easier to connect your school to businesses.

Career Ready Students Career exposure is critical to a student's future success. Your school's ability to prepare them and answer "why?" they need to learn something is equally important. This can all be daunting to coordinate. Path to Careers helps your students and staff easily find experiences that lead to career ready students!

Time Savings Path to Careers connects you to the right person every time at businesses who are willing, excited partners in helping to prepare your students for successful futures. Stop cold calling businesses or overwhelming your already strong business partners. We know you're busy- let Path to Careers save you time!

Simplicity Planning for the future can be stressful for everyone, including students, teachers and counselors; finding career experiences that help with that planning should not be. Path to Careers makes the process straightforward, simple and unified.

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How It Works

  1. Register your school.Registration is the first step to strengthening connections with local businesses - and it's easy! Your selected staff sign up by entering contact information and creating a password. They can then follow simple prompts to upload information about your school such as your mission, your requirements for career experiences, exciting initiatives, photos and videos and other key things you'd like to make readily available to businesses and your students.

  2. Meanwhile, businesses create experiences.Businesses register, create a profile with information about what they do and who they are as an organization, and list the career experiences they can provide to your students, teachers and counselors. Offerings including job shadows, industry tours, mock interviews and other career awareness activities are clearly listed with all the relevant details you need right there, including age requirements.

  3. Students and staff browse experiences and choose the ones that interest them.Your students, teachers and counselors can browse the registered companies and view the available experiences. When they find one that interests them, they notify your registered staff with a click of the button.

  4. Make the connection.After reviewing the experience details to make sure it's a good fit, your registered staff can easily contact the right person at the business via a click on the website to initiate it. Then, start experiencing! You'll connect teachers, counselors and students to career experiences within local businesses to learn first-hand what those businesses do, what skills students need to have successful careers with them and what educators can do to help prepare them.

Experiences and Helpful Tips

Cooperative EducationCooperative education is a structured method of combining classroom instruction with occupational training. Commonly known as a "co-op", this type of experience allows your students to work closely with a business and learn hands-on skills while attending traditional classroom learning. Students learn technical skills and receive related workplace training while receiving academic credit. Participating in co-op gives your students a leg up in the workforce through their knowledge and skills gained while proactively transitioning from school to work.

Guest SpeakerBusiness and industry guest speakers are invited into your school to speak to students and provide them with an opportunity to hear first-hand about a particular occupation from an industry expert. The guest speaker may offer a perspective on their personal career journey, the types of jobs that are available within his or her field, and the knowledge, skills, education and preparation needed to enter and advance within that given career field. It is encouraged that you help your students prepare questions in advance and consider completing follow-up research afterwards on any topics that interest them. Guest speakers can come into a classroom and talk with students or present to a larger group within a career fair and career day setting.

Industry TourAn industry tour allows groups of students and educators to visit a worksite and observe work-related activities first-hand. Typically, your students will learn about the various types of jobs the company has to offer, the education and training needed to compete for these jobs and how to advance in the company. Students may also learn about the work environment and employability skills needed to be successful within the company. There are likely opportunities to ask questions and get answers directly from people who work at the company, so it is encouraged students and educators come prepared with questions for the employer. As educators, you'll have an opportunity to learn what employers are looking for and identify ways to incorporate new knowledge into the classroom.

InternshipAn internship places your student in a temporary position in industry to gain valuable career experience and insight about a career of interest. Learning objectives and job duties are specified, student performance is assessed and employer feedback is solicited. High quality internships hold young people accountable as part of the team and require utilization and enhancement of employability and occupational skills. Internships may be paid or unpaid and are sometimes utilized to satisfy requirements for a class, program or credits within a field of study.

Job ShadowStudents gain exposure to careers of interest by working with business professionals and 'shadowing' them. Though time frames for job shadows can vary, often times students spend several hours, or sometimes several days, observing an experienced professional on the job. By visiting a workplace, exploring a career field and industry, and experiencing a typical day on the job, with your guidance, students can determine if the career and industry fits their career aspirations and values. Multiple job shadows allow students to see careers of interest first-hand and can be an important learning opportunity as they decide on a career pathway.

MentoringMentoring allows students to navigate their career pathway journey through gaining first-hand knowledge from an adult who has career and life experience. Students are matched one-to-one with an adult professional in a chosen field of interest to explore a career, career interests and related workplace and career development questions. The mentor serves as a resource for the student by sharing insights and providing encouragement and guidance about the workplace, work ethics, careers and educational requirements. One goal of mentoring is to improve the well-being of students through support given in academic, social and personal means.

Mock Interview In a mock interview, a business professional meets one-on-one with a student and conducts a simulated job interview. Interviewing well takes practice and participating in a mock interview is a perfect opportunity for a student to learn first-hand what it feels like to be interviewed so they can present themselves well and when the real time rolls around, market themselves as the best job candidate. At least 15 minutes should be devoted to a mock interview. Key to a successful mock interview is building in additional time, approximately 5 minutes, for the business person to immediately provide constructive feedback to the student. It is recommended that mock interviews be preceded by preparatory activities for the student, and the business professional should also receive a short briefing and sample interview questions. Educators are encouraged to discuss appropriate attire and prepare students for this experience.

Pre-ApprenticeshipPre-apprenticeship programs are designed as stepping stones to registered apprenticeship programs. Pre-apprenticeships are formulated to assist in the development of a diverse and skilled workforce by allowing students to meet the qualifications needed for entry and ensure that the entry into the program is seamless. Through a variety of approaches, Pre-apprenticeships can be adapted to meet the needs of the population being trained, the employer or sponsor they serve, and specific opportunities within the local labor market.

Summer EmploymentEmployment opportunities, occurring throughout the summer, for students to learn and discover their career interests and grow their employability skills. Summer employment can be part or full-time employment. These opportunities allow for students to learn about a particular workplace, the expectations of that workplace, how to work with others and follow directions, and to determine whether or not the field is a good fit for them.

Volunteer OpportunityVolunteer opportunities provide support to programs and services that directly serve the community and others. These opportunities allow for your students to develop and demonstrate critical employability skills such as leadership skills and working well with others. Students can also gain understanding of how they can positively impact their community, explore what activities they like and do not like, and learn about and build work ethic.

Industry Clusters

Arts & Communication

Designed to cultivate students' awareness, interpretation, application and production of visual, verbal and written work.

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Business, Finance, & Information Technology

Designed to prepare students for careers in the world of business, finance and information services.

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Engineering & Industrial Technology

Designed to cultivate students' interest, awareness and application to areas related to technologies necessary to design, develop, install or maintain physical systems.

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Human Services

Designed to cultivate students' interests, skills and experience for employment in careers related to families and human needs.

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Science, Health & Agriculture

Designed to cultivate students' interests in life, physical and behavioral sciences. In addition, the planning, managing and providing of therapeutic services, health information and biochemistry research development.

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