The North Bend Eagle

NBC Career edNorth Bend Central Senior Claire Kern poses with Sgt. Dustin Weitzel of the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office outside of the school. Kern has completed hours of job shadowing with Weitzel.

Career ed gives students opportunities to see possibilities

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 11/23/16

Career education is the unwritten goal of any school, and North Bend Central is offering classes to help students find future career success. Last week the Eagle examined what is being done by career ed teacher Katie Wright with younger students. This week we will look at the program in the high school and some of the students participating.

At the high school level, career ed is offered in a two-period class at the end of the day. There are three seniors now enrolled in the class, which is perfect for Wright.

“We wanted to start small to really kind of master the different parts of the program and what Nebraska is expecting,” Wright said. “Nebraska is retailoring and figuring how they want schools to do work-based experiences.”

High school principal Brenda Petersen said the goal is not just to find entry level jobs for students.

“Our message is we’re not trying to get rid of you,” Petersen said. “We’re trying to educate you. We are trying to give the student skills they can get a better paying job with. We wanted more than that (with career education). We want kids to get out and increase their skill level. The job was something they could work for, (like) work at a nursing home if interested in studying nursing. (Wright) has provided lots of opportunities for students to go see things besides what they could just walk in and find themselves.”

Studies have shown that 65 percent of the jobs kids will be doing 10 years from now don’t even exist now.

“So we have to prepare them for jobs that we don’t know how to prepare them for, but just giving them skills that employers are seeking right now and exposing them to as much as we can,” Wright said.

Students are looking for the path to get the job they would like.

“We are learning that a lot of these jobs that kids are seeking don’t require a four-year degree,” Wright said. “We don’t want to send them out paying for something that they don’t need. That’s another benefit of this class.”

When not job shadowing the students spend time applying to colleges, for scholarships, and looking into paths they could follow to get where they want to go. They also prep for the ACT test, learn about the FASA applications and investigate other opportunities. Wright said that the class helps them be comfortable with this process.

A good example of a student benefiting from career education is Claire Kern, who is interested in law enforcement. Kern has completed hours of job shadowing with Dodge County Sheriff Office, the Nebraska State Patrol investigations unit, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Dodge County Attorney’s office, Dodge County Probation Office, and has scheduled an observation of the Douglas County Coroner and Nebraska State Patrol Internet Crimes Division. Kern took strengths and abilities assessments, interest inventories and personality profiles to help her narrow down her career pathway to the Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security Job Cluster that she scored high in according to the Nebraska Career Education Model from the Nebraska Department of Education.


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