Career Mentors Guide Students to Career Paths
Byline: Gerald Chapman
For more than 15 years, Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 and the Education to Careers Partnership have worked together to help students understand the relationship between what they learn in the classroom and what they will do in their careers.
As educators, we strive to help students see that going to school is more than getting through a class or getting into college; it is about learning and applying information and skills that will assist them in becoming successful, productive members of the work force.
Linking students with more than 800 area businesses, the Career Partnership gives students exposure to a variety of careers to help set realistic career goals and appropriate educational paths.
A new opportunity from the Career Partnership this year, "career mentors" are working at Palatine, William Fremd, James B. Conant, Schaumburg, and Hoffman Estates high schools to link students with job shadowing experiences in their fields of interest.
Often students have unrealistic perceptions about what a specific profession may be like. Through these evening or weekend experiences, students have a chance to see if the "reality" of a job matches their vision and is something they might enjoy.
Through job shadowing, students can determine if a career field has much to offer them. In many cases, students learn that there is much more to a career than they had anticipated. By meeting with professionals in their fields of interest, students learn about the daily responsibilities of a job as well as appropriate educational paths to follow once they set their sights on a particular career.
The students can work with their parents and counselors to focus their high school coursework towards these interests and explore appropriate post-high school educational plans.
One other successful opportunity provided by the Career Partnership during the summer months is a week-long career exploration program that allows students to research a particular field, learn resume writing and interviewing skills, participate in job shadowing at several locations and have a business lunch with professionals in the field. …