Ten Steps to Career Development Education Success: Using Community Resources

Article excerpt

It is frustrating when parents, community leaders and other people suggest that there is no future in agriculture. We seem to hear these comments more often from people who may not realize the depth and breadth of the agriculture enterprise. Some educators and agriculture advocates often wonder if we are doing as much as we can to promote the numerous career opportunities there are in the broad fields of agriculture.

Career education used to be a major focus in agricultural education. Our recent emphasis on the science of agriculture, regardless of its merits, may have caused us to lose sight of the importance of career development components of agricultural education programs.

One of the best sources of information regarding careers in agriculture may be the school community. Why not use your community as a resource for career education? There might be at least one or more ideas listed here that could jumpstart your program's career development efforts. Better yet, these 10 steps might be exactly what you need to put your students on the pathway to careers in agriculture.

1. Seek advisory committee input. Get advice from your advisory committee regarding resources in the community. If you do not have one, get one.

2. Engage entrepreneurs in the community. Help students learn how to start their own businesses.

3. Confer with agri-businessmen and women. Provide an opportunity for students to discuss careers with successful businesspersons in the community.

4. Encourage career-focused supervised agricultural experiences (SAEs). Help your students explore career opportunities through their SAE programs.

5. Communicate career options with parents. Inform parents of the many career options in agriculture and how these careers are explored in the curriculum.

6. Develop a community-based agriculture career day. Provide time for representatives from every career pathway in agriculture to present a program and display an exhibit about careers in agriculture.

7. Engage former graduates who are in agriculture careers. Bring back former students and have them speak to your students about their career experiences. …