Career Connection is a regional career exploration program. It offers students multiple career experiences with integrated technical support, community stakeholder input and support, and capacity building to implement compelling opportunities for students to develop knowledge, skills, and competencies to stay and succeed in school and make informed plans about their education and careers.
Too many students experience little connection between school and their interests and future aspirations, resulting in academic disengagement, poor post-high school planning, lack of career awareness and vision, and poor preparedness for available careers. Drop-out rates are high, there are substantial needs for academic remediation in or prior to college, and opportunity and gradation gaps by race and class are persistent. These challenges are compounded for the most disadvantaged students, who are in high proportion subjected to the least engaging instruction.
Career Connection is a classroom-based career exploration program working to solve these problems and transform the education experience into an effective system in which young people learn in meaningful ways. The program provides skill-based lessons for high school students to demonstrate first-hand how their classroom work is relevant to their future employment. Through our foundations course and six essential experiences, young people are offered opportunities to explore potential careers in a variety of fields and see how their school-based learning will help prepare them for these professions. The program connects students with business and employers to create strong professional networks for every student and demonstrate a greater connection between in- and out-of-school experiences.
The Foundations course bundles informational interviews with a series of core foundational skill-building exercises and activities for students to develop the social and emotional skills necessary for success.
The six core Career Connection experiences are:
Virtual Mentoring: Students connect virtually with experts about school and work-based questions and problems. Experts provide 1:1 or 1:group feedback and advice on student inquiries.
Job Shadows: Students learn about a job and/or field they are interested in by spending time observing daily activities and asking questions. Job shadows allow students to experience firsthand a day in the life of a particular employee and workplace.
- Internships: Students take the lead in an interest-based approach as they build real and meaningful 21st century skills by researching, identifying, and applying for internships. By working under the supervision of a mentor in a workplace, students engage with the content and context of the mentor’s professional work.
- Informational Interviews: Based on their interests, students can engage with and learn from professionals in the field by interviewing them. Students ask relevant and open-ended questions to explore their interests, while professionals provide genuine insights and advice.
- Work-Based Problems: In the context of their classes, students engage in project- or problem-based work drawn from authentic problems faced by professionals and solve them using authentic tools and approaches from the field. In person or virtually, experts in the field mentor students through the problem and otherwise support instruction.
- Networking: Professionals form a variety of fields come together with students and school-based staff to share information about their company, job, career path, etc. This gives students an opportunity to discover new careers and interests, as well as seek out additional information about careers they have already identified as interesting to them.
With so many experiences, there are so many ways to get involved. Fill out the form below for more information on how you can participate in the Career Connection program.
Career Connection News
Karla learns to how to explore career possibilities
- Host a Job Fair or Networking Event
- Connect with Students as Virtual Mentors
- Collaborate with students on Work Based Problems
- Host a Job Shadow or Internship
Sign up here if you would like to participate in Career Connection