MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - High schools in the area are encouraging ninth-grade students to explore their options after high school with the online navigator program.
Many schools statewide are doing in-person classes. That includes Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton High school. They have partnered with South Central College for the Career Navigator program which takes place online for ninth graders.
“Not a whole lot of students know what they want to do once they graduate, so to have the resources available and the time available throughout the day to be talking about different career opportunities, the marketplace and where they might fit is great,” principal of Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton High school Grant Hanson said. “It is especially great that we are able to offer it for our students in the building and at home.”
This program which started in 2017 has already helped thousands of students figure out what they will be doing after high school.
“Students really need to have those opportunities to not only explore the careers that they really enjoy but even those careers that they might not know very much about,” Career Navigator Organizer Bridget Johnson said. “They need to know all of the opportunities that are available to them and to keep an open mind.”
There are 2300 students enrolled in the program this year. 25 area schools are taking part. The program covers six career fields and allows students to learn about the skills and education needed for the position by experiencing some of the jobs firsthand.
“I think the exploration part of your future career and your future plans need to start in high school,” regional college and career readiness coordinator for South Central College Gwenn Wolters said. “You really don’t want to start exploring while you’re in college, you really want a better idea of what you want to do post high school. The best time to do that is really in seventh, eighth, ninth through twelfth grade.”
The program emphasizes the importance of getting to know several different career fields to exploring what your future may hold.