District introduces Career Cruising-based curriculum for students

Every Monday, a different grade level will dedicated seminar blocks to career exploration activities


By Hunter Ristau

During the senior Career Cruising on Monday, Oct. 1, senior Ryan Williams completes the assignments assigned to him. “I used it to understand what careers I might be interested in the future.” Williams said.

Elizabeth Joseph and Ben Wieland

The district has introduced a new curriculum designed to help students discover career opportunities and passions, using the Career Cruising software as the main part of the program.

Every Monday, seminars will be closed for students to take part in the curriculum. A different grade will participate each week, with freshmen having started the program on Monday, Sep. 3. The program will continue until Saturday, Feb. 2, and requires students to research different professions and participate in exercises from Career Cruising.

The district developed the Career Cruising program to meet state standards requiring students to fill out an Individual Plan of Study each year. Preparing students for future careers is the main objective, according to associate principal Jennifer Smith.

“[The goal is] to get students to be forward thinking about career, college, military, and trade school interest in the future,” Smith said. “We are trying to get students to try out some of those classes while they are here, so in college you can be on a path to help you get to where you want to be.”

The curriculum was organized by the counselors at each school. The activities students will partake in varies depending on grade level, according to counselor Elizabeth Molgren.

“Each grade level is going to do four different lessons, and a lot of that’s going to be centered on learning style, matchmaker, career exploration, college planning, basically planning what comes after high school,” Molgren said. “We want you guys to start thinking about what that’s going to look like.”

Reactions to the program from students have been mixed. For freshman Garrett Cumbie, Career Cruising was a positive experience.

“It can give you stuff you might like to do, it can give you ideas of jobs that are out there that might interest you,” Cumbie said. “It was pretty helpful, even though it took a while.”

On the other hand, junior Cael Duffin feels that the program is not helpful because students must discover their passions for themselves.

“You shouldn’t rely on a test or multiple tests on a website to decide what you want to do, because the test has no insight into how you live your life or what skills you possess.” Duffin said. “I took the quiz and I want to be a pediatrician, but I got a psychiatrist. I can see where the link was, but I don’t know if that’s what I want to do.”  

On the other hand, senior Deanna Newman felt the program could be useful for some students, but not others.

“Career cruising doesn’t seem very applicable to seniors just because we mostly have an idea of what we want to do, as seniors, for the rest of our lives,” Newman said. “It is very applicable for the underclassmen who don’t have any idea of what field they want to go into, but I feel like once we have an idea of what field we want to go into, we don’t really need to know what specifically we need to be going into right at this moment in high school.”

However, Molgren does not see the current curriculum as being permanent, and she looks forward to seeing how the program will change to better benefit students.

“The goal is eventually to have a sequence, so what you’re doing in middle school [might have] some overlap, but … there are certain things you’ll be doing in ninth grade and tenth grade that will look a little bit different,” Molgren said. The idea is to have curriculum set up so it flows with each year and goes a little bit deeper.”

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