What is it we really want for our children? When you let yourself dream of your child’s future, you probably have a picture in your mind of what their success looks like. A job, happiness, a place in our world…and not living in our basement. 🙂
Students sometimes have a more incomplete view of what success is.
Because they don’t have the “wisdom of our years,” students may have a narrow way of defining success and may see only one path to get there. As parents, we have an opportunity (even an obligation) help them refine that definition of success.
Is success after high school measured simply by the name of the college they attend? One where the expectations and investment could just extend the feeling of pressure for another four years? Or do we lift our heads up a bit and expand that view?
So many choices!
Today’s students have a multitude of paths to success available to them. Thankfully, students no longer have to be trapped behind a desk all day long to achieve great success in college and career. Students can take college courses either inside or outside their high school. They can take advantage of special mentorship or internship opportunities. Students have a wide range of electives to choose from to explore their interests. Summer opportunities have exploded. All great stuff!
As engaged parents, we can become informed about all of these options to help our children make decisions that pave the path to their success.
I feel like I know a secret – but one I am supposed to share.
There’s another option you may overlook. And it could be the game-changer for your kids. It’s available to every student (in one form or another). It’s Career-Technical Education. We’ve built a deep expertise in the career-tech options available to students and how they can support a student who may or may not be headed to college. 78% of career-tech students enroll in full time post-secondary education immediately after high school.
Why do we ring this bell about career-tech? Because we are continually blown away by the opportunities that existed and how the education fits high school students so well…..but that so many parents disregard or never even learn about. Parents need to know.
We hear the stories.
We can’t even count how many times parents and students have shared their stories of success with us. College-bound students are suddenly passionate about their school day. They spend half of their day hands-on in health and engineering labs, working on computers, or designing graphics and art.
Parents tell us stories of colleges who were really impressed with the experiences their students received in their career-tech courses. One culinary student in Mason was offered two full ride scholarships to University of Cincinnati and Ohio State to pursue her business degree on the path to owning a restaurant.
Consider the student who wants to be a nurse and can talk in her college application essay about working in a lab learning medical terminology, phlebotomy, anatomy, physiology and infection control. Those experiences can really make a student stand out from the hundreds who spent all day behind a desk all day. Your student can have this experience, too!
Their instructors are experienced professionals in their fields. Students are earning credentials that can lead to jobs (other than fast food!) to help pay for college. Many programs offer college credit. They can even compete in student organizations (like DECA and HOSA) to develop their soft skills.
Students interested in computer science are learning about networking, web and app development, and cybersecurity. Future architects can spend half their day learning about construction in a hands-on way. Think about the jump start these students gain over their peers in a future career. Love animals? Zoo School might be exactly what connects with your student. And the list goes on and on.
You can see why we get excited.
We want families to at least know the options available. They need to understand more than just AP or IB or College Credit Plus. Only when we hold all the cards can we guide our students well in their choices.
Please connect with your career-tech school. Take a tour. Visit their website to explore. You can find a list of the career-tech schools for the state of Ohio here. Better yet, join me for a career-tech “coffee chat.”
At The Core is proud to have connected with many area schools offering these amazing courses. Our coffee chats are a great way for parents to spend 90 minutes hearing about what is offered, how it works, and answering the questions you have.
We do worry about this.
At school, there are vocal students who simply don’t have the facts about today’s career-tech experience. They may negatively impact other students’ thinking about the option. The pressure from peers who see success in only one way may obstruct the message all students needs to hear. Attending a coffee chat can help you become informed and for the whole community to shift its mindset about career-tech.
One last example for you…
A mom recently shared a story about her son. He just found out he was accepted into the engineering program at his career-tech school. He will getting all his AP and college prep coursework done in the morning and spending his afternoon doing what lights him up–engineering. He is getting a jump start on his success. And the biggest thing for this mom who shared his story…he was really excited to go to school, an element that had been missing for him for a long time.
This mom had come to a coffee chat months earlier and was so grateful she had attended. I urge you, as a parent, a taxpayer and a member of the community, to come to one. If your district is not among those listed, click here to discover what Ohio career-tech school serves you. (Click here for nationwide information.) It is worth your time learning a bit more about these pathways to success.
Upcoming College and Career Coffee Chats with the following CTE schools:
- Delaware Area Career Center serves the following school districts: Big Walnut, Buckeye Valley, Delaware, Olentangy, Westerville, and Worthington.
- Eastland-Fairfield Career and Technical Schools serves 16 school districts in Franklin, Fairfield, and Pickaway counties including New Albany, Gahanna, Groveport, Pickerington, and Reynoldsburg.
- Great Oaks Career Campuses serves 36 different school districts including Clinton-Massie, Fairfield, Forest Hills, Indian Hill, Loveland, Mason, Miami Trace, Norwood, and Sycamore to name a few.
- Tolles Career and Technical Center serves the following school districts: Dublin, Fairbanks, Hilliard, Jefferson, Jonathan Alder, London, and Madison-Plains.
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