“Why do I need to know this?” is a frequently asked question by students. Educators in the Bluff Country Collaborative are taking this question head-on. Focusing on career-connected learning, educators are helping students see the direct connection between classroom learning and future careers. From deepening classroom content to hosting school-wide Dream Job events, careers are front and center in the Bluff Country Collaborative.
In Karen Tisthammer‘s welding class, Spring Grove students are learning to weld up to industry standards. Welds produced by students will be evaluated and tested at LaX Fabrication. Rick Ronan, General Manager, is coordinating with Tisthammer on specific welds and giving students feedback. Students will also visit LaX Fabrication for a tour and invitation for a work experience during the semester. After passing each of the assigned welds, students will demonstrate their skill at LaX Fabrication and be awarded an in-house welding certificate. This certificate is an annual test for regular employees and students will be able to use it as credentials for employment.
La Crescent-Hokah teacher, Mark Moulton, will showcase 10 careers through a “Career of the Week” series. Students will get a glimpse of a career: job description, average salary, and typical training and education needed. Labor market data is found through the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). Along with career statistics, students will also see examples of local companies with these careers. Careers showcased this semester are high-skilled, high demand trades. The first career of this series is welders.
Larger career-connected learning experiences take a group effort. Mabel-Canton and Rushford-Peterson are hosting a Dream Job events in February. The schools’ Career and Technical Education (CTE) teams brainstormed, invited, and coordinated professionals in and around Fillmore County to present to 9th-12th graders. Although professionals represent a variety of career fields, they all have one thing in common: they are passionate about what they do. Dream Job event at Mabel-Canton is February 1 and has 3 BCC schools joining. Dream Job event at Rushford-Peterson is February 17 and has space available for BCC schools to join.
Every Thursday, 10th-12th grade students at Houston learn more about career preparation. A team of student leaders coordinate with Crystal Sobotta, high school counselor, to decide topics of interest, create a plan of how to present, and line up speakers as needed. Topics have included Trades Unions, entrepreneurs, 4-year universities, 2-year and technical colleges, resumes, interviewing, and workplace communication.
These are just a few of the many career-connected learning opportunities taking place in the Bluff Country Collaborative. To learn more or to get involved, contact MaryAnne at firstname.lastname@example.org or 507-251-4388.
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