HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (4/15/13) – Eighth-graders registering for next year’s high school classes in Hopkins County Schools will see an increased emphasis on Career Pathways.
This week, each eighth-grader will receive a Career Pathways book specifically for the high school they will attend. Each lists all of the different pathways available at the school, as well as a chart listing suggested courses in high school. There’s also information on possible post-secondary offerings.
“Now, a student can look at the pathways that are offered with a guidance counselor, and decide what he or she wants to do,” said district Career and Technical Education Coordinator Kitty Davis, who has led the local effort to expand the Career Pathways options.
“By the time the students enter high school, they have had many opportunities to explore careers,” she said. “A Career Pathway is like an educational roadmap starting with the freshman year.”
In middle school, each student has an ILP, or Individual Learning Plan, which is used to record goals, store assessment results, record extracurricular activities and track career exploration activities. The ILP is a tool that students use when selecting their Career Pathway. These are developed starting in 6th grade.
While Career Pathways have been available in career and technical areas for a while, local educators began an effort to create pathways in academic/non-CTE areas two years ago. This came about after Kentucky set a graduation requirement that students must have four standards-based learning experiences in an academic or career interest, based on the student’s Individual Learning Plan.
“Now, we have Career Pathways in 10 Career Cluster areas, including science and math, arts and humanities, and manufacturing,” Davis said. “Out of 14 Kentucky Career Clusters, we offer Career Path-ways in Hopkins County Schools in 10 cluster areas.”
The pathways were developed by the faculty at Hopkins County Central and Madisonville North Hopkins high schools. Each school has its own Career Pathway guidebook – in school colors – because of differences in course titles and classes offered.
There are 56 Career Pathways at MNHHS, and 51 at HCCHS.
“The pathways will be updated annually, as courses are added or deleted from the curriculum,” Davis said. Most of the post-secondary information in the pathways was provided by Madisonville Community College and/or Murray State University.
College and Career Readiness is now a goal of the state accountability system, Unbridled Learning. “The new Unbridled Learning has brought College and Career Readiness to the forefront,” said Pam Todd, principal of Hopkins County Schools Academy and the Career and Technology Center. “The urgency is because it plays a part in the accountability numbers.”
The Career Pathways for each high school can be accessed online at www.hopkins.kyschools.us/careerpathways.
Information provided by Lori Harrison
Photo provided by SurfKY Graphics
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