State law boosts career prep


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Students will store their career-related work on a google sites account

Paige Crawley and Prudence Nowicki

As a part of a new state requirement, all students are required to compile the career-related projects and assignments they complete in their classes.

At Baldwin, students will store digital copies of those assignments on their own Google Sites page. Students recently set up these Google Sites, which will serve as student portfolios, in their English classes.

The state now requires all students to have career preparation throughout their four years of high school. Aspects of career preparation that will be focused on include career awareness, acquisition, retention, and entrepreneurship, each of which has its own section on Baldwin’s Google Sites pages.

“We had to make sure we are exposing students to more career options,” Principal Dr. Walter Graves said.

At Baldwin, teachers and administrators pointed out, students already create many projects and work on assignments that help them prepare for careers.

“In English, everything we do is preparation for future careers. Everything we teach is reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Students will have greater success in their careers if they have greater communication skills,” Dr. Lisa Klein said.

Art teacher Cheryl Foote has been preparing her students for careers by having them research jobs for artists on The Art Career Project website, which highlights all different media and skills, Foote said. She also invites guest speakers and alumni to come talk with her students.

Social studies teacher Kate Deemer also incorporates career skills into her classes.

“We go over soft skills in social studies classes all the time through cooperative learning, oral speaking skills, and presentations,” Deemer said.

Some students agree that their classes have already been preparing for them careers.

“I’ve done a lot of career preparation in Society and Careers, which is a class that focuses on that, so it makes sense. We have done a lot of career research for our future careers,” senior Alex Kindling said.

Guidance Counselor Caroline Babik was involved in deciding how the state program would be put in action at Baldwin.

While the state is requiring students to complete only eight career-related projects over their first three years in high school, Baldwin will require every teacher to have students submit one project per course, Babik said.

As students complete their work, that teacher will lead the students through the process of adding it to their Google Sites page.

“We felt as the guidance department and administration that if we focused on only one area, then it becomes just a Band-Aid, versus if we can really integrate this belief that preparation for the next step is really why we’re doing what we’re doing,” Babik said.