School to Implement Career Pathway Program

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Nicholas Jardine, staff writer

Students often complain about all the courses they have to take in high school but don’t want to. Sometimes they “know” what they want to do in the future and feel like anything not leading to that future is a waste of time. Star Valley High School understands and has created a solution called Career Pathways.

This idea of specialized study aimed at preparing students for certain career fields first arose at the Alpine Civic Center and later at Star Valley High School. “We launched pathways and went through each of the videos, helped all of the students register, answered questions on how they worked, and it was a really fun night,” said Assistant Principal Kory Hokanson.

The high school is releasing new tools to help with the program as well. First is the “Badging System” and second is the eBooks created to describe each of the career pathways available at the school. “We are just starting the badging. As you complete parts of the pathway, you’ll be badged in Canvas for that,” said Hokanson. The ultimate goal of the badging system is to be able to put a final badge on a completed resume. The pathways and badges systems are similar to college, where a major is chosen early on and many of the courses taken and skills learned go towards a degree in that major.

It takes roughly 4-6 semesters to complete and receive the badge for the pathways, so if students decides to change pathways during sophomore year, they can still complete their pathway. “It gets pretty tough to change pathways much after sophomore year. It depends on the pathway, but feshman year gives you time to explore some things.” Students won’t have to complete the pathway to earn a badge in that pathway. Much of the pathway system is explained in the new eBooks.

The eBooks use text and video to briefly explain how individual pathways work. They will be available for viewing at businesses around Star Valley, classrooms and the high school main office.

All of the text and video content in the eBooks was created by staff in the school. “Every teacher who is over part of a pathway helped put those together,” said Hokanson. Several pathways appear in the eBooks.

“We looked at what we were trying to teach in engineering to determine what our goals were and just vaguely showed some fun things that we do because it changes in my classes every year,” said vocational education instructor Mr. Tyson Balls.

Although students will always have to take a certain amount of required classes, career pathways gives them a way to steer their high school education in a general way towards certain career fields. The eBooks and badges will help them pick and stay on their chosen path. Hopefully this will lead to a bright future for students as they transition from school to the outside world.