Junior high students exploring options with career day

On Nov. 15 and 16, ninth graders from both junior highs went on a career day field trip to learn about different career options that were available to them.

The 9th graders at Peet Junior High started the day on Nov. 15 with an assembly that introduced them to what the day was about. Next, they were bussed to the Central Rivers AEA where they rotated through different activities: one that taught professional skills, one where they met with business professionals and high school students about careers they could get into and electives they could take, and one with stations to provide hands-on experience for electives and career options. Lastly, based on a career survey they took on Xello, students were sent to businesses that matched up with their ideal career. The next day, Holmes ninth graders did the same thing.

After the career day experience, students filled out a survey about how helpful they thought the day was. The results are stated below:


Did you receive enough information in preparation for the 9th Grade Career Connections Day?

Yes: 83.9%

No: 18.4%

I felt confident going into the 9th Grade Career Connections Day.

The majority of students agreed, fewer students strongly agreed, even fewer neither agreed or disagreed, still fewer disagreed, and the least amount of students strongly disagreed.

The preparation day with CAPS associates in our classes helped me feel confident.

The answers for this category followed the same pattern as the last question. The results biggest to smallest were agree, strongly agree, neither agree or disagree, and strongly disagree.

I feel more confident about my career path than I did before this event.

The results of this category were only slightly different than the last two with biggest to smallest being agree, neither agree or disagree, strongly agree, disagree, and strongly disagree.

The activities that the students felt had the greatest impact were also surveyed:

56.2% of students selected Career Networking: Talking to businesses and high school students. 52.4% of students reported that the Business Site location was the most important. 29.1% of students chose the CTE Hand On Rotations as having the greatest impact. The remainder of students chose a different rotation/experience.

Finally, students were asked about how helpful they found the experience:

Out of the 347 individuals who completed the survey, 256 answered favorably that their professional skills had grown, 316 students reported favorably that they had an opportunity to practice professional handshakes and introductions, and 234 students reported favorably that the networking event positively impacted their Four Year Plan for graduation. 212 students reported favorably that the CTE Hands On experience positively impacted their Four Year Plan for graduation. 282 reported that overall they had a positive experience. 

The overall benefits of the career day were obvious to the teachers and businesses helping with the event. “We have received positive feedback from the teachers and businesses that were at the event in regards to ninth graders professionalism and conversational skills,” said Julie Rouse, a counselor at Holmes. 

Rouse spoke even more about the benefits of career day. “First, students had an opportunity to put their professional skills to practice. In addition, students had an opportunity to see the immense amount of opportunities available in the Cedar Valley.  Most importantly, students were able to have conversations and hands-on experiences regarding the many electives that are available to them in 10th grade and beyond.”

Regarding what changes were going to be made to the career day in future years, Rouse said, “We appreciate all the feedback we are receiving from students and teachers. We will utilize all the data to make improvements to the experience.”

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