Make it all About your Students - Because it is all About Them!

Nearly all freshmen in Marion City Schools are familiar with the OhioMeansJobs cardinal mascot, Owen. Are you?

Students in Marion City love talking about themselves—their future selves, that is. The district is encouraging students to discuss life after graduation earlier in their high school careers.

It’s not just seniors having these conversations. Nearly all freshmen have created accounts on OhioMeansJobs.com, a new, no-cost, online career planning tool that helps students discover career interests, explore future job options, build a future budget, create a resume and more.

"As we turn young minds towards career pathways, the earlier we can introduce tools like OhioMeansJobs K–12, the better," said Kirk Koennecke, building principal.

This past January, Marion City Schools, with a GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) grant, began introducing grades 6, 7 and 8 to OhioMeansJobs.com to talk about their vision. By grade 9, students will work with school counselors to clarify their vision and take action for life after high school.

With support from GEAR UP site director Kelly Garrett, the schools have used down time during state testing to give students “brain breaks.” During these breaks, students created OhioMeansJobs accounts and completed their Career Cluster Inventory. They loved answering the questions and exploring the suggested career options that relate to their interests. The resource helps guide the personalized conversations school counselors are having with students about their plans after school and talking about all the factors influencing life after high school.

“Our goal is to ensure all students in grades 7–12 are college- and career-ready when they leave school,” says Kelly Garrett. That means helping college-bound and job-bound students with the support and resources they need to graduate ready. A lot of the support and resources are relationships with Marion City’s community neighbors—two colleges, a career center and local businesses, all nearby.

The Ohio Department of Education recognizes leading efforts by schools like Marion City. Ohio’s new approach to career exploration and advising is based on both a critical need and a promise to our children for securing their futures. With 24,000 students dropping out of school every year in Ohio, we must refocus our efforts on student success. One way is by clearly linking day-to-day education in our classrooms with the jobs children will have after they graduate from high school. Resources like OhioMeansJobs.com offer practical ways for teachers and school counselors, families and community members to show students, as early as in kindergarten, the types of jobs possible.

Your turn!

Do your students love talking about their futures?

What’s your story?

Tell us what you’re doing to get students prepared for life beyond high school. Email us.

Last Modified: 7/24/2015 12:14:39 PM