Making the Connection

C-TEC is helping students see the connection between the classroom and the high-tech global workplace.

Imagine a middle school student is creating a brand new candy bar. The student just needs more sugar! Before you worry, this is more than a need to satisfy a sweet tooth. In fact, it is coursework that’s helping the student satisfy a much greater need to apply classroom learning to the real world.

While innovating a tasty new product, they are also learning how to identify a target market audience, determine pricing with an understanding of the financial and economic impact and develop a sales plan to promote it and realize a sales profit.

Students describe their Career Connections experience

"Career Connections isn't really a class but more of an opportunity to learn something new and experience careers."Penelope Mazivanhanga

"This class helped show me what I really want to do with my life and showed me how to get there."Traci Jackson

"Career Connections is a fun, interesting and inspirational experience. The class helped me learn many career skills I need in life."Kelsi McConnaughy

"It's simple; Career Connections prepares me for the future."David Shephard

Project-based learning, like this sweet example from Licking Heights Central Middle School, is giving students the 21st century skills needed to be successful in their futures – skills like innovation and entrepreneurial literacy. Working on projects gets students ready for the future and prepares them for the jobs of their dreams.

“Our desire is to have a career connections class in every middle school in the county,” said Dave Mangas, from C-TEC. “This kind of learning is exciting for our students. Career Connections provides content to assist in the transition between middle school, high school, C-TEC and our business community.”

Licking Heights Central Middle School partnered with C-TEC, a career and technology education center, to create project-based instruction that gives career connection opportunities to students. With the assignment to create a candy bar, the course not only incorporated 21st century business skills, but connected students to real professionals from local businesses.

Local businesses assisted students with planning, determining the product audience and placement, and judging the final products. The course included English language arts through journaling and physical education through evaluation of health and nutritional value of their product. The course aligned these skills with those learned in their other courses.

Alyssa Johnston, Career Connections instructor, believes this kind of learning is the start of a brighter future. Hands-on projects allow middle school students to experience what it is like in different career fields and what their futures hold.

“Seeing the students connect their individual skills to their future reminds me every day of why I became a teacher,” said Johnston. “We look into their future and I try to help them see how every decision they make will create the foundation for the rest of their lives.”

Your turn!

If you are a principal who wants more project-based learning, what can you leverage that exists today in your school and turn it into a career connection opportunity?

What’s your story?

Is your school thinking differently about career connections? Email us.

Last Modified: 12/28/2015 4:19:20 PM