Henderson public schools to launch “Career Conversations”

Press release from Henderson County Public Schools:

In September, Henderson County Public Schools is launching the “Career Conversations” program, expanding the district’s career development curriculum in middle and high schools.

An optional program for these students, “Career Conversations” is designed to introduce them to the endless variety of career opportunities in the world, encourage their exploration of jobs that spark their interest, and facilitate meaningful discussions in class and at home about successful job skills and planning for the future.

“By discovering the expanse of career options available, and learning about the education and experience required for each, we’re hoping this will help students be more intentional in their career course selection as they look toward high school course options and potential careers,” said Dr. Wendy Frye, HCPS director of high schools and Career & Technical Education.

The N.C. Career & Technical Education curriculum’s “Six Essential Employability Skills” of Communication, Ethics, Problem Solving, Professionalism, Resource Management, and Teamwork will guide the focus of “Career Conversations” each month, incorporating VirtualJobShadow “Life Skills Videos” and guided discussion topics for class, in the home, and with business representatives.

VirtualJobShadow is a video-based career planning platform, which allows students to explore careers that interest them through engaging videos, in which real-world professionals offer advice on job-seeking and academic courses required for their individual careers. Students can also dive deeper into specific careers through supplemental videos, as they narrow their focus on their individual interests.

HCPS high school students have already been actively using VirtualJobShadow to explore careers, and in 2019- 20, students viewed more than 9,000 career videos and completed 3,862 career assessments.

Beyond the videos, students will participate in guided discussions with business and industry professionals, family members, and peers to build their career planning resources.

“As we developed this program, we sought feedback from our middle and high school students,” said Career Development Coordinator Lana Bradley. “When 79% of our middle and high school students surveyed said their parents, grandparents, and guardians influenced them the most when making career choices, we saw an opportunity to reach out to parents and involve them in Career Conversations.”

Middle and high school students can expect to hear from their teachers or counselors in early September about how to participate in their school’s “Career Conversations” program. Middle and high school families will receive monthly “Conversation Starters” topics for discussion from HCPS through Peachjar e-flyers.

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