"Career pathways are a way of reorganizing learning around clusters of study that will prepare students to graduate ready to work in an ever more competitive global economy."
-- Shirley J. Neely, former Commissioner of Education, Texas Education Agency
Career exploration programs provide a seamless learning experience for eighth-grade students to support integration of academic and technical knowledge and skills within the middle school classroom. The programs also increase students' awareness of extended learning opportunities, such as service learning, internships and work-based learning.
Middle school is an age-appropriate time to ask students to think about their career ambitions. This does not mean forcing students to make career choices, but creating activities that allow them to research and gather information on specific careers.
By participating in Career Exploration Programs, students will have the opportunity to:
- interact with positive adult role models
- gain increased knowledge of school and career opportunities
- take part in motivational learning activities
- prepare for their futures
- compete in a global society
Students participate by first completing the COIN (Career Occupational Information Network) assessment. COIN is a computer-based career guidance and curriculum tool designed to provide teachers, parents, and students with obvious connections between skills being learned in the classroom and real-world applications of those skills. COIN also provides students with reliable resources and planning assistance that will ensure their success in the workplace. After completing the COIN assessment, students are then assigned to identified areas of interest during Career Exploration Day.
Eighth-grade students, parents, teachers, counselors, school administrators, and business and community partners all ensure the success of Career Exploration programs.
All other participants help implement the program on middle-school campuses by sponsoring activities, serving as classroom speakers and presenters, training volunteers, providing resources, and serving in other capacities.
FBISD's Middle School Career Exploration program is a Texas Achieve Best Practices and provides an opportunity for eighth-grade students to explore career options within 16 career clusters identified specifically for them by using the COIN assessment.
Texas has 16 Career Clusters based on those developed by the U.S. Department of Education. Career Clusters provide a way of organizing curricula, instruction, and assessment around specific occupational groups that offer students core academics, coursework related to specific occupations, and extended learning experiences. Schools and districts may adopt these or develop their own clusters based on the local economy.
The program began in 2001, when business and parent volunteers worked with Dulles Middle School administrators, counselors and teachers, to design and implement a Career Day program for eighth-grade students to better prepare them for high school course selections and future career opportunities. In addition to the COIN Assessment, the program includes Countdown to Your Future and Career and Technology Education presentations, community and business speakers, dynamic community support and a Parent Night.
Fort Bend ISD is seeking business and community members to lend their talents in helping students connect classroom learning with the real world. We want all FBISD students to be lifelong learners, who are prepared with marketable skills for a global workforce.
If you are interested in investing in our future by serving on a Middle School Career Day Planning Committee, as a Career Day Speaker or by helping with Middle School Career Day in other ways, please complete the following:
You will be contacted by the Volunteers & Partnerships office.