Cass Lake-Bena High School Students Visit NTC To Explore Careers Paths
In 2009, Minnesota State and the Minnesota Department of Education led a initiative that focused on technical skill assessments in career and technical education programs offered in high schools and colleges throughout the state. Northwest Technical College is one college that is following this initiative, which is making an impact in students lives.
“We’re really excited to have Cass Lake-Bena here today, we’re helping them set up a career academy which we’re going to be different professions that there students can look at and explore and possibly even go into as an actual career, so we’re setting up these career academies and we’re having them come today just for kind of a basic introduction to our campus on what different programs we have,” said Chuck Abbott, Northwest Technical College Admissions Representative. “They get to go through rotations and lots of different programs, do some hands on activities, and hopefully that’ll help them decide what type of career academy or career path that they may want to join in the program.”
The three careers that were offered to give students a glimpse of what it may be like to choose that specific career path were Health And Child Care, a Trades program which included auto, electrical and commercial refrigeration, and a Business section.
“It’s a great opportunity for I believe for both the school and for the students, it’s great because these students are ninth graders, they’re just starting to get into the place where they’re thinking about careers, and schools and that type of thing, and I think it works both ways. It can possibly excite some of the students, maybe they’ll come here and find a career that they’re excited about, or maybe they’ll find something that they thought that they liked and turns out it isn’t the best fit for them, so it’s just a great day for them to explore,” said Abbott.
All of the students attended each career rotation where professors from the college gave a brief overview of what that specific career path will look like on both an educational level and through a hands-on experience.
“I really liked how we got to bend the wires and then put them into the screws and see how the electricity works and then we turned on the light bulbs, I like that. It’s important because the students can see what they can do in the future and what kind of careers they got,” said Chris, student at Cass-Lake Bena High School.
Northwest Technical College is in its second year of providing Bemidji High School with this career academy program, and this is the first time the college has offered the program for Cass Lake-Bena High School.
“So we’re trying to develop programs with other local schools that are similar to what we already have setup with Bemidji High School, and so Cass Lake is going to be our second one and we’re obviously looking for more schools in the local area that we’ll be working with in the future,” said Abbott.
This program not only allows students to see first hand what different careers have to offer, but it also allows the college to help plant the seed for a students academic growth and plans in any career a student chooses.