Career exploration software shows students’ options
Before Frenship Middle School eighth-grader Davis Smith started using the iCEV Career Exploration software last week, he really thought he wanted to be a doctor.
“I was really, really pushing for health sciences,” Smith said.
Then he started going through several video interviews with people in the four career fields he had to choose between, including business and industry; arts and humanities; public services; and science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
“As I looked, I kind of changed my mind. This has really helped me look into those endorsements,” he said.
Smith said he looked at the STEM endorsement because it seemed more challenging.
“I’m always up for a challenge,” he said.
Specifically, Smith said he really enjoys finding out how computers work. Last summer he learned to replace the screen on a smartphone, and he enjoyed learning what is inside a smartphone.
“Maybe I do want to get into the computer industry,” he said.
Each incoming freshman at Frenship High School has to pick one of the four endorsement areas.
Frenship Middle School Principal Jerry Jerabek said while there are technically five endorsements, the multidisciplinary endorsement is really for smaller schools that may not be able to offer all of the classes for the other endorsements. But students are being asked to pick one of the four areas prior to entering Frenship High School. The endorsement can be switched if students have a change of heart.
“It’s almost like declaring a (college) major,” Jerabek said.
He said he loves that students are being encouraged to think about their future as eighth-graders. He said he believes it will help them to find meaning in their high school courses because they will see how each class is a step on the path to their career choice.
“As an educator, I like to see that because motivation is often so difficult in high school,” Jerabek said.
Other students found help in deciding on an endorsement area by using the new iCEV Career Exploration software as well.
For Nick McCauley, the future seemed to point to becoming a dentist like his brother and uncle.
But after watching the videos, he decided he’s really more interested in becoming a doctor, and perhaps even a surgeon. He wants to know a lot more about understanding the human body.
The videos, he said, “gave me a better understanding of what I would be doing.”
“What made it even better was they had real people, not just actors,” McCauley said.
He said besides careers in health care in the public services endorsement area, he also looked at a lot of videos in the business and industry endorsement area.
Jerabek said he asked the eighth-graders to watch five videos within at least two endorsement areas. He was pleasantly surprised that many students watched a lot more.
McCauley said the videos ranged from three to five minutes.
“They were short and sweet,” he said.
Kendal Snuggs said when she started watching the videos, she really didn’t know what she wanted to start studying in high school for a future career.
“I looked at a lot of different ones,” Snuggs said. “I liked health science and I liked dentistry.”
Her dad is a dentist, she said, so she watched those videos just because she was curious about his career. Now she thinks that might be her future career path.
Because she likes being around kids, she said she had been told she should think about teaching. But after watching the videos, she said maybe she could be a pediatric dentist.
Frenship teachers required students to fill out a questionnaire on each video they watched, or at least for the five required videos.
Snuggs said filling out the questionnaires was helpful for her to really think about what she saw in the videos.
The software to assist students in choosing a specialized endorsement area was announced as a pilot program May 20 by Frenship Independent School District and CEV Multimedia.
Beginning in the 2014-15 school year, Texas House Bill 5 allows students to choose an endorsement area. The bill allows students to receive performance acknowledgement through industry certification.
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