High School Students Learn About Careers Through College Readiness Program

WAYNE – High school freshmen from five area schools attended a “Connecting the Dots Career Simulation” where employers from the Wayne community participated in the event.

Wednesday’s event focused on high school freshmen, according to Amy Topp who is the Extension Educator for Wayne County.

“The Nebraska Department of Education has identified Career and College Readiness standards,” said Topp. “This is a program that Nebraska Extension has developed to fit with that so schools can come and it can be a part of their curriculum.”

From the Wayne Armory, morning activities carried through the afternoon of learning about potential careers. It was roughly six years ago the last time the event was held in Wayne.

High school freshman from Laurel-Concord-Coleridge, Randolph, Wakefield, Winside and Wisner-Pilger were in attendance.

Students paired into groups of two and were given a level of education from GED, associates (two-year), bachelor (four-year) or post-secondary (graduate). Educational tables featured Wayne State College, Northeast Community College and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln along with members from the National Guard providing information.

The 16 cluster categories are based off the Nebraska Department of Education as students visited a table which best fit their career.

“We had identified 16 different individuals in the community who work in that cluster area to be the ones who actually talk to the students,” Topp added. “We feel like that’s the best, they’re in the job doing something even though they might not know each of the specific careers, but it’s something they have training in.”

Students had previously identified one career cluster to start the simulation.

Students were also able to learn more about their favorite careers, network with the local employers in attendance, explore career options available in Nebraska and have fun learning together.

“We know now that there’s jobs that they may have that are not even created yet because that’s how fast our society is changing,” Topp mentioned. “We feel if youth always have that insight to keep learning they’ll be adaptable to most jobs.”

The afternoon closed out with a Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator and a resume building session before departure.