PASD puts in place new career exploration

Choosing one career path out of the numerous options can be overwhelming for students, but the administration at Punxsutawney Area High School is enacting new career exploration activities to help students in their decision.

Principal Jeff Long explained that this new emphasis on career exploration stems from a statewide trend of putting less focus on test scores and more on the individuality of students.

By having a specialized career exploration class as well as introducing the discussion of choosing a career path into regular classes, students are now getting more resources in order to discover what career path they would both enjoy and thrive in.

“I think we should’ve been doing this all along,” Long said. He said he believes career exploration has truly helped many students thus far and will continue to help those in the future.

Career exploration teacher Angela Cesario emphasizes the importance of showing kids different career options in a classroom setting. Cesario said it allows kids to research many career paths and have the ability to see that there are many more choices than what they may have thought.

“Students should be afforded the opportunity to take more classes to see what they are interested in,” Cesario said. By doing this, Cesario said she believes it gives students the opportunities to see what does and doesn’t suit them.

Whether they choose a trade school or go straight into the workforce, not every kid is suited for college or needs a college degree. Long explained that introducing kids to career exploration helps to prevent them from wasting money and time getting degrees they won’t use. Long said it also helps kids to better match themselves with a post secondary training that will be right for them.

Career exploration is considered so important that kids are first introduced to it while still in elementary school. While it may seem strange to show kids this young career options that they won’t be deciding upon until years from now, Cesario and Long both said they agree that kids of all ages should be exploring different careers in some kind of way. Whether it’s taught in a specialized career exploration class or just in a regular class, both said they agree that it’s very important for all ages to be learning about career options.

“It helps students to start thinking about what you want to do so you have some direction when you’re a senior,” Cesario said. She said having this guidance can help seniors feel less stressed and help them make the best decision for themselves.

In career exploration classes, assessment tests are given to discover strengths and interests which then translate into a career path. That path is then researched upon by students to discover whether or not they believe it’s something they will enjoy and be good at.
By giving more career exploration options in the classroom, Punxsutawney Area High School’s staff said they have the goal of preparing kids for their future that they will both enjoy and flourish in.