By Jason Wesseldyk
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Children begin hearing that question—or some variation of it—at a young age. And with so many options available, it can seem a little overwhelming to some young people.
That’s why Otsego High School is doing its best to provide its students with as much information as possible when it comes to answering that question.
From Monday, Oct. 2, to Friday, Oct. 6, OHS hosted its third annual College & Career Week, allowing students to explore college and career options in a variety of ways.
“College & Career Week is a week to broaden our students’ college and post-secondary knowledge across all grade levels,” Otsego Public Schools director of communications Holly McCaw said. “We want students to hone in on their knowledge, skills and abilities to find the right fit for their future.”
Each day, teachers led the students in activities focusing on post-graduation plans.
Teachers had the option of wearing college, military or career shirts throughout the week. They also filled out an “Ask Me About” poster that showcased their educational journey to their career.
In addition, the week featured a college, military and career fair. Each day at lunch, different colleges, military branches, union reps or apprentice programs were on hand to help students learn more about what they have to offer.
“This was a great way to introduce students to options after high school,” McCaw said.
There were 10 colleges and universities, four military branches and six trade schools throughout the week. Students who visited at least two of them were able to enter a raffle for a gift card.
Here is the breakdown of activities that students participate in during the week.
Monday: Teachers talked with students about their college experience and shared advice. This included military and trade school experience, as some of our teachers had careers prior to the classroom.
Students also have a Xello lesson each day. Xello is a specialized program that will help students find good-fit colleges, potential career choices based on their interests or grades and tells them good classes to take—and the grades needed in certain classes—to get into specific colleges or schools.
Xello lessons are Personality Styles (9th grade), Work Values (10th), Choosing a College (11th) and Career Backup Plans (12th).
Tuesday: “What’s Your Plan Day”.
This is a day for our seniors to share their future plans. It could be a career choice, college, military, trade school choice or where they’ve applied.
Seniors filled out a pennant and posted it to the bulletin board near the guidance office. It continues to fill up throughout the year as students solidify their future plans.
Xello lessons are on Exploring career factors (9th); Careers and Lifestyle Costs (10th); Career Demand (11th) and Job Interviews (12th).
Wednesday: Resume Day!
Through the Xello program that students utilize, they will create or refine their resume. This is great practice for students at all levels as they look for work, whether it’s an after-school job or career.
Thursday: Staff Quiz Day!
Students learned that their teachers didn’t always start out teaching or had interesting experiences during college and work. Staff submitted fun facts about their college days and students tried to guess who’s who in a fun classroom competition.
Xello lessons focus on Getting Experience (9th grade), Workplace Skills/Attitudes (10th), Entrepreneurial Skills (11th) and Defining Success (12th).
Friday: College T-shirt day!
Students were encouraged to sport their favorite college, military branch or career location.
The final Xello lesson for the week will be Study Skills/Habits (9th), Program Prospects (10th), Work/Life Balance (11th) and Career Path choices (12th).