By Amie Sites Pharos-Tribune
---- — Missy Hatten knows the world is changing. Hatten teaches a class at Columbia Middle School geared toward preparing students for college and careers.
She is teaching her students the importance of preparing for life after graduation.
In her second year of teaching the class, Hatten is urging students to find out what they want to do after high school and make a plan.
“I tell my students to find something they love to do and find a way to get paid for it,” Hatten said. “If they wait until high school [to prepare], it’s almost too late.”
Hatten, who previously taught family and consumer sciences, is providing a look into possible careers by bringing in various guest speakers and school educators. There have been representatives from Ivy Tech, Purdue University, Trine University and Security Federal speaking on various topics such as military, cosmetology, tool and die, and more.
Students in her class have created a presentation of a career they might want to pursue and the college or training needed to accomplish the career goal.
Logansport Community School Corp. professionals are making the push to prepare students early. It is through Hatten’s class and a partnership with Indiana University Kokomo that students are learning what needs to be done as they move on to high school and beyond.
Every Logansport eighth-grader, a little more than 300 students, recently took a tour of Indiana University Kokomo as a part of the class. Through a career interest inventory, Drive of Your Life, students are able to get an idea of what they might enjoy or be good at, said Michele Starkey, LCSC superintendent.
“We utilized that information to put them in groups for when they went to IUK,” Starkey said. “For example, my son is an eighth-grader and is science oriented and went to the School of Science on campus.”
Students went to various career areas including, nursing, business, education and others, to learn what degrees can lead to a career of interest.
Starkey said it was an eye-opening experience for the students.
“If we don’t talk about life after high school and prepare them, who will?” Starkey said. “In the past, we thought we prepared students for the elementary to middle school leap more than the middle school to high school leap. We’re focusing on that.”
Starkey said she hopes students will have a better understanding of the importance of education and the many options available. There are a lot of options from two-year college, four-year college and certification to military and technical training, Starkey said.
Starkey and Hatten both hope to see the class grow. Starkey hopes they continue to make changes to the class and ultimately help students after high school.
“I want to see students start to think of their 10-year plan, not just what they’re going to do in high school,” Hatten said. “I want them to see what they’re going to do after college. There are so many options and I want them to start thinking about it.”