Students from Churchville-Chili Middle School recently were introduced to a world of career options, thanks to a collaboration with the Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES Career and Technical Education Center.
Approximately 300 eighth-graders were welcomed by CTE instructors and student ambassadors from programs like culinary, cosmetology, carpentry, precision machining and automotive technology. The ambassadors led visitors on a tour of the facilities, invited them into classrooms, provided hands-on experiences and answered questions.
“This is the second year we’ve been able to offer this field trip,” said Andrea Lynch, Churchville-Chili instructional coach. “It is part of the district’s plan for a comprehensive exploration of career choices. It begins in fifth and sixth grade with Career Connections (visiting professionals who introduce and explain their fields). Then, in preparation for this trip, students revisit the potential career pathways they created for themselves in seventh grade. They examine where their objectives might align with the training offered through BOCES 2. Then they choose two areas of interest from CTE’s catalogue of 18 programs.
“Our goal is an early and continued exposure to careers and educational pathways that students may not be aware of. We offer extensive post-graduate planning support for older students, but we can’t wait until high school to open these doors for our children. The earlier that students can connect what they are learning to achieving their ultimate career goals, the more highly engaged and invested they are in their education.”
Feedback from students after the trip confirmed those connections were being made. After speaking with a CTE student about computer technology, one visitor said he could now see how what he is learning in math can be applied to developing software. Another visitor was surprised that some start a successful career without college, and that many employers will pay for college.
About 100 Churchville-Chili students attend classes at CTE. The center offers high school students a wide range of skills training in lab settings. Graduates are prepared for immediate employment or have a solid foundation for further education.