Incoming freshmen participate in the program to prepare students for life after school
We get an inside look at Oklahoma’s Individual Career Academic Planning program, which aims to help students better prepare for life after elementary school.
This is the third year that all incoming freshmen must participate in the program, but students of any age can create a profile.
A few years ago, Oklahoma applied for a grant along with 42 other states and was one of 10 winners; Oklahoma used this $2 million grant to start this program.
Technology helps support planning and holds everything together for students in a profile that stays with them until they complete their post-secondary studies.
The ICAP program is intended to help students learn what interests them now rather than later when they have already started pursuing an education or career.
“We introduce students to many different career fields, understand educational institutions, whether it’s a career technology center near them or a university, and they begin to understand the opportunities that correspond to many different career paths that are closely related to their own interests in science or in agribusiness or in those types of careers that they may have never even heard of or that they do not ‘have ever thought of,” said Joy Hofmeister, OK State Supt. of Public Instruction.
Students in grades ninth through twelfth explore careers before they are thrown into them.
“The sooner we can expose students, the more opportunities they will have,” said Dr. Marla Robinson, director of College & Career at Union High School.
Hofmeister said many students drop out and don’t go on to post-secondary education, which is one of the reasons Oklahoma launched its Academic Individual Career Planning program.
“A career technical certificate or an accredited field, or in college, or even in the military,” the superintendent said. Hofmeister.
Dr. Marla Robinson said ICAP has helped streamline the Union College and Career Centre.
“[A]and make sure every student has that opportunity,” Dr. Robinson said.
“It makes this job relevant and it gives them hands-on experience,” said Supt. Hofmeister. “[T]The disconnect and disengagement that occurs when you don’t have that connection to your future endeavors is something ICAP will help bring and connect with students and help them persevere. »
“Also see how career and education planning fits into what they do in their core courses and in their electives,” Dr. Robinson said. “There are different tools you can use, career surveys, interest surveys, all of those things that can help students find their way, refine their journey, and figure out what their next steps might be.”
Dr. Robinson said last year Union High School held its first career fair with students and the community, along with “Career Chats & Cookies”; each month, a different area comes to present.
“They have the opportunity to explore a career opportunity such as manufacturing or information technology. They have the opportunity to learn a little more about how their GPA can influence their choices at the future,” said Dr. Robinson.
Union seniors are required to complete a resume and will conduct mock interviews upon completion. There are 350,000 I-CAP student profiles statewide.
In its first year, students participated in over 10,000 courses related to Advanced Placement, Career Technology Education, Concurrent Enrollment, and Internships; this is a 12% increase over previous years.
School districts partner with area businesses and connect students to scholarships.
“Part of career planning is figuring out not just what you like, but also what you thought you liked but isn’t what you thought it would be,” Dr. Robinson said. “We want every student to know that it’s okay to dream. It’s okay to say, ‘I think I want to do this,’ and if you want to do it, we’ll be here to try to help you figure out what steps to take to achieve that dream. We always say, “it’s okay to fail”. It’s okay to decide you’ve tried something in job shadowing. or in Career Connect and it wasn’t the path you thought it would be, then you’re going to switch gears and do something else, because it’s better you learn that lesson now, as opposed to later. when you may have already started a degree or started a career and you decide you want to change.”
“I was one of those kids who went to college, and I actually dropped out. I could have used what ICAP brings today. I’m also a mom of 4 kids who have graduated from college, and I know it takes a lot to Also, for many of our kids, they’re the first in their families to go to college,” Supt Hofmeister said. also understand that there are many careers that do not require a university and therefore some of our students think this is the only way. My dad was an electrician, so I think how important it was that he knew how to get that job.”
Dr. Robinson said Union’s College and Career Center is always looking for companies willing to sponsor students and let them shadow jobs. She believes that this program could eventually help employers deal with a persistent labor shortage.
A survey last year found that more than 90 percent of Oklahoma high school educators believed ICAP had a positive effect on a student’s hope for their future.
“We look at data such as the number of students enrolled in our Career Connect programs, and are these ‘Career Connect programs’ that they have enrolled in related to the information they have placed in their ICAP or have they chosen to go in another direction? said Dr. Robinson.
Dr. Robinson said the longer the program is in place, the easier it will be to determine trends and see how much this affects students’ career paths over the long term.
You can click here for more information on ICAP.