Park City School District wants to know what direction students are headed when it comes to exploring their interests and future careers. In an effort to help students find their truth north, the district is hosting a Career Compass Event on Feb. 12 from 5-7 p.m. at Park City High for students and families (grades 5-11).
The compass is the key theme of the event, with the four cardinal directions representing Ecker Hill Middle, the intercardinal direction representing Treasure Mountain Junior High, and the secondary intercardinal direction representing Park City High — each narrowing the focus as students proceed from school to school.
“In public education, we tend to view college and career readiness as college readiness. This creates a “one way to win” philosophy and strategy for our families,” said Danny Fisher, director of Career Technical Education. “The truth present in the jobs market is that there are many ways to arrive at success and this event is designed to share more of these ‘many ways to win’ with our students.”
As students mature and progress in their career interests they should move from exploring to tactically engaging in classes, clubs, and experiences that will provide them a strategic advantage in whatever their goals are for the next stage in life. Fisher said the end goal of this event is to start or support meaningful conversations with students, parents, teachers, counselors, etc. about how the culmination of our students’ educational experiences will “give them a strategic advantage as they choose a career and lifestyle that is right for them.”
The evening begins with a keynote remarks by McCauley Finnegan, a 2015 Park City High graduate who is currently enrolled in the Business Scholars program at the University of Utah, and Ishan Chho, a current student at PCHS.
The event will feature more than 30 breakout sessions, each hosted by a teacher and an industry professional. The professional will discuss the career field and what skills, experience, and knowledge students need to gain in school. The teacher will talk about what classes and clubs are available to support that specific career, and present a pathway of classes in middle school, junior high, and high school to explore the career.
Sessions include: hospitality and tourism, photography, digital design, construction trades, engineering, architecture, apparel design and production, fashion, interior design, aviation, banking and finance, healthcare, legal advocacy, biomedical, art, and filmmaking.
Representatives from Ecker Middle, Treasure Mountain Junior High and PCHS will provide registration information sessions. Additional sessions will be provided by PCCAPS, the Park City Learning Academy, Bright Futures, Park City Education Foundation, Miner Athletics, An Hour of Coding, and Blended Learning at PCHS.
“For students and families in the earlier grades, the event will be about exploring different courses and seeing the connections between potential careers and courses offered in PCSD,” Fisher said. “Students and families should know early on what supports are available through the school district so everyone can incorporate these supports into their educational and career planning.”
Fisher said this event is really about providing information so students can progress through PCSD schools and refine their interests and begin developing a plan to focus and deepen their knowledge base and skill sets towards their plans for the next stage of life.