The Dublin City School District is committed to providing our students with career exploration opportunities in a wide variety of fields.

The Dublin City School District is committed to providing our students with career exploration opportunities in a wide variety of fields.

According to a recent New York Times article, 80 percent of college freshmen are uncertain about a major and half will change majors before graduation.

This indecision about a career path means lost time and tuition dollars, and in some cases, leads students to drop out before graduating college.

But how does a student decide which college major, career pathway to pursue?

What will lead to a stable job with long term prospects in today's rapidly changing marketplace?

What job skills are industries looking for, and how do our students prepare themselves to meet those needs?

Dublin is committed to helping our students answer these tough questions.

Last academic year, a comprehensive analysis looked at student interest, community feedback, college acceptance criteria and workforce needs. This resulted in a strategic plan with proven measures to produce high-achieving students.

In June, we were awarded a nearly $1 million Straight A Fund grant from the State of Ohio, called "K to Industry," which will allow students K-12, to explore a variety of careers, and engage with industry experts to help them determine their interests.

By the time they are done with high school, students will be better able to make more informed career choices and take the right steps to pursue them.

This initiative, which builds on our successful STEM programs, has the potential to guide and streamline a student's future education which is of great value to students and parents.

K to Industry is made possible through partnerships involving Dublin City Schools, Tolles Career and Technical Center, Columbus State Community College, Educational Service Center of Central Ohio, the city of Dublin, Cardinal Health, Cybervation, Honda Logistics North America Inc., OCLC, MurphyEpson Inc. and Xcelerate Media.

Student and teacher interaction with industry will foster and reap creativity, resiliency and grit while providing students with college, career and life skills. The variety of embedded classroom learning opportunities provide experiences that will result in a well-rounded child.

K to Industry program elements include:

* Industry mentorship through a virtual interface for text and video between teachers, industry, and individual or groups of students.

* Online learning opportunities about education and workforce for educators, industry and parents.

* Workforce-centered classroom resources including a foundation for creating authentic and relevant classroom experiences.

* An online Information Technology Pathway resulting in dual enrollment credit and a technical certificate to serve as an industry model to guide students along the continuum from K to Industry.?

One desired outcome is to create an efficient, successful model other school systems and communities can follow.

Currently in Dublin City Schools there are tremendous opportunities available through established career academies. These academies are also designed to provide students with real world experiences and the opportunity to thoroughly explore a career.

These academies are: The Engineering Academy, The Biomedical Research Academy, Energy, the Dublin Business Academy, the Young Professionals Academy and the Dublin Teacher Academy.

The Information Technology Academy will commence in academic year 2015. This work is just getting underway, and we are entering a period of soliciting input from students, parents, teachers and industry partners so we can finalize and roll out the program fall, 2015.

Join us from 7 to 9 p.m. Oct. 14, in the Dublin Scioto High School Cafetorium, to learn how your student can identify and embrace a 21st century career.

For more information about K to Industry and how your children can explore careers while being a Dublin student, go to the Dublin Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Wiki (Dublin Schools Website, Parent Resources, STEM) or subscribe to the K to Industry community blog at www.kto

Kimberly Clavin, manager of the Dublin City School District's STEM initiatives submitted the School Notes column.