Eagle Eye on Education: Career Pathways will offer direction for New Albany High School students

Shirley Hamilton
Guest columnist

This February, when New Albany High School students begin the annual process of selecting their courses for the 2021-22 school year, they will have additional tools to aid in the process.

The high school staff has developed Career Pathway articulations to support students and families as they sift through hundreds of courses in their effort to build their schedule requests. Now, when students make course selections, they will also be able to explore career fields that align with their choices.

Shirley Hamilton is director of secondary education for the New Albany-Plain Local School District.

Career Pathways have become increasingly popular within the education landscape.  Because of emerging career/technical opportunities for students and the continued push to prepare students for success in college, careers and beyond, Career Pathways articulations have become increasingly important.

The goals of our Career Pathways initiative are:

• To enhance our program of study by including Career Pathways in an effort to better inform students and parents about future possibilities beyond high school.

• To improve academic advising for students to be more intentional about coursework choices and future college and career endeavors.

• To identify career and college readiness resources to help students prepare for life after high school.

When visiting our Career Pathways on the high school website, napls.us/high, your journey begins at the Find Your Path Launch Page. The Find Your Path Launch Page includes an introductory video explaining how to use the pathway tool, a welcome and links to connect families to the 16 Career Pathways.

After you arrive at a career pathway, there is a full description of the pathway and then a number of research tools to assist with exploration of the career. Research tools include Ohio Future Job Outlook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook and Naviance for Students.

Each career pathway also includes a section called Community Connections, where members of the New Albany community share their experiences in the selected career pathway along with words of wisdom for our students. This unique section continues to evolve as we search for community members who are interested and willing to assist with our efforts. 

Each career pathway highlights various careers that students might pursue based on their level of education attained.

Pathways also include information on required coursework, suggested coursework, career center programming, and College Credit Plus information that align with the selected pathway.

Finally, we have linked some colleges that offer majors to support careers that fall within the pathway to permit students and parents easy research access.

One of the most important features of our Career Pathways is how we have incorporated our High School Program of Studies. From each career pathway, there are multiple ways to access our program of studies. In addition to course descriptions, our program of studies now includes new Subject Area Pathway Maps to help students graphically see the required classes they need to take.

The New Albany-Plain Local School District is committed to creating a culture of accountability that achieves the best academic and developmental outcomes for each student. Our Career Pathways tool supports this mission and will help our students and their families better prepare for their futures. 

We would like to thank members of the New Albany community for supporting this work.  The career-pathway tool is a scalable tool and will grow and change as the needs of our students mandate.

If you would like to be part of our Community Connection videos or have information that you believe would improve our tool, please contact assistant principal Kevin Freeman at freeman.11@napls.us.

Shirley Hamilton is director of secondary education for the New Albany-Plain Local School District.