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Career Cruising: Students and Teachers Weigh In

Madeline Fay & Elizabeth Krebs, Staff Writers

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For the 2017-2018 school year, Lansing High School began to integrate Career Cruising into its College and Career Readiness (CCR) course.

The guidance website directly cites Career Cruising as “a computer program that will help our students plan for life after high school and select courses that will prepare them to meet their goal.”

Career Cruising’s implementation in Lansing High School has been an effort to provide an Individual Plan of Study (IPS) to every student enrolled in 7-11 grade, as required by the Kansas State Board Of Education.

Although the guidelines specifically state that IPSs have been put into action in order to guide all students toward their future careers and postsecondary education, the channel which districts use is not designated. Like many other schools in the area, Lansing has decided on Career Cruising as the pathway for this new requirement.

Opinions have been mixed about the effectiveness of the program, particularly for seniors who have already begun to apply to colleges and other workforce programs.

“I think it’s nice that we learned about ourselves [for] those who hadn’t narrowed down what they wanted to do in the future, but at the same time . . . Career Cruising is not a priority for me,” senior Phoebe Taylor said. “College applications, scholarships — all of those things are my priority.”

Taylor claims that she feels that Career Cruising would not have been helpful even before she began the college application process, as she would have preferred to focus on school work. Although she works on homework and projects at home as well, she values her time in CCR.

“Our Wednesdays are dedicated to this program instead of allowing us to talk to a teacher or do work,” Taylor said. “Every kid has a different life outside of school and those CCR’s could be their only time to do homework.”

Although other students agree that Career Cruising is too time-consuming, they appreciate some of the aspects of the program.

“I use CCR to study for tests and quizzes and finish homework, so I think the [profiling] quizzes are more beneficial than the worksheets that we actually have to go in and take time to fill out,” junior Marissa Ober said.

Every week, students are given a new task or activity to complete. One of the first activities given to students was a set of profiler quizzes that determine career paths and opportunities for students. However, the results varied greatly.

“I think there’s some people who have been disappointed,” history teacher Mr. Michael Basler said.  “That’s one of the things that I’ve been telling my classes when you take those profilers, that’s what you’ve done now what you’re capable of. Like I’m gonna be garbage man or mow lawns for a living, well at this point in your life, that’s what your skillset is and that you have opportunities to grow that.”

“I think there’s been a few people who have been disappointed.”

— History Teacher Michael Basler

Students have been questioning the accuracy of the program’s career suggestions. One student, senior Noah Kincaid, is 100% through the Career Cruising program and feels that some of the results he received were dubious.

“My ideal career does not include being an abuse/crisis counselor,” Kincaid said.

There are several eccentric career choices that are available for students to research, including midwife, bartender, taxidermist, carpet and upholstery cleaner, and many more.

While there has been some skepticism about the effectiveness of Career Cruising, students also admit that it could potentially help guide those who are undecided in their career path.

“If I decide to switch [hobbies] it will be like a compass and sort of point me along,” sophomore Josh Twitchell said.

Many teachers have similarly positive views about the new perspectives that Career Cruising can provide to students.

“I think it’s a great tool for students to think about their future and it helps to look at what your skill set is, what your interest are what your abilities are, and it helps you to look at options of where you are currently and in your future,” Art Teacher Ms. Tracy Schmidt said.

While high school students started Career Cruising this year, so did students within the middle school. Many juniors and seniors have expressed that they feel it would have been more beneficial to them if this process was started earlier in their schooling careers.

“It would have been beneficial to me if I had done it in freshman or eighth grade year instead of as a junior cause juniors and seniors already have an idea of where they want to go and who they want to be and they have already taken the classes to get there so it’s kind of late to change it now,” Ober said.

“Ninth grade year is the time to start, but don’t have [students] think about colleges have them think about what they want to do and what classes they should be taking for those interests,” Taylor said. “I think colleges should happen junior year and scholarships should happen sophomore year.”

“I think that doing it in eighth grade is better because I don’t know what I’m going to do next year or senior year, so I’m just kind of going with the flow,” Twitchell said. “I had my year planned out last year, but when I got into this year I had to switch so many classes and activities so I think…getting a general idea of what you want your high school years to look like could be very beneficial and I wish I would have gotten an opportunity like that.”

Overall, students having a four-year plan appears extremely beneficial and the initial lessons that Career Cruising was giving appear to help reach that goal.

“I think it’s super helpful for students to have a four year plan, and I think every student should have a four year plan before they get to high school, obviously they can change but then you guys have an idea and that hopefully will inspire students to take a full schedule their senior year,” Mrs. Sarah Clyde said.

Career Cruising is built to be program that helps students over many years, yet many upperclassmen feel that at this current point in time they are not getting enough out of the program to fully engage in the activities.

“It helps students who need help with career choices, not so much with people who have it figured out already,” Kincaid said.

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Career Cruising: Students and Teachers Weigh In