MyPath Students Get Head Start On Career Choices

Create Your Own Course With MyPath
Posted on 11/01/2017
mypath mehlville

Imagine having the ability to create your own class in high school.   You choose the subject.  You choose the lessons.   No need to imagine for Mehlville High School and Oakville High School students.  It’s called MyPath, and it’s happening right now.

MyPath takes away some of the guess work for high school students, who think they might want to enter a particular career but just aren’t sure.  “MyPath gives students voice and choice in their learning,” explains John DeWalle, the district’s Director of College and Career Readiness.  “They are able to dig deeper in their interests, develop their strengths and pursue their passions.”

During the first semester of the 2017-2018 school year, 10 students are taking advantage of the MyPath option.  Several of them are spending time in elementary schools to determine if they might want a career in education.  One student is coordinating the music program at her church, with an eye toward audio/video production. Other MyPath endeavors include becoming an author, working in a physical therapist’s office, doing bio-chemistry research at a local university, and exploring ways to compost and protect the environment.

MyPath students have a lot of freedom and flexibility, but the program is carefully structured to meet rigorous academic standards.  Students first submit a general plan proposal which is vetted by the Counseling Department.  After that, a teacher from the content area and a mentor work together with the students to develop a project management plan.  The teacher provides direction to ensure the plan aligns to state curriculum standards.  The mentor helps students implement the plan and holds students accountable for the work that needs to be done.

Students are universally finding value in their MyPath choices.  “I got to go to a writers’ convention, which was part of my program.  I would not have been able to make those contacts without MyPath,” said Oakville High student and budding author Shannon Seithel.  “I have scholarship opportunities based on a portfolio, so I’ve been spending a lot of my time giving my portfolio an edge,” added Mehlville High student Ally Butler, who is considering a career in theater.

While MyPath often helps high school students decide what careers they want to follow, there is another, opposite benefit.  “Some students have determined that their expected path was not something they wanted to pursue in college,” explains John DeWalle.  “One student decided she no longer wants to be a teacher.  A recent visit to a university and her participation in MyPath helped her come to that revelation.”

All the students agree that MyPath can require more work than a regular class, but it’s worth the extra effort.  Oakville High senior Caitlyn Kelly says, “The high school experience is a good thing, but going out into a work environment and actually understanding if this is what you want to really want to do—you can’t get that just being in high school.”

 

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