The entire eighth grade of Poland Middle School - all 173 students - traveled to Mahoning County Career and Technical Center on Thursday, Nov. 15 to learn about various career paths they could choose as they get ready to enter high school. The first half of the day was spent at the center in Canfield.
The students divided into groups and MCCTC assigned ambassador students to each group. It was their job to visit the various classrooms and labs at MCCTC to give students a brief look into various careers they may want to pursue someday soon.
"They will be registering for high school in the spring," said PMS Principal Mark Covell. "Orientation is in February and it is time for the kids to start thinking about their futures."
Photos by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Mahoning County Career and Technical Center student Ryan Campana of Boardman, demonstrates how to rebuild a weed-wacker engine to Poland Middle School student Garry Mitcham during a career day visit on Thursday, Nov. 15.
To give the students a good look at the fields that are out there, the students spent the morning at MCCTC checking out the options. A favorite was the aviation class where the students got to sit in a Huey helicopter. Other interesting stops included the auto collision class, medical careers, and a stop in the robotics lab where they got to see MCCTC's competition robot.
"The real purpose in career development is in what courses do students take to be college ready," said Jackie Kuffel, MCCTC career development supervisor. "We needed to get the kids thinking about it."
Covell said he remembered a time when the tech school in Canfield had courses that put a student right in the work force. He said today the school actually allows high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to get college credits before they graduate. MCCTC has both half-day and full-day courses for high school juniors and seniors.
Thursday's trip also filled a state requirement for career development in the seventh and eighth grades. Kuffle said all Mahoning County eighth-graders visit MCCTC during the school year. Many end up taking courses and gaining college credit in their last two years of high school.
The PMS students returned to Poland and in the afternoon, had various speakers in the classrooms. Each speaker had a different profession and offered their story on what it took to get into the career as well as what one may expect to be doing.
By the end of the day, all the Poland eighth-graders had a lot of choices and ideas to begin shaping their own futures.