Webinar Highlights: Making Careers Matter in Middle School
No time to watch? Below, we summarize key information and include links to resources from the webinar.
In this webinar, discover fun career activities for middle school students, including some of the best lessons from the Middle School Curriculum Guide as well as opportunities for learning more about teaching Career Pathways in the Texas OnCourse Academy.
Access the webinar below. This month’s highlights help you:
- Teach career exploration and help students understand endorsements with key lessons and learning topics in the Academy
- Access Roadtrip Nation’s Texas documentary series and helpful vignettes for the classroom
- Understand what the biggest needs are at the middle school level, why those needs exists, and how to close the gaps
Many thanks to our guest speakers: Molly Gazin, educational support manager from Roadtrip Nation, and Lori Knight, educational outreach manager from our strategic partner organization, the Texas Workforce Commission. You will want to see these resources for your work with middle school students!
Texas OnCourse Resources Spotlight
Our Middle School Curriculum Guide, which was made by educators for educators, includes lesson plans aligned to TEKS for college and career readiness and investigating careers. Certain lessons directly connect student learning to career pathways. Those lessons are:
- Unit 1, Lesson 1.2 Investigating Career Clusters and Programs of Study
Unit 1, Lesson 1.3 Deep Dive into My Preferred Career Cluster
- Unit 1, Lesson 1.4 Understanding the Five High School Endorsements
Unit 1, Lesson 2.5 Postsecondary Options
Unit 2, Lesson 1.3 Space Journal
All lessons in the curriculum guide help students begin to envision their future as a professional and consider where their skills and abilities could take them one day.
If you’re looking for additional content expertise on endorsements, career exploration, and career pathways, we’ve got you covered. The Texas OnCourse Academy has free online training on teaching career exploration to middle school students. Simply log onto the Academy and search for the modules under Career Pathways > Foundational Knowledge > Basic Principles of Career Pathways and Career Pathways > Academic Planning > Career Clusters, Pathways, and Endorsements.
Roadtrip Nation and Texas OnCourse
We teamed up with Roadtrip Nation to produce a series of resources chronicling the academic and career journeys of real Texas high school students and graduates.
These resources include a 4-episode documentary called Room to Grow featuring Texas high school students traveling the state in search of their futures. They also include a series of short, 2–3 minute long videos covering topics like choosing high school courses when you’re in middle school and developing good study habits. These videos are great for the classroom!
Making Careers Matter in Middle School
With talk of endorsement selection and grad planning, middle school students may be wondering, “How do I choose the right career?” To add to this puzzle, there can often be a gap in student understanding when it comes to which careers are in demand, which careers would be a good fit, and how a student can support their desired lifestyle.
To help close these gaps, self exploration and research are essential. The Texas Workforce Commission has several recommendations when it comes to in-classroom resources for self-assessment and career research:
- Texas Genuine: The TEXASgenuine Assessment is a career guidance quiz that allows students to identify their top three career clusters of interest.
- Texas Career Check: Developed by the Texas Workforce Commission, Texas Career Check allows students to compare postsecondary schools side by side, take an interest inventory, and view current occupation trends. It allows students to explore career options driven by their own interests, so they can dig deep into professional pathways that will impact their futures.
- MapMyGrad: MapMyGrad is Texas OnCourse's interactive website for endorsement selection and graduation planning. It starts with a simple quiz for your students that reveals their passions, leads to an endorsement, and ends with a course plan that includes suggested courses at their actual school!