More than 1,700 local students attended the 8th Grade Career Expo in a two-day event hosted by San Juan College.
8th grade students from 11 middle schools including Koogler, Mesa View, Heights, Tibbetts, Hermosa, Newcomb, Mesa Alta, Kirtland, Ignacio, Bayfield and Tsé Bit A’í to explore career pathways on November 7 and 8.
Prior to the expo, San Juan College staff visited each middle school as a way of introducing the career pathways to the students. The SJC staff led the 8th grade students in an interactive assembly, launching t-shirts, playing trivia and showing a short video explaining San Juan College career pathways.
The students took a career assessment through their schools using the San Juan College Career Coach online tool preparing them for the chance to explore their career interests at the expo. The middle school students had 2 pre-selected career pathway sessions they attended and were also tasked with interviewing two employers connected with those pre-selected career pathways. Additionally, students had the opportunity to visit with San Juan College faculty and staff about their career pathways.
A variety of industries in Arts, Communications and Humanities, Business and Entrepreneurship, Computer Science, Information Technology and Cybersecurity, Education, Social Service and Public Safety, Energy, Manufacturing and Transportation, Health Science and Science Math and Engineering were represented at the expo. More than 60 employers were available to provide information and answer questions about their respective industries.
“Best practices show us that career exploration must start in middle school,” says Jenny Lambert, San Juan College director of Adult Education & Learning initiatives and coordinator of the Career Expo event. “For students who have that opportunity, data shows that students are more likely to graduate and reach a successful career.”
“The feedback about this year’s expo from the teachers and students alike is extremely positive,” continues Lambert. “They see great value in this endeavor and the path it creates for them because it impacts their Next Step Plan as well as informs dual credit selections.”
This 8th Grade Career Expo event was made possible by a generous donation from the Chevron Corporation through the San Juan College Foundation.