Edgewood Middle School and Butler Tech Kick Off Year of Career Exploration

Edgewood City Schools and Butler Tech are partnering to transform how middle school students prepare for their future careers. The initiative developed by Edgewood will provide students with more intensive career readiness education to guide their path through high school, college and beyond.

The year-long project started on Friday, Aug. 19 at Edgewood Middle School in conjunction with Junior Achievement. More than 900 students devoted their morning to financial literacy education led by nearly 50 teachers and volunteers representing businesses around Greater Cincinnati. The lessons, games and activities were designed to give students a better understanding of budgeting, the cost of living and concepts of professionalism.

“We want the students to leave the event with more curiosity of what jobs they would like to explore,” said Maureen Ruether, Assistant Principal at Edgewood Middle School. “As educators, we will help feed that curiosity with career-integrated lesson plans in each grade level throughout the year.”

Students give presentation

Edgewood Middle School has developed a curriculum that includes more than 100 days of career instruction per year and individual student counseling with career consultants. Students will explore careers in a variety of ways, including classroom instruction, career-focused field trips, and through a “reverse career fair,” during which students will teach back what they’ve learned to their parents and the community.

“Edgewood’s approach is a major shift in how career education is presented at the middle school level,” said Megan Reed, Career Grant Coordinator for Butler Tech. “They are equipping their entire student body with important tools to make smart choices in high school that can better prepare them to enter the workforce or college – and possibly even reduce the future burden of student loan debt.”

Early in 2016, Butler Tech allocated $40,000 from the Career Counseling Pilot Grant awarded by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to help fund Edgewood’s curriculum. Butler Tech received the grant in 2015 as part of a provision of Ohio H.B. 487, designed to strengthen career training in the state. Lessons at Edgewood will focus on the 16 career pathways outlined by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE). These pathways were developed around Ohio’s in-demand occupations, according to the ODE.