The West Chester Area School District's Career Exploration Program is a multi-faceted program that provides high school students with unique opportunities to enter and learn more about the workplace, observing and exploring the “world of work” first hand, making the critical link between the skills they are learning in school and the importance of this knowledge and skill acquisition to future career success. Businesses positively impact students by providing practical work experiences and life lessons, which help students make informed career decisions.
The Career Exploration Program is part of the District’s Comprehensive 3-Year Plan. To view an informational presentation on the Career Exploration Program, click here.
One of the major goals of the Career Exploration Program is to place students in their expressed area of interest to help them obtain a real-world view of how that job functions within their community and beyond. These career opportunities are offered to students who are genuinely serious about their education and have a sincere interest in their career choices, ensuring that students and the business professionals both have a quality experience.
In 10th grade, students can participate in several Career Awareness Experiences offered throughout the year in multiple career areas. For example, Widener University offers a "Business Day" for 10th - 12th grade female students who are interested in pursuing a business major in college. Temple University, along with members of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Accountants, offers "Accounting Day" to students who feel a career in accounting may be in their future. Millersville University offers a Women in Science and Mathematics Conference, too. Throughout the year, several other colleges, universities, and professional organizations offer one-day introductory sessions about a variety of career paths, which students may attend. Information about these Career Awareness Experiences is distributed to students via Naviance.
In 11th and 12th grade, students may participate in West Chester’s Job Shadowing Program. Once a student completes the necessary paperwork and connects with the Career Exploration Instructor, a student may participate in a variety of job shadowing experiences from October through March in their career area(s) of interest. There are typically between six and ten shadowing opportunities offered each month, in a variety of careers, and a variety of experiences which range from individual to larger group experiences at some of the most prominent companies across our region. A monthly calendar is distributed to participating students, and they can choose which job shadowing experience they prefer to participate in each month. The student can also work with the Career Exploration Instructor to coordinate a job shadowing experience tailored to that student’s career area of interest.
In 12th grade, a select number of students will participate in the "Learn to Earn Program," which was brand new in the 2015-16 school year. Students have the opportunity to finish their academic course work by the end of April, and then will intern at a business/institution/non-profit organization during the day for the entire month of May. Students must procure their own internship-site, find the associated transportation, and the business must obtain the required Pennsylvania clearances. Each student is required to provide an oral presentation that summarizes their experience to members of the Learn to Earn Advisory Committee following their experience in June. More information and application materials are available by clicking here.
Click here to download the Career Exploration Program Guide.
For questions about the Career Exploration Program, please contact: