Career Options : Meeting the Needs of the Other Half of Our Student Population

A lot of time and resources are focused on our juniors and seniors in preparing them to attend four-year colleges. Honor and AP classes are offered, admission officers from universities and colleges come to our schools for visits and information on scholarships and a variety of preparing for college related links are posted on our website.  Half of our graduating senior class attend a 4-year college, the other half either goes to a community college, the military or directly into the workforce.

CTE_Month_logo_2016 resized for cte month page 2

As part of CTE month we took the opportunity to prepare a series of events to encourage our students who do not have an interest in attending a 4-year college to explore the many opportunities out there that are available for them. Our CTE department presented a week-long series of CTE Talks a take off on the TED Talks featuring local entrepreneurs, half of them presented in our Media Center and the other half presented in the Student Services Center.  They included:

3D Game Designer                                                          Motivational Speaker

Graphic Designer                                                             Internet Marketer

Occupational Therapist                                                    Business Coach

Early Childhood Literacy Specialist                                 Chef

Franchise Owner                                                              Engineer Entrepreneur & Inventor

The library also coordinated with our Guidance department and the CTE department to organize a one day Technical College Fair in the Media Center. We included representatives from three of the area community/technical colleges – Cape Fear Community College, Miller-Motte Technical School and College of Wilmington, the military programs and the NASCAR Technical Institute located in Charlotte.

CT Fair           CT_Fair_MillerMotte

Some of the programs that these institutes covered were Phlebotomy, Medical Office Administration, Nursing, Automotive Systems, Cosmetology, Dental Assistant, Landscaping, Massage Therapists, HVAC, Marine Mechanics and Welding.  Cape Fear not only brought instructors but also students who were in the program to speak with our students.


The library prepared a book display and bulletin board that tied in with these career options and also included more information on our College and Career Libguide that focused on Community College information and careers without college.  Students were given a handout as they came in that included links to the visiting schools and military websites and the link for the Libguide. A quick survey was completed by the students before they left and the common answer from most of them were that they got a lot of information about their options and that they would like to see even more programs the next time we conducted a Technical Fair.  We are already in discussion mode with the colleges about doing this again in November.

Here are some online resources to share with your students.  Please add any other resources you use with your students or any activities that you have found successful that focus on community college or careers without college.

My Next Move


Tech Schools

Career Overview

Bureau of Labor Statistics: Career Exploration

My : Highest Paying Jobs Without College

Today’s Military

RWM : Real Work Matters


Author: Joann Absi

I am the media coordinator at Eugene Ashley High School in Wilmington, NC. I have had positions at elementary, middle and high school libraries during my career. I am a past president of NCSLMA. Currently I am serving as the Communications Chair for NCSLMA and a member of AASL/ALSC/YALSA School/Public Library Cooperation.

Categories: Blog Topics, Community/Teacher Collaboration

Tags: , , , ,

1 reply

  1. This is great! I’m adding these to my career resources page. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.