Evanston Township High School administrators updated board members Monday night on programs to help students prepare for their career choices and to support job options that don’t require a four-year degree.

A Career Pathways Program of Study Guide, prepared by the school’s college and career services office, describes 17 career clusters, from agriculture, food and natural resources through finance and hospitality and tourism to manufacturing and transportation.

Each career cluster, based on the National Career Cluster Framework, contains a career pathway guide that explains various career options, describes ETHS courses as well as extra curricular clubs and activities that might assist students to prepare for those careers and details the credentials required for different careers within the cluster.

“ETHS provides courses in every pathway, from introductory courses so students can see if they like a particular area to more advanced courses so students can go more deeply,” said Shelley Gates, chair of career and technical education department.

Ninth and tenth graders get a career assessment to help them discover what careers might suit them and the study guide can be used as a supplement for both parents and students in course selection, Gates said.

“We’re moving away from a college-only orientation,” said Gates. The school is hosting a Career Options night on Thursday designed for students interested in professional careers that don’t require a college degree.

Open to students, parents and residents aged 18-24, the session will include representatives of both Evanston hospitals, unions, banks, the Evanston fire and police departments, Oakton Community College, manufacturers, the military and the Youth Job Center.

“The Mayor’s Employer Advisory Committee is working to build a connection between Evanston employers and ETHS for students who are not going to a four-year college,” said Gates. “Local employers have career pathways starting at entry level but they struggle to find employees.”

“We’ve had ‘BA blindness,’” said Pete Bavis, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. After spending the summer on tours of Evanston employers, “we found lots of training and support for career ladders that are not just dead-end minimum wage jobs. We’re looking this year to put graduates into that pipeline.”

“This really opened our eyes to what we can do for young people,” said Gates. We’ve worked with employers to “lower barriers to entry and provide supports, orientation and mentorships to help young people get on a career pathway,” she said.

With a $90,000 grant from the city, approved by a 5-4 vote at Monday night’s City Council meeting, the Youth Job Center will hire a career partnership manager based at the high school who will help place up to 100 students per year in career opportunities that do not require four-year degrees.

Related story

City hopes to connect more kids with careers (3/10/2019)

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  1. ETHS helps students select careers

    I think what ETHS is doing is great.  However, this must start in District 65!  Children from kindergarten on should be coaxed, inspired, excited, about thinking about what they would want to be when they grow up, how to do it, the path to college, and other paths if that one is not wanted. But to leave them to think about it when they enter high school at age 14 or 15 is criminal!  By then they may have made other plans, may be not the best ones for them. 

    ETHS is part of the school system to which D65 belongs.  Remember about “articulation?”  Don’t they hold dual board meetings?  Why don’t they help the kids under their care to plan the futures together, both districts working in unison??  That is called, articulating.  Which they promised to do in stead of unification….three times.  And which they should do anyway, as “in loco parentis.”   Just like we start training in music, sports and other areas when the kids are barely 3 or 4 years old, what is more important than their lives after school, their futures???  And knowing about 1the opportunities that are available to them?

    ETHS should’ve invited D65 parents to their “Career Options” night.  Because parents are the ones who influence the kids.  Remember?  Parents are the first teachers?

    1. ETHS Career Options Night

      ALL are welcome to attend on 3/14th…Elementary, middle school, high school, alumni, parents, guardians, community members, and neighbors, Visitors can pre-register and view a list of the career fair exhibitors here:

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