Lakeville Area Public Schools high schoolers participated in Opportunities Day this month and had an entire day the first week of December dedicated to college planning and determining career interests for their future.
Each grade focused on a different aspect of college and their careers. Both Lakeville North and Lakeville South ninth graders took part in interest exploration and an elective fair where the students learned about different elective programs at their high schools. Lakeville South ninth graders also joined up with sophomores for a presentation given by a member of the Jacob Wetterling Foundation.
“The speaker focused on really good lessons — the importance of being kind and being honest, and how those traits tie into being a good person and how it’s related to the workforce,” said Lakeville South dean Dr. Dana Kelly.
Sophomores at Lakeville North also learned lessons from speakers, including a professor from the University of Minnesota who presented on essential skills needed to be successful in high school and beyond. Senator Matt Little also spoke to sophomores about the importance of trusting yourself and being decisive, deliberative and flexible.
Both schools provided speakers from 4-year colleges, 2-year colleges and the military so students had the opportunity to learn what post-high school option might be best for them. Sophomores also participated in ACT preparation.
Juniors from Lakeville North were out visiting businesses on career tours, including Global Academy, Lakeville Police Department, Xcel Energy Center and Fairview Ridges Hospital. Lakeville South juniors visited a variety of colleges including University of Minnesota, St Cloud State University, Bethel University and Inver Hills Community College. In addition, Lakeville South juniors wrote a reflection on a career seminar they attended on Nov. 30, where the students gained advice from a panel of speakers from members of the Lakeville Chamber of Commerce.
Seniors from both schools participated in job shadowing, and also learned the job outlook and salary of positions they’re
interested in. Lakeville South seniors were also expected to write a reflection on their experience.
“Our hope is that our students takeaway how to be good decision makers, and that these activities help them make the right decision in the future,” said Lakeville North dean Holly Standke. “It is also about introducing the students to all the different options that are available in high school and beyond. For example, in tenth grade we really focus on character pieces to help them as they grow and become adults.”
Dr. Kelly agreed, adding, “Every student needs to be exposed to what their options are at every different level so that they can make good choices and at least ask questions.”