Students Exploring Career Possibilities

Conroe High School Students Spending Their Free Period Exploring Future Career Possibilities

Itís lunchtime at Conroe High School, in Conroe Texas. Youíd expect to find most high school kids finishing their lunch and making plans for the weekend or discussing last weekís adventure. But instead of spending this free period chatting with friends, some students are waiting in line to access the Magellan computer program. Theyíre lining up to find what will career suit them the best.

“These kids donít have to be here right now,” said Peggy Hubner, College and Career Specialist at Conroe High School. “Currently we have only one computer with the Magellan program on it, so the time students spend here is very valuable to them.”

Magellan is a career assessment program from Valpar International. Through Magellan students become active participants in planning for their careers. Magellan is a self-directed survey of each studentís interests, skills and abilities. Students can complete all eight assessments or look at each individually. Students see how these skills relate to jobs, why they are important and their own level for each skill. Magellan can be run on an individual or stand alone computer, as part of a lab package or on a network.

Although students at Conroe High School have just begun using Magellan software, itís a success with students and educators. “Our goal at Conroe High School is to provide counseling and resources for college admissions, career interests, job profiles and career outlooks,” said Hubner. “Traditional career counseling tools only look at interests. Magellan is a superior product for this mission in that itís comprehensive. Magellan targets interests, abilities and aptitudes.”

The counseling program here must reach every student from grades nine through twelve which is about 3,000 students. Like most schools, Conroe High has a limited counseling staff. Completing the old pen and paper career assessments for each and every student is simply not an efficient option anymore. Magellan is being utilized as part of the structured counseling program for each student, as well as a recommended resource for others. Even some teachers are delving into Magellan to track their own career paths.

In this fast-paced world, students are particularly impatient. They want real time information and they want it right away. So if a student doesnít have time to complete the entire Magellan program, they can investigate specific surveys for direction in a particular field. The parts of the Magellan program that Conroe High School students utilize the most are the profiling and testing to find out what career path fits them. Another part of Magellan they like to examine describes day to day activities for each job. Finding out what someone actually does in a particular job field is extremely important in their decision-making.

“Of course they love the screen layouts with career comparisons, colorful bar graphs, online video clips and Internet hotlinks,” added Ms Hubner. “It actually motivates them to consume and consider all the information that Magellan provides. This exploration is helping them answer their most basic questions: What do I want to do to earn a living and what do I have to do to get there?”

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