The goal of Career Prep is to prepare high school students for the transition from secondary to postsecondary education or the workforce. Western works closely with area high schools to facilitate curriculum coordination between the secondary and postsecondary systems, provides opportunities for counselors and teachers to experience technical preparation with activities like Counselor Externship, Partnering for Success, and Career Clusters/Programs of Study development.
Career Prep funds are set aside for K-12 staff to provide professional development opportunities and to assist with the cost of attending workshops and conferences. Examples of professional development opportunities, workshops, and conferences that have been funded in the past are below.
Counselor Externships at Western: counselor externship is an opportunity for middle and high school counselors to learn more about their local technical college. This four-day experience is held during the summer on the La Crosse campus and offers a grant-funded stipend which will be paid upon completion of the externship.
National Career Pathways Network Conference: the National Career Pathways Network Conference is held each year in October. There is a $1,000 mini-grant available to help with the cost of attending this conference. For more information go to ncpn.info/index.php
Transcripted Credit Curriculum meetings: Western faculty and high school teachers meet to discuss transcripted credit course requirements, curriculum, and necessary steps to develop an agreement.
Middle and High School Counselor Workshops: these yearly full-day workshops provide the opportunity for middle and high school counselors to learn about Western and program updates, meet Western staff, and network with colleagues.
Wicareerpathways.org: this website is a tool that where high school teachers can create, review, and update programs of study, students can take the career clusters interest inventory and create an individual program of study based on their interests, counselors can monitor use and cluster interest by students at their schools. For more information go to wicareerpathways.org/
Career Prep Council
Meetings are held three times a year to discuss current and upcoming Career Prep initiatives at the local, state, and national levels, review outcomes, and plan activities. The Council consists of members from area school districts, representatives from local businesses, CESA #4, and Western staff.
If you are interested in representing your district on the Council, contact Deb Hether at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Western Career Prep Council Mission Statement: To strengthen the connection between Western Technical College and the school districts it serves by building partnerships and increasing communication with K-12 staff, providing professional development opportunities – including programming and funding – and creating opportunities for students to help them make a seamless transition from high school to postsecondary education or the workforce.