Co-Lin fair to promote career paths

Published 8:00 pm Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Lincoln County School District eighth- and ninth-grade students will be participating in a career conference Oct. 29 at Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

     The Pathways Accelerating Careers, or PAC, Conference will aim to introduce students to what Co-Lin has to offer on the vocational side of campus, as well as to get students focused on academics while they’re just starting high school.

     Lincoln County School District Transportation Director Dr. Stacey Adcock headed the organization for the event. He said he wanted to help guide students toward successful careers.

     “The goal as I see it is to give our kids the opportunity to explore careers in the technical field and also make them aware of programs that Co-Lin offers to help them experience success in those career pathways,” he said. “We’re all about trying to make kids successful in the world of work.”

     Nine career pathways exist in the curriculum, which includes agriculture, food and natural resources, business management, health science and others.

     Adcock said students want options when planning their futures, as not all want the same thing.

     “Not every student is excited about spending four years in school after high school,” he said. “There are opportunities in one- or two-year programs that prepare the kids for employment in these nine pathways. We’d like to at least plant the seed as they’re moving through high school.”

     Students from all four of the county’s schools will be attending, with West Lincoln and Loyd Star heading to Wesson in the morning and Bogue Chitto and Enterprise in the afternoon.

     Adcock said the idea was to make students understand their options and their importance of education for their futures at a younger age.

     “We wanted to catch the kids at the start of their high school careers to give them a heads up and help focus them on career pathways,” he said.

     Co-Lin’s Dr. Robin Parker, assistant dean of career and technical education, agreed that making students understand the importance of their school work at a young age has become increasingly important.

     “We’re getting involved because we know we need to start recruiting students at an earlier age, especially in the fields of career and technical education,” she said. “We want to let them see what the local economy is like and be exposed to a college campus. We want to show them this is an attainable goal. They can continue on to a four-year college from here or go into the work force.”

     Parker said Co-Lin faculty members will show off what the school has to offer on the career side.

     “Teachers will preview their programs and show them the technology that they have to offer,” she said.” We want to plant some seeds in the students’ minds and allow them to think about what they need to do in the remainder of high school to be prepared.”

     Co-Lin has hosted younger students before for programs on its campus, but never this many at once, said Parker.

     “This is our first go at this, and we’ll evaluate it to see if it’s the right grade levels and atmosphere for the kids,” she said. “We want to see if there’s any way to improve it after it’s over.