Career and College Day for Middle School Students
“The college education I received at St. Cloud State University was such a profound experience, I wanted to work there,” said Heidi Aldes, Dean of Enrollment Management at Minneapolis College. “I started my career in admissions, moved to LGBTQ education and finally into graduate enrollment. At every step, I was inspired by the students, faculty, staff and the outcomes that resulted from hard work and dedication toward a common goal.”
In her role at Minneapolis College, Heidi Aldes strives to create an experience for students in our community that is similar to her own. To accomplish this goal, the College partnered with Minneapolis Public Schools and GEAR UP Minneapolis to offer a two-day Career and College Day for 7th and 8th graders attending Franklin, Northeast and Olson Middle Schools on Oct. 27-28. Generous funding from the Schulze Family Foundation is helping make this hands-on event possible.
“The primary goal of Career and College Day is to demystify the often overwhelming thought of growing up, going to college and securing a job,” said Aldes who wants middle school students to be excited about their future and understand the array of opportunities, especially in career and technical education, available to them. “Even if students are uncertain about what they want to do, we are here to walk alongside them as they figure out their next steps. Minneapolis College can be a springboard to any education or career goal, whether it’s earning a high wage in a skilled industry, completing an Associate of Arts degree, taking prerequisites or preparing for a bachelor’s degree.”
Every 7th and 8th grader attending the event will have an opportunity to participate in an experiential tour to explore different careers and industries. Areas of study featured will include Accounting, Business Management, Architectural Technology, Early Education, Sleep Technology, Machine Tool, Apparel Technology, Graphic/Web Design and Photography in Motion.
Taking it a step further, there will be an evening event open to all middle and high school students, adult learners and members of our community on Oct. 27 from 5-7 p.m. “We want to provide as many people as possible the opportunity to visit our experiential open house,” said Aldes.
“It’s extremely important for students to research and explore their interests, values and talents and find careers that are a good match,” said Julie Poyzer, career services director at Minneapolis Career and College Day facilitator. “Attendees will gain insight into the college experience, learn about careers and have an opportunity to take an interest assessment online on their own. “My hope is that Career and College Day will provide attendees insight into the college experience and learning about career opportunities.”
To support the attending students, teachers will receive a guided curriculum to take back to their classroom to prompt reflection about how the Day’s experiences connect to their interests.
Pathway to the Future
“We understand the gaps that exist for young people about the value of a career and technical education,” said Julie Poyzer, who wants to inspire students to think about their future earlier. “This event will clear up the common questions and provide an engaging experiential understanding of the educational pathways available to a variety of careers.”
A key metric of Career Day will be seen in future enrollment and career choices. “Minneapolis College strives to help every young person figure out what path is best for them based on their interests, skills and passions,” said Aldes. “I believe education can have the greatest single impact on a person’s future and I am extremely passionate about it. Minneapolis College can provide a pathway to prosperity and a blueprint to accomplishing personal, academic and professional goals.”