Connecting Students to Industry
Summer is coming to a close, and a new school year is just around the corner! To kick off this year with a bang, PTECH staff has planned a unique way to impart pertinent information and new opportunities to our students: The PTECH Student Conference. Every year we hold a student orientation, an event where students learn everything they need to know about PTECH (coaching, academics, trips, etc.) and receive their PTECH gear (laptops, sweatshirts, water bottles, and other swag). In the past we have held this event at the high schools and local community colleges.
This year we decided to change things up in order to emphasize our true focus: student connections to industry. Since our goal is to get students the credentials and skills they need to get a job, we decided to focus on the professional and business aspect of what we do. What is a more natural way to connect industry and learning than a mini-conference for our students that features insight and direction from industry professionals?
We will be holding three separate conferences where local PTECH students will attend sessions led by PTECH Staff, industry experts from each field (healthcare, aerospace/advanced manufacturing, and technology), OneStone Staff, and financial planning experts. Sessions will include topics such as Employability Skills: Communication Workshop, Why Getting to Know Yourself is Important for Your Future Career, Class of 2017: Why This Year Matters & What to Do Next, Money Matters: Financial Know-How for College Students, Meet Your PTECH Coach, panel discussions for each pathway (led by industry professionals) and more. Throughout the day students will also have the opportunity to visit “vendor” booths representing local industry, education, and PTECH academic planning.
During the Student Conference we will also be unveiling a couple of exciting new additions to our program: PTECH Community and the PTECH Career Map. PTECH Community will provide a new way for students to connect to each other, PTECH staff, and industry. Community is essentially an amped up version of Facebook, with the focus being on education and industry instead of selfies and social activities. PTECH students taking the same online dual credit class will be able to check in with each other for help and advice, regardless of their location. Students in the same pathway will be able to connect and share their experiences even if they have never met in person. Students will be able to learn about and sign up for field trips and other events directly through Community, as well as leave their feedback. Community will also provide all kinds of resources, from interview tips to field trip calendars and beyond. Students will be able to access PTECH Community via an app for their smartphones or their computers.
The PTECH Career Map is a series of activities students will complete throughout the year, and at the end they will have a solid plan in place for their future. We have designed the PTECH Career Map to look like a road map, with various destinations and “roadside attractions” like Career City, Reality Rest Stop, and Daydream Oasis. Completing the tasks on the map will require students to interact on community, check in with their coaches, and meet with the PTECH Academic Programs Manager to make sure they are on the right track. As students complete tasks, they will earn points that can be used at the PTECH Marketplace to “purchase” reward items. We are all very excited to introduce our students to this fun, interactive activity that we hope will get the excited and starting to think about their own individual paths, and hopefully creating a plan for it!
In closing, PTECH is up to some really unique and creative stuff. Stay tuned for what we are all sure will be the best year yet!