Preparing for the road ahead…

Preparing for the road ahead…


By Nancy Schlichte, undergraduate service engagement scholar

The Early College Students from Dennis Intermediate School, Hibberd, and Test Intermediate schools in Richmond are preparing for the road ahead by participating in a career exploration program. Thanks to the Paul Kriese Service Engagement Scholarship, and in coordination with the Early College Director, Dr. Jackie Schlichte, I have the opportunity to facilitate the career exploration program with the seventy-five participating students.

When we first began discussing career options, the top choices for careers were those that were known to make a lot of money. While the students agreed money is a good motivator, they also determined it was more important to have a job you enjoy doing!

By using the “Drive of Your Life” ( career exploration tool, which is provided by the Indiana Youth Institute ( students are able to determine which careers match their interests and strengths. The best part of this program is that it helps students to focus in on their educational goals. This tool also allows the students to go on a virtual career journey which explores specific information regarding their top career choices. Having the opportunity to virtually explore careers gave them insight into the education required, job salaries, job responsibilities, and a brief overview of what a typical day in that career might look like.

Once students had the information about careers, they were asked to choose one career. As each class shared their personal career choices, their selections ranged from being a “you-tuber,” working in a bakery, owning a bakery, an assortment of medical careers, lawyers, professional athletes, and a few teachers. To those students who chose to be professional athletes, their peer students suggested they have a back-up plan in case they had a career-ending injury.

Once the students made a career choice, they were able to begin research by utilizing the IU East Campus Library libguide ( developed for this specific program. As research unfolds, the students will begin working on poster presentations, which will be displayed in April 2016 at IU East. We’re looking forward to the road ahead!

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