Career coaches work to identify career paths

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Deciding what career path to take can be a daunting task for high school students about to enter the “real world,” but thanks to the Alabama Career Coaches Initiative, students in Covington County have a little more guidance.

The program aims at increasing awareness in youth of career opportunities in response to an aging workforce and the inability to find skilled workers.

Locally, Polly DuBose serves as the career coach for Andalusia High School and Opp High School, while Amber McKathan serves the county schools.

DuBose told The Star-News on Tuesday that she works with ninth-12th graders and has begun working with eighth graders.

DuBose said she couples going into the classroom with career assessments, job shadowing and visits to colleges as ways to help students plan their futures.

“We’re really just working with students to help them get prepared for life after high school,” she said. “That might be going to college, a technical school or joining the military.”

Among the skills DuBose helps students attain are those needed for building resumes, working on FAFSA applications and applying for scholarships.

“We also work in the career preparedness classes,” she said.

Students learn about the 16 different career clusters, as well.

“We explore their assessment results,” she said. “And this often opens students’ eyes to the possibilities.”

DuBose said she is thrilled to see the excitement in her students’ eyes.

“It’s so exciting to help students find what they are looking for,” she said. “Whether it is arranging tours at LBWCC, helping with dual enrollment or job shadowing. It gets them up close and personal with the career of their choice.”

On Wed., April 16, Jamie Langley, former Miss Alabama and WAKA news anchor, will participate in a “Dress for Success” event at Opp High School.

“We’re extremely excited about this event,” DuBose said.