Broadening horizons in a big way at Springfield High School

Incoming freshmen at Springfield High School this fall will have a new way to explore potential careers as they work toward their diploma.

Springfield City School District is introducing six career pathways to help guide students toward the jobs and postsecondary options that align with their aptitudes and interests.

“We need to have these conversations with students, and they need to have that line of sight,” says Craig Myers, Executive Director of instructional innovation for the school district.

Courtesy Springfield City School DistrictHealth Care is one of the pathways students can learn about at Springfield High School.
The six pathways outline the courses and opportunities for students each year at Springfield High School, as well as at Springfield-Clark Career Technology Center and Clark State College, that can lead to a career in a variety of in-demand fields. Those pathways are:
  • Business
  • Culinary
  • Digital media
  • Engineering and manufacturing
  • Health
  • Unmanned aerial systems
Additional pathways are expected to be added in the future, with a goal to have 20 pathways, Myers says. Students as upperclassmen also may have the opportunity to have career-based experiences for credit, such as internships.

“We started with these because of the aptitudes of our students, and we knew we had good roots in these areas,” Myers says.

Courtesy Springfield City School DistrictHealth Care is one of the pathways students can learn about at Springfield High School.
All pathways will begin for freshmen with a new STEAM foundation course. Sometimes students have great strengths but don’t realize that the career that they are aiming for doesn’t align with their talents, Myers says. Students will complete a YouScience aptitude assessment program that will show those strengths. 

“We can put their aptitudes next to interests and see if they’re aligned,” Myers says.

While some of the pathway classes will be new offerings at the school, other courses have been retooled, he says. For example, a former Animate class is becoming an Adobe Animate class with the opportunity to receive an industry credential.

Students aren’t required to choose a pathway, but they will need to earn at least one credit from a pathway course, Myers says. The courses also are available for incoming sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

The pathways can show students the different ways they can be successful after graduation, whether that next step includes college or entry into a career field. Myers says that students have equal access to each pathway, with no academic prerequisites or other roadblocks.

“It truly is equitable,” he says.
Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.

Read more articles by Diane Erwin.

Diane Erwin is a freelance writer and former reporter for the Springfield News-Sun. A graduate of Ohio State University, her articles have appeared in a number of publications in Springfield and Dayton. In addition to her journalism background, she has worked in marketing and written copy for businesses throughout the country. In her spare time, she likes to read, dream about Schuler’s donuts, and travel near and far with her husband and two children.