East Ridge sophomores look beyond high schoolEast Ridge High school holds College and Career Readiness Field Day.
By: Amber Kispert-Smith, Woodbury Bulletin
It’s never too early to start thinking about life after high school.
At least that was the mindset April 19 when East Ridge High School held its College and Career Readiness Field Day for sophomores.
“The goal was to provide conceptual awareness of opportunities in education and employment after high school,” East Ridge Assistant Principal Matt Kraft said. “These are things that we can’t provide them in these four walls.
“Plus the juniors told us that it was a little too late for them.”
Even though the past two years East Ridge has taken juniors on campus visits to local universities, Kraft said the school decided to switch it up this year in order to provide increased opportunities for students.
“With 1,700-plus students and a philosophy that they are all going to need to be ready for life after high school,” he said
The College and Career Readiness Day was divided into four distinct categories – a four year public or private university, a two year trade or technical college, the armed forces and careers.
“We want to make sure we’re not just focusing on the majority,” Kraft said. “We don’t want to focus on just the four year college; we want to really touch on every potential opportunity – we need to tailor this experience to make it meaningful.”
Options for post high school
Students interested in a four-year public or private university either participated in campus visits at the University of Minnesota or participated in presentations at East Ridge from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, University of St. Thomas, Augsburg College, Hamline University and St. Catherine University.
Additionally, a presentation was held at East Ridge on admission to highly selective universities, by East Ridge teacher and Duke University Alumni Admissions Committee Chairman Dan Wagner.
Campus visits at Century College, Inver Hills Community College, ITT Technical Institute, Globe College, Rasmussen College of Business, Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts and Minnesota School of Cosmetology were available for those students drawn more toward a trade or technical school route.
Additionally Minnesota College of Art and Design gave a presentation at the school.
Students interested in the armed forces were given presentations at the school by the Army National Guard, United States Navy, United States Marine Corps, United States Army and the United States Air Force.
For students who are still unsure what their post high school plans look like, the College and Career Field Day also provided at-school presentations on potential career opportunities by the Society of Women Engineers, University of Minnesota Material Science and East Ridge parents in the careers of communications, ministry, correctional facilities, program director, pharmacy, management, marketing, human resources and business.
“For those students who don’t know what they want to do, they’re going to have to put step one before step two,” Kraft said. “They need to determine what they’re interested in and what motivates them before they start thinking how to be prepared.”
Preparing for the future
Kraft said the school is hoping to keep with this year’s model for future College and Career Readiness Field Days because it provides the most opportunities for students.
“Hopefully this will lead to our students being even more ready as far as their plans for after high school,” he said. “We’re trying to get students to start thinking about a play for after high school.”