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Georgia 9th graders will have to choose career paths | Schools

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Georgia 9th graders will have to choose career paths
Georgia 9th graders will have to choose career paths

ATLANTA -- Here's a question: Did you know what career you wanted to pursure in night grade?

Next fall, all high school freshman in Georgia public schools will have to determine a career path and take classes tailored to that goal.

"The governor signed house bill 187 into law this past session, which mandates that we have career pathways for all students beginning in the fall of 2012," said State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge. "It's a national model. Many states are already using career clusters and career pathways."

There are 17 careers clusters and each one has a core of subjects students must take. The process is similar to working on a major in college. Students will have the opportunity to switch career pathways throughout their time in high school.

"Every child in the (high) school, whether they're in a low performing school or a high performing school, will have a career pathway," Barge said. "The whole point is to make their education relevant."

"Right now, I feel that children are under tremendous pressure to exceed," said Thomas Cox, an attorney and father of two high school students.  "One concern about a tracking program is that as opposed to multiple learning options, that this increases the pressure on the teenagers to sort of pick a career path."

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"The more information we give them, the more prepared they are," Barge said. "I don't think we've ever done a good job in education telling children about career and what they do and what's expected and what are the salaries and what are the education degree requirements?"

Barge does acknowledge next fall doesn't give schools much time to prepare for the career pathways.  He plans to ask lawmakers during the next general assembly session, to delay the start of the program.

Georgia's 17 Career Pathway Clusters:
1). Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
2). A/V Technology and Communications
3). Architecture and Construction
4). Business, Management and Administration
5).Education and Training
6). Finance
7). Government and Public Administration
8). Health Science
9). Hospitality and Tourism
10). Human Services
11). Information Technology
12). Manufacturing
13). Marketing, Sales and Service
14). Public Safety and Security
15). Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
16.) Transportation