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Middle schooler students cruise careers

| Thursday, Jan. 12, 2006

An interactive computer program -- Career Cruising -- is helping Hampton Middle School students negotiate future career choices.

"In this day and age of technology, with the world as competitive as it is, our students have to keep up. Our schools have to keep up," said school counselor Rochelle Cupps.

The program allows students to research areas of job interest, discover where their skills lie, determine what courses they'll need to take in high school and find a college or specialty school that matches their goals.

In addition, the program describes the working conditions and earning potential of a specific career or job.

As part of the school's new Career Corner, Career Cruising is being used by sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students to help them get an early start on choosing a career.

The program is "really coming into play" for eighth-graders who are planning what courses to take in high school. A lot of questions come up as they start scheduling their classes, Cupps said. "Students can discover on their own, without teachers telling them, what they are capable of and what they need to do to reach their goals."

Hampton counselor Danielle Pagley said the program gives students more options.

"It helps them make educated decisions to take the right courses in high school to put them on the right career path by matching up their values, their interests and their skills with what they want to do."

After using the Career Cruising program, eighth-grader Sarah Newby, 14, discovered careers she "never knew existed."

"It was pretty interesting, I learned a lot from it," Newby said. "I've thought of becoming a veterinarian, but it (the program) showed that might not be my best choice because of the skills needed. I'm also interested in teaching or becoming a lawyer, and it showed that these careers would be a better fit for me."

Eighth-grader Katie Tanski, 13, discovered her career path may lie in the medical field.

"It helped me eliminate careers and made me think of others I never imagined or knew about," she said. "Before I wanted to be a teacher; now I'm thinking about becoming a dentist."

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