Rolling out pathways

Hunter Martin and Jade Hanson

The Pathways initiative is new to the Owatonna High School curriculum in 2019. It will be in full effect with the new registration guide program. Pathways is a system that looks at students strengths and potential career interests and formulates them into a program to allow for students to focus in on experiences, while in high school, to prepare them for college.

Currently, Pathways is slowly transitioning into practice, but because of the current high school building, it will not be in full effect unless the upcoming bond referendum passes. One of the biggest reasons why pathways can not swing into full effect just yet is because of the lack of space and equipment needed. Principal Mark Randall said, “We can do some of the career pathway stuff we want to do in the current building, but to fully engage in the career pathways we are going to need a new high school.” The whole point of rolling out pathways this year is to get students used to what the system looks like and how to use it.

Pathways has been a shared hope of the OHS Administrators for six to seven years now. For the past two years, they have been taking a closer look into other, both in and out of state, schools. Alexandria High School has had a pathways system in place for five years. To research the topic, the administrators took a look at several different places to see what kind of pathways program styles there are, and how they were being implemented. They also looked at what types of facilities would be needed to fully rollout pathways.

For students who are still looking into their after high school plans, the school recommends for students to follow whatever pathway seems the most interesting when registering, and if they do not enjoy that experience, then they can try out other pathways the next year. The end goal is to try and prepare students for college, while they are still in high school, so students will not have to pay extra in college to figure it out. Pathways will still work for students that are going into the military after high school. Students can look at what they would like to specialize in the military, and base their pathway choice off of that.

Students will be registering for the 2019-2020 school year on Monday, March 4, between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. with their TMM advisor. Students are encouraged to have their classes picked in advance, to help the registration process to go smoothly. The student registration guide, a current transcript, and a registration worksheet were given to students during TMM on Feb. 19 to help them prepare. If a student has any questions about signing up for classes, they can reach out to their TMM adviser or their counselor.