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Help! Enrollment is Coming! - Helping your child choose classes for 2023-2024

List of the different Career Paths - Arts and Communications, Business, Management and Technology, Health Services, Industria

It’s that time of the year again…time to choose classes for the upcoming school year. Making course selections should not be stressful for parents or our middle and high school students. Your child has done activities this school year that can help guide their course selections for next year.

The first thing to have your child consider is which career path and cluster most interests them. Missouri has six career paths used to classify types of careers: Health Services, Industrial & Engineering Technology, Human Services, Natural Resources Agriculture, Business Management & Technology, and Arts & Communication. Within each career path, you will find one or more career clusters. See this diagram to view all paths, clusters, and pathways. If your child is in 6th, 8th, 10th, or 11th grade, they have had the opportunity to use Missouri Connections to explore career clusters. If your child is in 7th or 9th grade, they have had the opportunity to use YouScience to learn about their aptitudes for careers and learn about themselves. Ask your child to pull up their results and talk about the career clusters they are matched with.

So how do I use this information to help with course enrollment? If I know the career path or cluster my child is considering, I can help them narrow down which courses are a good fit to keep exploring that interest. Use the LSR7 middle and high school program guides to search for classes that align with your child’s interests and future goals. One benefit of exploring careers through courses in middle and high school is that classes are free! Some students wait until college to do exploration, which is expensive. Others may leave high school unsure of what they are really good at or interested in doing as a career. 

Taking a series of classes related to a career path or cluster allows your child to really see if a career field fits them or not. The LSR7 Career and Educational Planning Guide has great flowcharts that show how classes progress within a department. This is a great tool when thinking ahead to future course selections. Another benefit of planning to take a series of courses is the professional skills and potential for real-world learning (market value assets)!

Keep in mind that it is normal for your child to change their mind during middle and high school! If your child has changed their mind about their future, excellent! This is a great time to create some new plans for their future course selections and post-graduation plans. If you need help talking with your child about their course selections, you can connect with their guidance counselor. If you have questions about the career exploration tools available to your child, reach out to your school’s career navigator. 

-Kimberly Sterne, Career Navigator for the LSHS Feeder Schools