There’s a big difference between working at a job that you have to do and discovering a career that you love to do. Our goal as educators should be to help students pursue careers they’re passionate about by encouraging them to explore their interests–and by connecting them to career exploration and possible career paths that align with those interests.

At Chula Vista Elementary School District in California, we have formed partnerships with local businesses and community organizations to make instruction engaging and relevant, while exposing students to future career options at a young age.

Here's how community partnerships helped this district expose students to career exploration

Our career exploration efforts began a few years ago with a program called the Innovation Station, a partnership between the school district, the Chula Vista Public Library, Qualcomm, Microsoft, and other organizations. Inspired by Qualcomm® Thinkabit Lab™, the Innovation Station infuses a maker space and STEAM lab with a journey of self-discovery for students.

About the Author:

Dr. Matthew Tessier is an Assistant Superintendent at Chula Vista Elementary School District in southern California.