Engaging in career searches with PathwayManager

In helping students explore possible options after high school, students use PathwayManager during their time at the high school.


Arrowhead photo by Roman Craig

Reflecting on the year…Checking his reflections on PathwayManager, junior Dimitri Cwynar uses his fifth-block period to complete requirements for graduation. Most graduation requirements are operated on PathwayManager.

By applying PathwayManager through requirements and classes, Souderton Area High School career exploration coordinators and student ambassadors are using PathwayManager to help students explore career fields and their post-secondary options.
Mentorship coordinator Amy Tarlo said that PathwayManager is a program that hosts information for students to use as they explore careers.
“PathwayManager is a resource, and we want to teach kids in high school to utilize your resources,” Tarlo said.
PathwayManager gives students a platform to explore careers and take courses related to those careers.
According to career counselor Michael Darcy, the career exploration department wanted PathwayManager to have students thinking long-term, but they did not want them thinking long-term, meaning they want to see students weighing out their options and planning their futures, but not fixating on one specific plan.
Pathway 360 is a program that lays out this process of career exploration for staff members to follow in the form of graduation requirements.
PathwayManager supports Pathway 360 by displaying the part of the process students need to complete.
“Pathways is about exploring who you want to be,” computer science teacher Michael Olenick said.
Pathway 360’s involvement within the school also allows this exploration to occur outside of in-school courses and organizations.
According to Pathway Ambassador Frances Betancourt, PathwayManager allows students to explore and “experience things that you can’t just [get] in a classroom.”
Health and Human Services Pathway coordinator Stuart Marjoram agrees.
Marjoram said that seeing a work field that someone is interested in can assist in determining interests and possible careers in the future.
“The more experience you have outside these walls, the better off you’re [going to] be making the decisions for your future,” Marjoram said.
According to Olenick, PathwayManager’s goal is to help students explore career options in high school because they will be better off in college with an idea of what to do.
“It also connects you more to your courses,” Olenick said.
Tarlo said that PathwayManager assists students by offering them opportunities to learn about possible careers, one opportunity being a mentorship.
“We believe you can’t be what you can’t see, and a mentorship allows a student to see things so they know the possibilities of what they can be,” Tarlo said.
Reflections are also required as an opportunity to learn about post-high school interests.
Marjoram said that these reflections allow students to see what they have an interest in and what they do not.
PathwayManager also allows easy access to student information to allow teachers to discuss student career paths during fifth block periods.
Olenick said that the most important part of PathwayManager from a staff member’s perspective is using this data to support career conversations.
“If I was interested in knowing how many students were in a particular Pathway as a staff member, I can log in and see where everybody is at,” Olenick said.
To understand the program better and complete the requirements on time, there are many methods and recommendations that teachers and students suggest.
According to Darcy, getting a routine of checking the website will help “eliminate hopefully a lot of the confusion when it comes to navigating that system.”
Tarlo said that another way to clear any possible confusion about the website is to talk to fifth block teachers with any questions.
According to Betancourt, students should take advantage of fifth blocks to complete these requirements “because if you put it off, you’re probably not going to end up doing it.”
“PathwayManager is just a great tool to use and we’re looking forward to expanding it,” Darcy said.