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Perry Lecompton Students Create Individual Plan of Study

In an effort to help students plan for the future, Kansas school districts have or will soon begin the implementation of Individual Plans of Study (IPS) for all students.  At Perry-Lecompton, our intent for the IPS is to have students, parents, and staff members work collaboratively to examine student self-interests and aptitudes, set goals and lay out a plan that will assist the student in achieving his or her post secondary career goals. 

This collaborative process actually begins in elementary school where students are exposed to different career opportunities during our  COWs (Career on Wheels) program.  This one day event exposes district 3rd grade students to a variety of careers, including the opportunity to visit with career professionals and even see a demonstration of skills and/or equipment needed for that line of work.  For more information on our COWs program, click here.

The process continues at the middle school level where students complete a career interest inventory and begin development of the IPS. The career interest inventory will help students determine strengths and career interests. Once these strengths and career interests are identified, a list of possible career matches are provided to the student. Students then develop an individual plan of study, which includes proposed course work for all four years of high school as well as identifying post secondary options, rather it be college, work force, technical school and/or the military. If students successfully determine interests early on, they sometimes avoid costly tuition fees associated with exploratory course work in college.  

It is important to note that sometimes students have a career interest change of heart, which is just fine. The intent of the Individual Plan of Study is not to lock students into a career path, but rather show the student which career fields best match their interests and strengths, then provide information on the path of study and/or training needed to obtain a job within that career choice. As a result of this process, students sometimes find out that they are interested in a specific career for the wrong reasons.  For example, Sally wants to be a veterinarian because she loves animals. Most of us do! However, upon completion of the interest inventory and the projected course load of sciences (Sally isn't a fan of this subject) and the possible need to conduct emergency surgery on an animal (Sally gets nauseated when she sees blood), Sally determines this career field might not be a good match for her.   

When students reach PLHS, they begin to explore career interests more thoroughly including a possible job internship in a field of interest. The IPS continues to evolve as students work towards graduation.  Student, parents and teachers review the IPS annually during enrollment as well as the spring parent-teacher conferences. Bottom line, the underlying principle of the IPS is to provide students with the opportunity to work collaboratively with staff and parents as they set career goals and develop a plan to achieve those goals.  By working together, we can ensure post-secondary success for all Perry-Lecompton students. 

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