District News


What's Special at Finneytown: Online Career Exploration

Posted on: October 26, 2015

Brendon West may just be a freshman, but every day in his Smart Horizons class, he’s getting a headstart on what he wants to do with the rest of his life.

Smart Horizons is an online career exploration class – an elective rarely found in most U.S. high schools – that uses slides, powerpoint and videos to give students a realistic, street-level view of eight career fields. Students work at their own pace and earn certificates as they master various aspects of the job. Once a week, the students take part in co-op experiences on the school campus or in the community.

In seven weeks of school, Brendon has already covered three semesters of study about working as a certified protection officer.

“I’m enjoying this class, and things I enjoy I really work hard to learn about,” he says. “I can see that I have a lot of careers to choose from – security officer, the military, police officer. I just know that I want to get the people who hurt other people.”

Finneytown is able to offer the Smart Horizons class through a six-year, $7.5 million Straight A Learning Re-Engineered Grant from the Ohio Department of Education.

Program facilitator Sue Polter oversees the semester course. This semester her 30 students have mastered more than 500 lessons covering careers in childcare and education, commercial driving, certified protection officer, food and hospitality, homeland security, office management, professional skills and retail customer service.

The course will be offered again next semester for students in grades 9-12.