Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Career paths for students

Published (1/30/2009)
By Nick Busse
Share on: 

Should high school freshmen be required to develop a plan for their future careers?

The idea, part of a set of policy recommendations developed by the Governor’s Workforce Development Council, was debated Jan. 28 by the House Bioscience and Workforce Development Policy and Oversight Division. No action was taken.

Executive Director Brenda Norman presented the recommendation that every Minnesota student, from ninth grade on, should have an annually reviewed plan to guide them down an educational and occupational path of their own choosing.

“We know that high school students make choices that are sometimes informed and sometimes uninformed, but we prefer that they make informed choices,” Norman said.

Rep. Steve Gottwalt (R-St. Cloud) criticized the recommendation, comparing it to a European-style system where students are forced from a very young age to pursue a predetermined career path.

“I get awfully concerned when we’re talking about mandating things on ninth graders and graduates in high school,” Gottwalt said. “The fact that we might require them to start building a career path too early or too arbitrarily is a bit of a concern.”

Rep. Joyce Peppin (R-Rogers) agreed, saying that many ninth graders are unlikely to possess the maturity or confidence needed to start making long-term career choices.

Mo Amundson, a member of the council, countered that the goal of the recommendation is simply to have children “not wait until they’ve already wasted two years in college and spent a lot of money” before they consider their career options.

“What our vision was is that students, starting in ninth grade, at least think about something that they might want to do and start exploring — not pigeonholing them, not putting them in a track, anything like that,” she said.

Rep. Jeanne Poppe (DFL-Austin) agreed with Amundson, arguing that students need to start preparing themselves for careers as early as possible.

“Ninth grade, to me, is almost too late to be thinking about where they want to be going,” she said.

Session Weekly More...

Session Weekly Home

Related Stories

A little bit of everything
Omnibus economic development law touches on a wide range of topics
(view full story) Published 6/1/2010

Return on investments
State employee and teacher retirement accounts hurting
(view full story) Published 4/15/2010

Building a better unemployment system
Omnibus workforce policy bill includes help of laid-off workers
(view full story) Published 3/25/2010

Minnesota Index: Working (or not) Minnesotans
Figures and statistics on employment and unemployment in Minnesota
(view full story) Published 2/11/2010

At Issue: Line-item vetoes for jobs bill
New law funds jobs and housing, makes ice hockey the state sport
(view full story) Published 5/29/2009

At Issue: The works
Jobs programs get a boost in economic development finance bill
(view full story) Published 5/1/2009

First Reading: Career non-opportunities
Lawmakers offer conflicting ideas on how to create jobs
(view full story) Published 3/27/2009

At Issue: A lifeline for the jobless
A law extending unemployment benefits highlights a growing problem
(view full story) Published 1/30/2009

Minnesota Index: Employment or lack thereof
Figures and statistics on unemployment in Minnesota.
(view full story) Published 1/30/2009

First Reading: New jobs in hard times
Lawmakers make job creation a priority for 2009
(view full story) Published 1/16/2009