On November 14, seven thousand Metro Nashville Public Schools freshmen journeyed to the 9th annual “My Future, My Way” Career Exploration Fair, at the Music City Center, to learn about career opportunities and engage with local employers.

Earlier this semester, students had taken the YouScience assessment, an aptitude test that uses digital “brain games” to identify students’ innate skills, abilities, and interests. Students are showed career paths that might be a good fit, given their results on the assessment. Metro Nashville Public Schools administered YouScience to freshmen in each of its 12 zoned high schools. The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce underwrote the cost of YouScience in this pilot year, as Metro Schools evaluates the impact and potential for future use.

Armed with their YouScience results, students came into the career exploration fair with a more targeted approach and with a broader sense of the career opportunities available to them.

Sarai is a ninth grader at McGavock High school who wants to pursue music and the arts. Her favorite booth was The Frist Center for Visual Arts.  She found her YouScience results accurate and helpful, explaining “I’m a pianist and I also write and draw. The arts were in my aptitude results from YouScience.”

Troy was another motivated student from McGavock who was thinking about both his interests and long-term plan. He shared, “I want to work with social media and presenting in front of people. Also, after you get out of college you can go straight into that and you don’t have to wait a while.” His favorite booth was the Nashville chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.

Troy’s answers speak to the emphasis on college and career-readiness embedded within the Academies of Nashville. . Within the Academies, students receive specialized instruction that will better prepare them for their chosen career path. Academy students have the opportunity to take courses that can give them college credit or industry certification exams that may lead to employment right out of high school.

The Academies of Nashville program is supported by the CEO Champions and five industry partnership councils.  The CEO Champions are business leaders from various industries who publicly advocate for the Academies and support MNPS in producing graduates that are prepared for postsecondary education and career. The partnership councils advise and assist the Academies and include Chamber staff, business and community partners, and MNPS educators. They include more than 100 businesses across each of five industry sectors – Engineering, Manufacturing and Industrial Technology; Health and Public Service; Arts, Media, and Communication; Hospitality and Tourism; and Business, Marketing and Information Technology. This year, the Engineering, Manufacturing & Industrial Technology Partnership Council was awarded the Best in Show award for the best industry booth interactivity. Click here for more information about the Academies of Nashville.

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