Middletown H.S. students use ‘experiential learning day’ to explore career paths

Middletown High School tried something new Tuesday to show students different options after graduation.

While juniors took the ACT, freshmen, sophomores and seniors had an “experiential learning day” that consisted of stops at local businesses and post-secondary education options.

“Our freshmen students are going to the Air Force Museum, our tenth-grade students are going on a variety of different college visits. We also have our eleventh graders who are in-house today taking the ACT. And then our seniors are going around looking at different businesses and business opportunities that they could pursue post-graduation,” said Middletown High School Intervention Specialist Meghan Davidson.

Davidson is in charge of Middletown High School’s coffee shop, Common Grounds. Some of her students got to see how a coffee shop like Bigby Coffee is run.

Others, such as Nina Haynes, went to Butler Tech to get a better look at career paths that interest them.

“I went in with EMS or nurse practitioner ... I could see a lot of more hands-on stuff and that’s what I like to learn in,” she said.

When the group of seniors toured Butler Tech, they were able to learn about other fields like law enforcement and truck driving. Both are industries facing a worker shortage.

“It’s the state, it’s nationwide at this point in time, but I think things are starting to turn around. We’ve seen a growth of enrollment over the last two years,” said Butler Tech Police Academy Commander Joel Seibert.

Seibert said a big part of that is growing interest from young people.

“I have two academies going on right now and the average age is in the mid to low 20s,” he said.

While you have to be 21 to get a job in law enforcement in Ohio, Seibert said talking to high schoolers like the group from Middletown can benefit them and the law enforcement industry at the same time.

“There’s a gap between high school and when you can turn 21 and work in law enforcement, so we can give some knowledge, bridge that gap, give them opportunities to do different things to make themselves very marketable,” he said.

For Haynes, it made an impact, with her leaving Tuesday thinking about a future in criminal justice.

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