By Tim Priebe
February 7, 2023

Career opportunities for Edmond students

Edmond students have work-based learning opportunities, but help is needed from the business community.
An EPS student learns about the career she is interested in (Photo: Brent Fuchs)

Due to recent legislation that passed a few years ago, high school students in Edmond—and across the state—now have academic plans for whatever careers they’re interested in, and those plans include work-based learning opportunities.

But EPS needs help from the local business community to give students those opportunities.

ICAP legislation

“A lot of it revolves around the legislation that was passed with ICAP,” said Keely Gilpin, College and Career Specialist with Edmond Public Schools. In 2019, a house bill was passed that requires an ICAP—Individual Career Action Plan—for every high school student.

The legislation kicked in for ninth-grade students in the 2019-2020 school year. It’s a requirement to graduate starting this year.

“Every year for ninth to twelfth grade, they’re to take a career interest survey,” Gilpin explained. “Once in their high school career, they are to complete some sort of work-based learning experience.”

Fortunately, the plan allows for a lot of flexibility. The work-based learning experience can be internships, career tech classes, community service, or even volunteering. But to make those options available to high school students, EPS needs help from the business community.

Partnering with the community

Melissa Huston, with Edmond Memorial High School, Keely Gilpin, with Edmond Public Schools, and Jordan Hopper, with Edmond North High School, with students participating in the Edmond Public Schools internship program. (Photo: Brent Fuchs)

As summer approaches, Gilpin is working on finding students internships. One of the major hurdles they face is that many businesses won’t hire 16 or 17-year-olds. Instead, they require their employees to be at least 18.

“We would like to partner with local businesses and community members,” Gilpin said. “We’ve been talking with the rotary and the chamber and a lot of different businesses.”

EPS is using a platform called OKcollegestart.org. Gilpin finds opportunities with local businesses and organizations and enters them into the system. Each student has an account where they can access scholarship information, a study plan, and work-based learning opportunities that are available.

Gilpin shared that she would also like to get schools and classes to come to the EPS campuses to give the students even more exposure to their options. “We want to set them up by providing them with more opportunities from a young age,” she said.

How local businesses can help

None of this is possible without local businesses that are willing and able to partner with EPS to provide students with options. “Edmond Schools have wanted to increase opportunities and partnerships with businesses in the local community,” Gilpin said.

Local businesses can find more information about the program online. Interested business people can fill out this form to help.

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About Tim Priebe

Tim is a public speaker, author, publisher of Edmond Business, and the owner of T&S Online Marketing. He helps businesses that are worried they don’t have the expertise or time required to invest in doing their own digital marketing. He helps them plan where and how much to invest and often helps execute the plan.

Tim started the Edmond Business online magazine in May 2020 to fill a need in the community when The Edmond Sun shut down and stopped publishing their monthly magazine, The Business Times.