Opportunities for student learning are not confined to the typical classroom complete with teacher, textbooks and writing materials. In fact, learning can be significantly enhanced when student minds, and sometimes their bodies, can move outside the normal boundaries of the classroom. For about 130 Fallbrook High juniors, this opportunity recently presented itself in the form of a Career Day field trip to Camp Pendleton.
The trip to Camp Pendleton was not a part of our military’s efforts to recruit more soldiers. It was, however, part of the base’s efforts to inform students that there are multiple career opportunities available in the military sector in addition to the public and private sector. In fact, there are approximately 10,000 civilians employed in one career or another at Camp Pendleton.
Students had the opportunity to pre-select career interests in 137 different jobs, representing 22 career fields, located at the base. Students were transported to the specific work locations, where they met with the actual employees in those respective jobs.
The career orientations had several common elements that we hope our students captured. First, in order to be successful in those careers, students need to learn as much as they can in high school now, with the understanding and expectation that they will need to continue to take more classes and do more reading in order to develop and maintain the skills necessary to effectively do their post-secondary jobs.
Second, employees are constantly working with other employees. There was little or no evidence that employees worked in isolation. Our students, hopefully, are learning that their career success will be very dependent upon their ability to work effectively with others.
And third, students should recognize that a person who enjoys work and believes that it is meaningful and important, which each of our host employees did, is an employee who brings enthusiasm, energy and greater productivity to one’s work.
Special thanks go to the following people who contributed to the success of Career Day: Karen Ricci, Fallbrook High Career Vocational Coordinator; Col. Seaton, Commanding Officer of Camp Pendleton; Larry Rannals, head of Community Plans and Liaison; Lt. Col. Sam Pelham, Liaison Officer; Kathleen West-deLuca, School to Career Coordinator; the many Camp Pendleton employees who invested their time and energy to help inform our students of the numerous career opportunities; and the numerous teachers and staff who added their support by chaperoning our students.
I am optimistic that these students will give greater attention to the courses that they are taking and invest more time and energy in their high school experience in order to help better prepare themselves for a future career.
For those juniors who did not attend this recent Career Day, there are two more opportunities scheduled to occur later this school year.