Oklahoma CareerTech launched a new online career awareness program for elementary students on March 12. The Galaxy program, a component of OK Career Guide, is for students in grades preK-5. Galaxy will be unveiled at the For Counselors Only Conference at Tulsa Technology Center’s Owasso campus.
The program combines games, activities and experiences for today’s tech-savvy learners, and is accessible from laptops, desktops and tablets. It uses an outer space theme, including astronauts and spaceships. Students launch into planets, which represent different work environments.
“It’s a fast-paced, interactive program that makes career awareness fun and engaging,” said Cori Gray, CareerTech deputy state director.
Lawton Public Schools Counselor Amy Wilcox said Galaxy encourages students to explore both traditional and nontraditional careers. Wilcox was part of a group that beta-tested the program before its official launch.
“Our students love the program,” Wilcox said. “Galaxy helps their self-esteem and encourages them to become more goal-oriented.”
The system begins with the basic concept of “What is work?” Each year the program builds on that concept, including what people do at work, why they work, what tools and skills they will use for work and how students can prepare for work. By fifth grade, students can investigate specific occupations.
“We’re just letting kids explore what’s out there,” said Lawton Assistant Principal Starla Reed.
In addition to career awareness, Galaxy’s activities integrate academic skills. It emphasizes the importance of reading and writing, and the games show how math, science and social studies fit into the world of work.
Reed said the program is designed to connect to the Individual Career Academic Plan required by Oklahoma state law. Beginning with the freshmen of 2018-19 (graduates of 2023), all Oklahoma students must have an ICAP to graduate. The ICAP guides them as they explore career, academic and post-secondary opportunities, and must be updated annually. A personal portfolio allows students to create meaningful career pathways and prepares them to be career- and college-ready.
Galaxy, a product of Kuder, makes OK Career Guide appropriate for Oklahomans of all ages in all stages of life. OK Career Guide is a statewide career development education system that offers research-based assessments that help users identify interests, skills and values. The system identifies training and education needs for each occupation and a database of schools that offer the necessary education for that career.
Parents and families can learn about Galaxy at https://galaxy.kuder.com/parents.