Liz McCormick Published

West Virginia Launches New Online Database To Help Students Find Careers

Hands showing jobs balloons word

West Virginia’s K-12 and higher education leaders launched a new resource this week that will assist students by helping them find college and career options that meet their specific interests and needs after high school.

The “Classroom 2 Career Navigator” is an online storage hub found on the West Virginia Department of Education’s website. It’s full of information for school counselors, students, families and the public.

“The Navigator represents our efforts to support students throughout their academic and employment journey to ensure they can readily access resources and information at any time,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Clayton Burch in a news release. “We hope everyone uses the information to learn more about the classroom to career pipeline.”

Education leaders describe the database as “vast” and a “one-stop-shop” for information on college and military opportunities, entrepreneurships, career pathways and on-the-job training available within the state.

Users will be able to sift through the database and generate results based on interests identified by the student — helping them pinpoint what they might like to do after they graduate high school.

“We are working diligently to make the transition to post-secondary an informed and seamless process,” said Sarah Armstrong Tucker, chancellor of the West Virginia Community and Technical College System and Higher Education Policy Commission. “The Navigator is one of our many joint efforts to eliminate silos and use our collective resources to support student success.”

The online tool was announced at the October West Virginia Board of Education meeting on Wednesday.

It’s a result of the Students’ Right-to-Know Act (SB 303) that passed during the 2020 West Virginia Legislative session.

Senate Education Chair Patricia Rucker, R-Jefferson, spearheaded the effort that year. In an op-ed for the Parkersburg News and Sentinel regarding the bill, she wrote, “it’s time to stop leaving students in the dark about their options for the future. We must start providing them with the facts they need to make a well-informed decision that is best for themselves, for their families and for their futures.”

She describes how millions of Americans are taking on more and more college debt every year. She hopes through the law that students and families will understand “the real-life consequences of their educational decisions.”