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Xplore Workshops Offer Unique Career Exploration Opportunities for Students

September 9, 2022

Parma City School District and College Now of Greater Cleveland are excited to offer a unique opportunity for our high school students!

Thanks to the College Now Xplore grant, students in Grades 9 – 12 from our three high schools can apply to participate in three-week-long afterschool immersion programs and workshops centered around a different career field or topic.

“The Summer Learning and Afterschool Opportunities grant (Xplore) supports student learning and increases access to additional academic and youth development activities,” College Now Manager Christie Wagner explained. “The primary goal for funding is to place focus on students most in need of services; address academic, social, and emotional needs; and provide ongoing support for students.”

Sessions available include:

  • Fall Session 1: Business & Finance focus, September 19 – October 7, 2022, Monday – Friday 2:30 - 5:00 p.m.
  • Fall Session 2: Liberal Arts & Communication focus, October 31 – November 18, 2022, Monday – Friday 2:30 - 5:00 p.m.
  • Winter Session 1: Environmental Sciences focus, January 10 – January 31, 2023, Monday – Friday 2:30 - 5:00 p.m
  • Winter Session 2: Health Sciences focus, February 13 – March 3, Monday – Friday 2:30 - 5:00 p.m
  • Spring Session 1: Engineering & Manufacturing focus, March 14 – March 31, 2023, Monday – Friday 2:30 - 5:00 p.m
  • Spring Session 2: Social Sciences focus, May 3 – May 24, 2023, Monday – Friday 2:30 - 5:00 p.m 

“Each session focuses on a unique meta major that drives student research and the corresponding exposure opportunity in industry-specific, high-demand careers,” Wagner described. “The program’s academic research project will provide students an opportunity to begin thinking about and preparing for careers they may be interested in pursuing, including information about job descriptions, expected pay, education, and training necessary; job projection; and interviewing a person currently in that position. By framing career exploration as a research project, students will understand the nature of career exploration.”

Workshops will be at both Parma High and Valley Forge High Schools. Normandy students are welcome to apply as well. There will be a CTE shuttle from Normandy to the afterschool programs only. 

Students who complete the three-week workshops are eligible for all-expense paid national and/or international trips taking place during winter, spring, and summer breaks. More information on travel locations will be available at a later date. 

“Our hope is that the program will show students how to use the skills they learn in school which can directly positively impact their future planning and decision-making,” she expressed. “Students who connect future careers with schoolwork are more motivated to successfully pursue further education or training.”

She further shared that College Now is excited about “the expanded learning time and out-of-school time program that serves as a space for students to create, explore, and have fun while learning outside the school day.”

Kristen Plageman, PCSD’s Director of Strategic Initiatives, said this grant is for two years. There will be 30 seats available for each session at both Parma and Valley Forge, for a total of 60 spots each session, meaning 360 students will have the opportunity to participate. 

“We are very excited to partner with College Now to provide these career-based programs and opportunities for our students,” she expressed. “This gives students the chance to take a deep dive into various career fields followed by an exciting trip to get an interactive and real-world experience into these careers.” 

Students who would like to apply should visit

If you have any questions, please email