Students that believe postsecondary education is necessary for their career choice are more likely to go to college. Therefore, it is critical for students to be exposed to a variety of career options and given the opportunity to learn about education requirements (license, certificate, 2-year degree, 4-year degree, or more) for professions they are interested in.

GEAR UP schools help students explore careers in a variety of ways:

Online Exploration

GEAR UP schools use Oregon CIS, Naviance, Career Cruising and other programs to help students explore careers virtually.

Career Fairs

Several schools bring students to large career fairs organized by outside groups. Illinois Valley High School is a yearly participant at Careers in Gear, held in Southern Oregon and organized by Workforce Rogue Valley. Umatilla High School plans to bring female students to the Women in Trades career fair, held in Portland and organized by Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. and Dayton High School brings students to the Northwest Youth Careers Expo, held in Portland and organized by the Portland Workforce Alliance.

Dayton High School at Career Expo

Dayton High School students get hands-on opportunities to explore careers.

Other schools pool their resources and partner to hold regional career fairs, including a longstanding partnership between Elkton Charter School, North Douglas High School and Yoncalla High School.

Guest Speakers

Many schools bring members of the community to share their occupational stories to students either during lunch throughout the year or on one specific day.

Pacific Alumni Career Fair

Pacific High School in Port Orford hosted an alumni career day with a lawyer, wildlife trapper, massage therapist and more.


Taft Pizza with a Professional

Taft 7-12 in Lincoln City hosts regular Pizza with Professionals during lunch hours.

CTE Classes & Clubs

Career Technical Education (CTE) classes thrive at GEAR UP schools, including two schools recently awarded grants by the state: Elgin High School will focus on helping students learn about agricultural mechanics and fabrication and Roseburg High School will revamp their CTE program to focus across disciplines on design, engineering and manufacturing.

In addition, schools offer student organizations focused on careers and leadership including Future Farmers of America (FFA), Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), and SkillsUSA.

Yoncalla FBLA

Yoncalla High School's FBLA team at regionals.

Business Field Trips

Several schools plan visits to local businesses to see the relevance of a degree or certificate in action.

Lebanon Field Trip

Middle school students from Lebanon visit local manufacturers.