Oakland University Career Exploration Day Camps

Macomb County high schoolers get hands-on exposure to engineering, business, health care and more in Oakland University Career Exploration Day Camps.

Does your high schooler know what he or she wants to focus on in college? If the answer is “no,” you’re not alone – but there is a way to help him or her narrow down the options.

In fact, summer is the perfect time for high school students to explore potential careers. And, thanks to Oakland University career exploration day camps, students in grades 9-12 can do just that.

“We started this back in 2012, and it was really our way of helping to nurture the college-going culture in Macomb County,” says Julie Dichtel, executive director of Oakland University and Macomb County Outreach. “We know that the college attainment rates in our county fall a little bit short of the state average and certainly well below that of Oakland County. So it was really our way to reach the high school kids and let them know what their options are beyond high school.”

And what they found is that many students enter college in their freshmen year not certain of a path – because they haven’t done much career exploration or any career shadowing.

That’s where Oakland University career exploration camps come in.

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These camps, Dichtel says, “give students an opportunity to discover things that they might enjoy – and also discover things that they might not enjoy.”

Read on for more about these career exploration camp offerings in Macomb and Oakland County.

Career-focused fun

Whether your child is interested in learning more about health care, graphic design or criminal justice, to name a few, there are several options throughout the summer in these career exploration camps.

Specifically for students in Macomb County, a career exploration camp will be offered at the Anton Frankel Center in Mount Clemens from July 8 to 12, 2019. It takes place from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. The cost is $165, and that price includes lunch each day. The maximum capacity is 30 students.

“We usually have hands-on activities for each day. Some of the days they’ll go on field trips, so they are interacting with professionals as well as students,” says Tricia Ashman, camp coordinator. “We have students from OU that are coming in and facilitating some of the activities that we have.”

On health care day, campers go to McLaren Macomb. During engineering day, students build a hydraulic bridge

Business students take a field trip to Blake’s Orchard in Armada. And for the criminal justice campers, Ashman says they’re going to the Macomb Public Service Institute and the Clinton Township Police Department for a hands-on activity with a forensics professional. Campers also participate in an active shooter workshop with one of the offices from Oakland University Police Department.

Benefits of camp

These camps offer students an opportunity to dive a bit deeper into an area of interest – and allow them to do so together with their peers.

“Teens want to be with other teens that are right around the same age group, so these camps are specifically designed for (ages) 14-18. They are all in the same boat, and this is career-focused where other camps are maybe exposing you to activities that they would do in that field,” Dichtel says. “This is focused on the career, so when they are talking with faculty and students, they are also learning about what they can be doing in high school right now to prepare for those fields. They are learning more about the actual job – what happens in the workplace.”

Other career exploration camps take place at Oakland University’s main campus in Rochester, and students from Macomb County can be bussed to the campus to take part in those camps.

Macomb County maintains a directory of all day camp experiences offering over the summer on the Make Macomb Your Home website. With themes ranging from arts, sports, career exploration and more, there is something for every child. Explore it here.

For more information on summertime camp offerings, or to register, visit the Oakland University career exploration camps website.

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