Career Bound College Intern and Job Fair - Real World Learning
Mentor, OH
Mentor Schools
Support & Sustainability

Career Bound College Intern and Job Fair

This program connects graduates from area high schools with local businesses with the hope of establishing possible internship opportunities (or even employment) for the following summer.

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Our approach to real world learning involves schools working with community partners and industry experts to engage students in authentic, relevant problems, projects, and experiences that develop career awareness and readiness. Our current goals include developing real world learning action steps for grades 6-12 district-wide and embedding them in our strategic plan (i.e., timelines, tasks responsibilities and budgets), and creating a district vision and plan that brings all of our real world learning efforts together.

Implementation: How We Did It

In December 2019, college students and recent graduates were invited to attend the first annual Career Bound: College Intern Job Fair at Paradigm, Mentor’s Professional Learning Center. We scheduled the event to occur when college students would be home on break so that they could find employment opportunities close to home. By attending this event, students could seek and secure 2020 summer internships or even permanent positions right here in our community. Participating companies included: Lincoln Electric, Lake Health, Avery Dennison, Huntington Bank, and more. Positions included: engineers, nurses and medical practitioners, and business and accounting professionals.

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Community Partners

Community Partners

We formed a partnership with The Lake County Ohio Port and Economic Development Authority and area Chambers of Commerce. The Chambers of Commerce identified businesses to participate in the fair. We also partnered with local career centers and other nearby school districts to attract attendees from across the community and advertise the event as widely as possible.



We evaluated the event in terms of initial attendance: number of businesses, number of college students/graduates, and where they came from. Fifty businesses were represented, and 153 current college students or recent high school graduates attended. There was representation from 44 different high schools and 36 universities (listed below). We are planning to send a follow-up survey in April to determine how many students were placed in internships or jobs, as those placements will take place during summer 2020.

  • Colleges Represented: Baldwin Wallace University, Bowling Green State University, Capital University, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, Edinboro University, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Gannon University, Hiram College, John Carrol, Kent State University, Lake Erie College, Lakeland Community College, Liberty University, Malone University, Miami University, Ohio State University, Ohio University, Ohio Wesleyan University, Purdue University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Saint Bonaventure University, Saint Vincent College, The College of Wooster, The University of Akron, The University of Toledo, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Cincinnati, University of Dayton, University of Mount Union, University of Toledo, Ursuline College, Walsh University, Wheeling university, Wright State University, and Xavier University

Professional Learning

Support Structures

To promote the fair, the Lake County Ohio Port and Economic Development Authority funded advertisements in local papers. The rest of the outreach was done digitally, so there were no additional costs associated with marketing the event. Students registered and provided their resumes using Google Docs. The fair was hosted on the district’s grounds at the Professional Learning Center.

The Future of this Work

Our district has had a strong focus on real world learning in the last few years. More recently, we established a real world learning committee that included teachers, counselors, instructional coaches, and administrators to examine the full scope of our real world learning activities in the district. While we have launched a number of initiatives and projects at all levels, we are now bringing focus and organization to our overall strategy. Our real world learning committee has walked through The Builder provided by Digital Promise, which enabled us to find common ground across different groups and efforts.

Because of the overwhelming response to our first event, the Career Bound College Intern and Job Fair, we’re planning to make this an annual event every December.

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