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DeSoto Schools considering college and career center for students; survey created for public input

The week of June 21, a new survey was released to the public asking for opinions on the college...
The week of June 21, a new survey was released to the public asking for opinions on the college and career readiness of DeSoto Parish students.
Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 4:45 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 23, 2021 at 9:09 PM CDT
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DESOTO PARISH, La. (KSLA) - The start of school is still some time away, but leaders from DeSoto Parish Schools are hoping to attain valuable insight from their most important assets during the summer months on the future of their students.

The week of June 21, a new survey was released to the public asking for opinions on the college and career readiness of DeSoto Parish students.

Click here to take the survey.

“We wanted to release the survey just to see how well we think we are doing,” said Josh Dahlem, college and career readiness coordinator for DeSoto Parish Schools. “Our goal is to open up a college and career center that will meet the needs of all of our students in DeSoto Parish under one roof.”

If constructed, the new facility would be built on the same property as the DeSoto Grace House, near the Mansfield Airport, according to Dahlem. Right now, Dahlem says the district is currently in the planning and design phase, so approximate cost and size information is not yet available.

“We’re looking at... two to three years to build this facility,” he explained. “We don’t want to use taxpayer dollars and build this huge facility and not be able to fill it; we are trying to be good stewards of our public’s funds and implement a plan that will have the most bang for our buck.”

The survey asks respondents to rank the most beneficial career pathways for students following graduation. Some of the vocations include agriculture, architecture, arts, business management, hospitality, health sciences, manufacturing, transportation, and engineering.

“What we are wanting to do is survey our parents, our stakeholders, our businesses, and get an idea that they feel is the path we should be taking in training our students,” Dahlem said.

The survey also asks for possible career pathways that the district may be missing; respondents are encouraged to also rank how well prepared students are to enter the workforce after graduating from DeSoto Parish schools.

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