The Student Experience

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Career Compass Pillars

  • Awareness (K-5)
    • In the classroom
      • Classroom jobs/duties, career research project, Leader In Me
    • Field Trips
      • Kuehn Conservation, JA BizTown
    • Guest speakers
      • Waukee Police and Fire Department
  • Exploration (6-8)
    • In the classroom
      • Smart Skills careers unit, interest groups, individual career and academic plan
    • Field trips
      • JA Financial Park
    • Guest speakers
      • Career fair
  • Experiences (9-12)
    • In the classroom
      • Individual career and academic planning, career compass programming (APEX, School to Work, etc.)
    • Field trips
      • Iowa State University major tours, Mercy One Health Sciences Day, DMACC Discovery Days
    • Guest speakers
      • Career fairs


Career Compass Programs

Aspiring Professional Experience (APEX)

Waukee Aspiring Professional Experience (APEX) offers work-based learning for students by partnering with businesses in the community to provide students with professional opportunities through value-added projects and instruction.

Learn more about APEX.

Career & Technical Education (CTE)

Career & Technical Education offers a variety of courses to help students develop technical, academic, and employability skills and engage in work-based experiences with industry partners. CTE programs include business, computer science, family and consumer sciences, health sciences, and technology education.

Learn more about CTE.

Career Services

Career Services offers resources, support, and guidance in career education. It runs a student job board, hosts career events, and supports students with interview skills and resume-writing needs. You can visit career services at the Waukee Innovations & Learning Center.

Learn more about Career Services. 

Community Transition Center (CTC)

The program is one option for special needs students who’ve completed high school but still need help increasing independence. During their formal education, students had Individualized Educational Plans (IEPs). After completing their senior year, their educational team helps the student’s family decide if additional 12+ programming is available to help the student meet living, learning, and working goals. The CTC is located in the Vince Meyer Learning Center.

Learn more about CTC.

Introduction To Education (Teacher Internship)

The Introduction to Education program offers classes with dual college credit for students interested in pursuing a career in Education. Grade level and application requirements differ based on the course.

Learn more about Intro To Ed.

iJAG (Iowa’s Jobs for America’s Graduates)

The iJAG program allows students to connect with their community, build a personal understanding of their strengths and opportunities, and build a path toward personalized success. Programming is offered to students during the school day for elective credit. This program is sustained by public and private backing, including financial contributions from the Iowa Legislature.

Learn more about iJag.

School-To-Work Internship (STW)

School-to-Work is an internship program for high school seniors. It emphasizes professional skills and adds value to our business partners. Students work exclusively for one employer. In the fall, students prepare by taking a career development course. Then, during the spring semester, students work at the employer for two blocks per day.

Learn more about School-To-Work. 



Photo of Michelle Hill
Michelle Hill
Director of Work-Based Learning
Administration, APEX, Directors
Photo of Mindi Heitland
Mindi Heitland
Career Services Coordinator
Career Education
Dr. Katy Blatnick-Gagne
Career and Technical Education Curriculum Facilitator
School Improvement Department