Job Shadowing


Chippewa Valley Schools Job Shadowing

"Who knows what wonders lurk in the hearts of students? The shadowers do!"

Job Shadowing is designed to give students an opportunity to "shadow" an adult during daily work activities. It inspires students to be enthusiastic about their studies by showing them the correlation between what they learn in school and how it is used in the workplace. In 2008, more than one million young people and 100,000 businesses participated.

Beginning with a nationwide kickoff on February 2 annually (Groundhog Day) and continuing throughout the school year, Job Shadow is supported by a coalition that includes America's Promise, Junior Achievement, AT&T, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Labor. For more information, log on to

The Michigan Department of Education now mandates a "work-based learning experience" for all CTE (Career Tech Ed) students. Job Shadowing satisfies that requirement.

Chippewa Valley Schools have an excellent career development program, designed to help students create an EDP (Educational Development Plan). The program uses "Career Cruising" and leads students to:

  • discover/explore their interests,
  • assess skills
  • explore career information
  • develop a 4-Year Plan
  • identify some goals
  • do a school / college search
  • select some career development activities for further exploration
  • create a portfolio of experiences and accomplishments

While this is an outstanding career development program, there is need to do more. Job Shadowing can fill the gaps. Job Shadowing offers the opportunity to reality-test career interests. Two students who recently job shadowed reported to their classmates: 1) "I thought I wanted to be a commercial artist, and after spending the day with Mrs. G, I know that I want to be a commercial artist!" and 2) "I was thinking about a career in business or Dentistry. I job shadowed a dentist and... Now I know that I don't want to be a dentist!" Reality testing can be empowering and valuable in terms of both time and money.

It has been reported that 80 to 85% of all jobs are found and filled through personal contact. It is also said that you can reach anyone in the world by going through only six people. Networking is an effective strategy for gathering current career information, developing mentor relationships, and for ultimately finding avenues into desirable careers. Most of us have been helped by others along our career paths. Career holders are most often very willing to help aspiring students. It is a "pay it forward" matter.

It is now predicted that today's high school students will have 8 jobs by the time that they reach age 35. Chippewa Valley students will be prepared for this future by mastering the "Career Cruising" activities, and by doing the original research that involves networking, informational interviewing, and job shadowing.

It is our goal to help students to have a focus and a plan, and to prepare for their futures. Job Shadowing is an important component of our comprehensive career development program. Please see your school's "Job-Shadowing Policy and Guidelines" and "Job Shadow Application" forms for specifications. After reviewing these materials, feel free to contact us (administrators, counselors, CTE staff) if you have any questions.

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The following Job-Shadowing materials (links) are designed to guide students through a Job-Shadowing experience: