OSDE releases new video revealing importance, ease of mentorship


OKLAHOMA CITY (Nov. 13, 2018) – The Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) today unveiled a mentorship video that shows how easily students can forge meaningful connections with professionals. Employing a “fly on the wall” approach with a hidden camera, the Oklahoma Edge video features students from Macomb, Oklahoma City and Shawnee asking for help from four professionals – an accountant, a graphic designer, a financial officer and an engineer – who did not know at the time that they were being filmed.

Mentorship, the video shows, occurs quickly and naturally.

“We know business leaders want to help young people in their education, but many say they don’t know how to go about doing so,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister. “In this experiment, viewers see how easy mentorship can be when a caring adult takes the time to connect with a student.”

Raychel Clark, an Oklahoma City accountant, is one of the professionals in the video who inadvertently mentors a student. She said a mentor in her own life changed her career path.

“A lot of times we as professionals avoid the label ‘mentor’ because we hang too much on it,” Clark said. “We think a mentor has to impart deep wisdom or have a prestigious job title. What I valued most from my mentor was just her being there, acting as a role model for the kind of professional I wanted to be. Mentorship creates better professionals, and you can do it by just being yourself.”

In July, Hofmeister previewed the video to business leaders around the state at the EngageOK summer conference. The five-minute video will be featured on the Oklahoma Edge platform, an online learning community OSDE plans to launch early next year. Also in the works is a career-readiness website that offers multiple connection points for students, families, educators and business leaders.

The platform and website – which include resources from OSDE, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education – are designed to encourage collaboration and open doors for students to career pathways in growing industries. Students will use the platform to better understand career options and what steps to take for success after high school.

The mentoring video, online learning platform and Oklahoma Edge career exploration and planning website were funded by a $2 million, three-year New Skills for Youth grant Oklahoma received in January 2017. Also part of the grant is Individual Career Academic Planning (ICAP), currently being piloted in 74 school districts and 134 school sites statewide. A collaborative process involving students, family and educators, ICAPs are designed to equip students to explore careers that match their changing passions and talents. Statewide implementation of ICAP for all ninth-graders will begin in the 2019-20 school year and follow students throughout their high school career. A two-day ICAP Summit is scheduled for January 17-18, targeting school districts and business partners.

An ICAP Implementation toolkit and Business Education Partnership toolkit are also expected to be available on the career-readiness website in early 2019.

Last updated on November 13, 2018