Career Development & Service Learning

Career Development

Our Career Development program focuses on providing information and experiences that help students identify interest areas and use this information to select courses and colleges, part-time jobs and volunteer activities — with the goal of preparing the student for the world of work. Many staff members are involved including teachers, administrators, school counselors and community volunteers, including parents. Students also have access to an online tool through Naviance that provides career assessments and updated career information including hundreds of videos. Students and parents can also visit,  a K-12 online tool where students can discover their career interests and in-demand jobs, build resumes, search for college and training programs, create a budget based on future expenses, and develop meaningful academic and career plans for high school and beyond.

Specifically, in Upper Arlington, students participate in: 
  • Integrated career awareness activities at the elementary level.
  • Career exploration activities through Life Skills classes at the middle school level.
  • Job shadowing for all eighth and ninth graders.
    • Eighth graders are encouraged to shadow family members.
    • Ninth graders are encouraged to shadow in career areas of interest. COVID-19 UPDATE: All in-person shadowing opportunities for the 2021-2022 school year are under review. Students will be informed in the spring if shadowing is required.  
  • Individual coaching at the high school level with school counselors.

For Upper Arlington students who would like to explore different career areas as part of the high school day, we encourage 11th and 12th graders to access Columbus City Schools' Career Technical Education at Fort Hayes and the Columbus Downtown High School & Career Center.

Service Learning

Service-learning supports the mission of the district by providing engaging and relevant learning experiences connected to service through classroom curriculum. These authentic experiences meet real community needs, have strong ties to the curriculum, and include meaningful preparation and reflection.

The Upper Arlington Schools Strategic Plan promotes the use of service-learning as a teaching strategy for 100% of our students every year.

  • In 2011, Upper Arlington received a Certificate of Recognition from the Ohio Department of Education for its commitment to service-learning, one of only two districts in the state to receive this designation.

  • Each building has designated staff who serve as Service-learning Leaders.  These trained educators model high-quality service-learning with their own students and act as coaches for colleagues.

  • High-quality professional development in the form of graduate courses are offered to all staff members, providing inspiration and knowledge about service-learning techniques.

  • In 2011, freshmen from UAHS received the State Farm National Service-learning Leadership Award for the Strides for Sudan project.

  • UA teachers and students join other Central Ohio schools as part of the Growing Together Service Learning Network, for networking, inspiration and high-quality professional development experiences.

Community Service

Community service, while different from content-connected Service-learning, compliments our efforts to encourage students to be engaged, caring community members. Both middle school and high school students are required to do 5-6 hours per year. UPDATE: All required service hours for the 2021-2022 school year are under review due to the COVID-19 situation. Students will be informed in the spring if service hours are required.

Students can keep track of their service hours, see local service opportunities and check out service awards on x2Vol, located on their Naviance Dashboard. Keeping track of service hours will help students interested in applying for jobs, college and internships. In addition, we have many awards and scholarship opportunities connected to students who choose to spend their time using their gifts and talents in the community. In the spring of 2021-- even during the time of COVID restrictions, our students have submitted over 7,600 hours of community service with an economic impact of more than $194,000 in volunteer time, exemplifying “Serve, Lead, Succeed.” 

In 2021, 45 UAHS students received the President’s Volunteer Service Award and 61 seniors received the Senior Service Honor Cord worn at graduation.
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