A group of Fort Osage High School students are working together to promote the school’s business program and better prepare future Fort Osage graduates.

A group of Fort Osage High School students are working together to promote the school’s business program and better prepare future Fort Osage graduates.

“We want to get students interested in the business career field,” said senior Kelsey Cox. “We want students to know that they have options in high school, and then direct them to the classes most appropriate for them.”

The goal of the Fort Osage Business Academy is to prepare students for college and careers in the business field. One of the career pathways at Fort Osage High School has a business emphasis. These pathways are tools to assist students in preparing for the future with direction and focus. Whatever career pathway is chosen will be recognized when a student graduates.

“I know when I was a freshman, I had no idea what classes to take,” said senior C.J. Fisher. “I think something like this emphasizing the different courses is a good thing.”

Business courses include principals of management, principles of marketing, personal finance, business computer applications, business economics, information technology, business law and advanced finance and accounting as well as many others.

It was through one of the classes, advanced marketing, that three students decided to work together to promote the business academy as a class project.

“We want students to know that through hard work, they can be ready for college,” Fisher said. “We want them to prepare for their futures.”

The 32-page project includes all promotional elements that the students will use to help recruit, retain and inform students about the benefits of the Fort Osage Business Academy. Cox, Fisher and senior Adrianna Burks have already presented their plan to the Career and Technology Center’s Advisory Council. The next step is to work with Osage Trail Middle School during freshman enrollment and with area business leaders to see what they are looking for in future employees.

“Who best to tell us what they need in an employee than a business owner,” Fisher said. “If students start in high school, preparing for a career in business, then they will be far more successful in college and later in the job search process.”

Cox, who had no interest in business courses when she first entered high school, plans to attend Missouri Western State University next fall, majoring in public relations or business administration.

She said through the Fort Osage Business Academy, she hopes that more students will discover a passion for the business field.

“We want interested kids to come to the table and share their ideas for the future,” she said. “It is so important to have a direction in high school because it will make college that much easier.”

Although Fisher is not sure where he will attend school next year, he knows that business is his future.

“I like the fact that you can create your own job if you don’t want to go work for a company,” he said. “You can work your way up and do good in life with simply a business background. That is what we want other kids to know. These classes are out there and available to students. By taking them, they will do better in a competitive environment.” 

By the numbers

1,500   Number of students attending Fort Osage High School

333 Number of 2009 graduates

18 Business courses available 9-12

57.1 Percentage of Fort Osage 2009 graduates attending a two- or four-year college/university.