- Career Connect
Meet Liz Jones - CTE Career Coach
Helping people learn about themselves and explore their next steps is a true passion of Liz Jones, KRESA Career & Technical Education (CTE) career coach.
In her role, Jones works directly with Portage Public Schools, alongside fellow CTE Career Coach Ngozi Jackson, to implement the Career Awareness & Exploration curriculum, which is aimed at helping K-8 students see what they can be at earlier ages.
Jones earned an undergraduate degree in Business and Marketing Education from Central Michigan University and a master’s degree from Western Michigan University in Counseling Education and Counseling Psychology, specializing in Career Development.
Throughout her impressive professional career, Jones has worked as a teacher at the Van Buren Tech Center, helped design Allegan Tech Center’s marketing program and spent time as a CTE Counselor for both Livingston Educational Service Agency and Kent Career Tech Center. These dynamic experiences quickly helped her realize her own passion: guiding others on the path toward their own.
“When I taught marketing, I realized the number of career possibilities that students could explore from that one course: merchandising and display, logistics, inventory control, sales, management, accounting and more,” explained Jones. “That was when I knew then that I wanted to be able to help students understand themselves, their natural and learned talents, and discover their fit within the world of work.”
As part of her work with the CTE team, Jones assists local school districts with the implementation and management of Xello, an academic and career planning program now available to all K-12 students across Kalamazoo County that helps to prepare students for success through an engaging platform that builds self-knowledge, personalized plans and critical life skills.
Jones knows that when it comes to making effective decisions about your future, self-awareness and option awareness are the keys to true success, and making these opportunities available to all students is critical to preparing the workforce of tomorrow. By seamlessly integrating CAE into the local school district’s existing curriculum, more students will be prepared for their next steps.
“When framed around career awareness and planning, classroom content becomes personalized learning,” said Jones. “I strongly believe in today’s ever-changing world; students need both a career development and an academic development plan after graduation.”
When she’s not helping students develop plans for their future, Jones enjoys spending time with her husband, their three children and pet boxer, as well as sewing, swimming, walking and cycling.
Learn more about Career Awareness & Exploration (CAE) at kresa.org/cae.