Human Services Career Exploration

Start your path to a career that makes a difference! Human services job shadow opportunities from Kirkwood can show you what it takes to succeed in this challenging but rewarding field. 

Discover the wide variety of careers in the field of human services, such as: teacher, paraeducator, principal, guidance counselor, social worker, substance abuse counselor, lawyer, community outreach worker, police officer, probation officer, firefighter, EMT, chef, lodging manager, and event planner.

Explore the opportunities listed below, when you find the career exploration event you'd like to attend, write down its name so it is handy when you fill out your application.

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Career Exploration Experiences

Explore the many exciting career opportunities available at our Adult Day Health Centers!  Our social workers assist with care plans, funding, and problem solving every day community needs. Nurses monitor medications, work with community physicians, and complete health assessments. Universal workers do many of the same tasks as a CNA such as safety awareness/fall prevention, bathing, activities, and meal assistance. Program and activity coordinators and our habilitation staff engage our participants in programming, outings, special events, and individualized programming that helps them meet their goals. Our dining staff make sure we are following special diets and honor personal choice.  We would love to have you join us and show you not only what it takes to do their work day to day, but how roles interact to meet the needs of our participants!  Held Spring 2024.

Would you like to be involved in sports and athletics with high level athletes in a college atmosphere on a daily basis. If you love to compete and to be around competitive individuals striving to be the best version of themselves, then please join us at Mount Mercy University to explore career paths as an athletic trainer, athletic director, Sports Information Director (SID), and college coach. Held March 2024.

The baking part of the shadow will include an introduction and demonstration using a store bought cupcake. How do you wow with that? The Culinary portion will include a brief introduction and demonstration on simple kitchen techniques for making soups; followed by open conversation with a question and answer session. Cap of 10. 

The Anamosa State Penitentiary will be offering an opportunity to learn more about the following careers within the Penitentiary; Correctional Officer, Treatment (Correctional Counselor/Psychologist/Activities Specialist), Correctional Trades Leader, Correctional Food Service Coordinator, as well as an overview of the Iowa Prison Industries. Students will have a chance to learn what a typical day consists of for staff in all of these areas. Held on a Tuesday or Thursday morning in February or March, approximately 5-6 hours.  Must be 18 years of age.  Cap of 5.

If you are interested in hair, makeup, nails and other beauty services - this is a great opportunity to come explore a career in Beauty and Wellness. Capri offers advanced training in Cosmetology, Esthetics and Massage Therapy. During your job shadow you will have the opportunity to interact with students and staff, learn more about each program, tour the building and see firsthand what it is like to learn from our licensed Cosmetology instructors in the classroom setting. This is a great time to find out what it takes to start working towards a career as a Professional Stylist, Skin Care Specialist, Licensed Massage Therapist or Makeup Artist. Held Spring 2024.

Experience a commercial kitchen environment in the Kirkwood Community College Culinary Lab during a live, hands-on lab session instructed by Kirkwood Hospitality faculty. Participants will learn more about the career of a chef and be involved in production utilizing some fundamental kitchen techniques.  You won’t go home hungry!  Cap of 16. Held April 2024.

Do you like working with children? Want to make a difference? Learn about careers in education such as elementary school teacher, middle school teacher, high school teacher, school counselor, special education teacher, and paraeducator. Hear about the daily tasks in their jobs along with the required education. Held in April 2024.

Interested in public safety, law enforcement, or 911 dispatching?  Sign up to tour the Benton County Sheriff’s Office and learn more about the role of a 911/emergency dispatcher. From answering 911 calls to dispatching emergency services, you will experience the day-to-day responsibilities of a dispatcher.  Cap of 10.

Learn about careers in EMS including careers as an EMT and paramedic.Get hands-on practice of EMS skills including CPR, bandaging and splinting, and medication administration assistance. Receive an overview of career options and opportunities in emergency medical services. 

Investigate how to embark on a career path with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI hires professionals in several criminal justice focused specialties, such as special agent, linguist, SWAT team member, intelligence analyst and victim specialist to name a few. The FBI also offers opportunities for early educational and professional experience including a yearly Teen Academy and a 10-week paid college Internship program. Hosted April 2024 at Kirkwood’s Johnson County Regional Center in Coralville.

Investigate how to embark on a career path with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI hires professionals in several criminal justice focused specialties, such as special agent, linguist, SWAT team member, intelligence analyst and victim specialist to name a few. The FBI also will highlight opportunities for early educational and professional experience through a yearly Teen Academy and a 10-week paid college Internship program. Hosted April 2024 at Kirkwood’s Linn County Regional Center in Hiawatha.

Visit Kirkwood’s on-campus luxury 4 Diamond Hotel and learn about all of the professional management careers needed to create great experiences in hotels, resorts, and vacation destinations. Explore the world of hospitality management and see why your generation is finding happiness and success traveling and working all around the globe and right here at home as well.

Held at the United States Courthouse in Cedar Rapids, you will have the opportunity to hear from professionals in a variety of legal fields, such as a judge, an attorney panel, probation officer, and U.S. Marshall. If scheduling works, you also may be able to observe a court proceeding. These legal professionals will provide information and details about their specific careers and will allow time for questions. Held early Spring 2024.

Interested in a career in the legal profession?  Come speak with a variety of individuals who work in the legal field to learn more about their careers.  You will have the opportunity to have a conversation with them and also receive a tour of the courthouse. 

Are you interested in a career in the legal field? Want to learn about a career as an attorney? Ever wonder what a magistrate judge does? Explore these careers and tour the courthouse. Plus, you’ll get to see the legal system in action by sitting in on a morning of initial appearances and pre-trial conference cases. Cap of 4.

Learn about careers as a legislator, lobbyist, advocate, writer and researcher as regional elected officials and professionals walk students through a role playing exercise of legislative action.

Interested in helping people live better lives? Through small group round table discussions, you will have the opportunity to hear and ask questions from individuals in the career fields of social work, counseling and psychology.  Held late March/early April 2024.

Have you ever been interested in knowing more about the military and how they operate from a job/career perspective? This job shadow will allow you to hear from the following branches of the military: Air Force, Army, Marines, National Guard, and Navy.  The goal is for you to spend time with representatives from each branch so you have a broad understanding of how each operates. They will share with you about what makes their branch unique, career opportunities available (other than combat); how schooling, college and other specialized training is handled, as well as various lifestyle factors to consider. You will be able to ask questions and engage in different hands-on activities throughout the job shadow experience. Held Spring 2024.

You will enjoy a tour of the police department in addition to having individuals in the crime scene unit, K-9, special response team, and law enforcement speak to you about their careers. The shadow will conclude with learning some defense tactics and a shooting simulator.

You will be given a tour of the facility in addition to hearing about a variety of careers in law enforcement including dispatch, K-9, bomb technician, police officer and crime investigation to name a few!

If you are interested in a career in social work, case management and direct care by helping people with disabilities and other challenges navigate the legal, medical and day-to-day circumstances of life, you will want to attend this event! Hear from energetic Systems Unlimited staff - behavioral support specialists, employment systems manager, community outreach director, and human resources. Cap of 25.

How to Apply

If you are a First Time User follow these instructions
If you are a Returning User filling out a new job shadow application follow these instructions.
If you have already started applying, you may simply continue your existing application.