ST. CLOUD -- In an effort to fill more community need, and better prepare their students for future careers, District 742 is starting to work out the details of new programming at Tech and Apollo.

Exploring Potential Interests and Careers, or EPIC, will target 9th graders. The goal is to get them to explore -- if they choose to -- industry-related careers. Tech's Principal Charlie Eisenreich says it's important for students to hit the ground running.

"Things can often be very challenging. Like I say, ninth grade is the start of where the 'rubber hits the road' so to speak. Where classes start to count toward graduation."

Eisenreich says EPIC is targeting 9th graders so they can better narrow down class choices for their future, as they become 10th, 11th and 12th graders.

"So as they get into the higher grads, they can go down a specific pathway that will help them in what comes after high school."

The program will end in a Capstone project, where students may find themselves in an internship, creating a professional portfolio, or taking on an apprenticeship with someone in the community, that pertains to their chosen career path.

Eisenreich says EPIC is in the planning stages now, but they hope to implement it at the new Tech and Apollo next fall.