College and Career Ready
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High School graduation season is upon us. During this time of year, countless numbers of students will being making the transition from high school to college and career paths. How do we ensure that this transition is successful? In the coming weeks, we will be featuring blog posts that explore best practices in working to ensure college and career readiness.
Jamie is entering his junior year of high school. He has high aspirations, but like most of his friends in high school, isn’t exactly sure what he wants to do after high school. His grades are good, and he knows that he needs to select his junior and senior year classes carefully. As is true in most high schools, the counselors have a very heavy caseload and little time to spend working with students one on one.
Jamie and his family wish that they could easily access information about which Indiana jobs are “hot," those that are projected to hold steady, and the education needed to be qualified for those jobs as well as projected earnings data. This information would enable them to match Jamie’s talents and interests to Indiana’s workforce needs. In the process, Jamie and his family would save time and money, and the state would progress towards a more highly qualified workforce.
The good news is that Indiana is working towards this vision– namely to align, engage, and advance a comprehensive pathways system. The Indiana Career Council, created in 2013 by the General Assembly, is leading the effort, and serves as a conduit for coordination among key players. The focus is on developing a state sector strategy and framework for regional sector partnerships.
These will not only maximize resources and reduce duplication, but perhaps most importantly, will provide more seamless transitions for Indiana citizens, whether in high school or looking to make a career change. Of importance, these pathways will share information for students in a way that highlights options, and provides multiple “on and off ramps” that will enable students to make informed decisions considering an array of options and opportunities.
By the end of the year it is anticipated that collaborations of K-12 educators, postsecondary partners, industry members, community-based organizations, economic development organizations, and workforce boards will begin building a regional basis to analyze workforce data and design meaningful pathways so that every Indiana citizen will have access to the information, education and skills required for career success.
In the end, Jamie, and students from across Indiana will have access to information about internships/hands-on learning opportunities and critical information about the pathways that will lead to successful and fulfilling careers.
How can we make the transition from high school to college and career better for our students? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and on social media using #AmGradIndy.
Lynne Weisenbach currently serves on the Indiana Career Council’s Pathways Taskforce. She was Vice Chancellor of the University System of Georgia from 2008-2014. She served as Dean of the School of Education at the University of Indianapolis, and was Executive Director of the Center of Excellence of Leadership of Learning (CELL), and has teaching experience at the K-12 level.