Preparing Students for Tomorrow’s Challenges
Preparing students for good-paying, middle-class jobs in the 21st-century economy is going to take more innovation, creativity, steadfastness and hard work on the part of schools, principals, teachers, counselors and students. A new approach to education is needed to prepare students for new technology, rising workplace requirements and stiffer competition.
That’s why SREB’s High Schools That Work has developed a new design, which I introduced to the public at CareerTech Vision 2016, the national conference of the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) held December 1 in Las Vegas. The U.S. economy requires a workforce that is more educated than ever. Two-thirds of available jobs now require some postsecondary education.
The New HSTW Design
The new HSTW design transforms high school by combining a college-ready academic core with intellectually demanding career pathway courses. It connects secondary and postsecondary education with guided career pathways that include workplace learning. We think this combination has the power to increase the percentage of students leaving high school prepared for college and careers from 40 percent to 80 percent.
At the core of the new design is a redesigned senior year that allows eligible students to complete graduation requirements while taking college-level courses at the high school or on a college campus. Students may graduate with up to two semesters (30 hours) of credit toward an associate or bachelor’s degree or an advanced industry credential.
The aim is to greatly increase the percentage of individuals who earn credentials by age 25 to fill a projected gap of 11 U.S. million jobs.
Eye on the Prize for 30 Years!
Since its founding in 1987, HSTW’s core conviction has been based on the belief that most students can master complex academic and technical content if school leaders and teachers expect it, then create meaningful learning experiences and engage students’ efforts to succeed.
SREB stands ready to help schools harness the untapped potential of the senior year and put more students on a path to quality credentials, good jobs and economic security. The redesigned HSTW model can help states, districts and schools double the percentage of young people who earn a credible credential or degree by age 25.