Alternative Pathways to Successful Futures
Collecting Post-Graduation Student Data with Warren Local Schools
Back in the day, it was assumed that youth would take the traditional route and go away to college after high school—even if they had no idea what they wanted to study. Nowadays, students are presented with alternative options in high school. Each student is able to create their own unique path to becoming successful. Helping students understand and consider all of the alternative post-high school options and giving them opportunities to get hands-on experience in their K-12 journey will help them explore their passions and make informed decisions. What it comes down to is affording an opportunity to every student.
There is a huge overlap between educational content and career training—they just need to be bridged together. Connecting the two satisfies the growing need for a talented and qualified workforce, and it presents a critical opportunity to provide students with work-based learning experiences and transferable skills before they graduate from high school. JASON Learning connects education and employment by embedding career connections into its content, linking soft skills and hard skills, providing real-world context, featuring diverse role models, and aligning content with in-demand industry needs. Schools can build a more equitable education-to-career system by increasing accessibility. This is exemplified in one of JASON’s partner districts, Warren Local Schools (OH).
“Our work with JASON Learning has allowed our district (Warren Local) to accelerate meaningful instructional practices around Career Connected Learning. I look forward to our continued collaboration and partnership, so that our teachers have the opportunity to continue to grow and improve their instruction while using the JASON platform.”Kyle Newton, Superintendent of Warren Local Schools
JASON Learning connected with Warren Local Schools (WLS) through a U.S. Department of Labor Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC) grant with the Ohio Valley Employment Resource (OVER). Through the WORC grant, JASON developed a new STEM/CTE curriculum unit, “Building a Future-Ready Workforce,” introducing students to Industry 4.0 technologies and Advanced Manufacturing. This unit includes four modules:
- Details Make All The Difference (launch towards a CPT certification)
- Sensors Are Essential (launch towards an Arduino Certification)
- Climate Controlled: Safe & Satisfied (launch towards HVAC-R) ready for late spring 2023
- Innovating Through Digital Design (launch towards a Solidworks Certification) ready for late spring 2023.
The WORC grant requires project partners to track the expected results of the workforce development initiatives, including
- The number of students impacted by the grant
- The number of teachers who received professional development training
- The number of students to earn an industry-recognized credential or certification
- The number of students that secure an entry-level job within one year of graduation.
Warren Local Schools has been a leader in calculating the best methods to record the results and outcomes of these components for school districts. WLS has many students involved in CTE courses, either at the school or at Washington County Career Center (WCCC). Each student’s post-graduation data is collected, no matter what path they took. The students at WLS are granted equitable access and opportunity to grow intellectually, explore their interests, and create their own unique pathways.
WLS tracks all their concentrator students (meaning they take two classes within a career field) and is working on generating new methods for compiling better data on students’ career interests, internships, certifications, and future careers. Additionally, WLS tracks student data after high school graduation. They do this by helping every student set up a professional email address during practice for graduation. Once each student has set up their professional email, WLS saves their new email address and other key information in the student’s file. This way, they can continue tracking data after high school by sending digital surveys or calling to figure out what students are doing, i.e., what pathway they took, what industry they ended up in, and whether or not they stayed in the area.
Partnerships are essential when connecting STEM education to local industry and careers. Warren Local Schools partners with JASON Learning and Building Bridges to Careers (BB2C) (also serving as the local Business Advisory Council for Washington County) to embed community and career-connected learning in their curriculum. Additionally, they partner with Washington State Community College (WSCC) and have a K-12 liaison in their school that can connect students with classes, internships, jobs, and other experiences and opportunities.
Warren Local Schools and JASON Learning would like to partner to develop curriculum, resources, and pathways to the following industries:
- Finance and Accounting (forensic accounting, public debt, and financial literacy)
- Information Technology (game design, coding, software/hardware, etc.)
- Advanced Manufacturing (polymers, products, logistics)
If you would like to support the development of one (or more) of these pathways, please reach out to Jenna Davis, Director of Development at JASON Learning, at email@example.com.
Co-written by Eleanor Smalley & Jenna Davis