Archive for the ‘College and Career Readiness’ Category

Delaware Sustains Investments in State Model Pathways

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On the heels of a national case study that positions Delaware as a national leader in preparing young people for life after high school—the Delaware Pathways continues to expand to provide opportunities for students.

Earlier this week, Secretary of Education Susan Bunting announced $400,000 in grant funding to support new high school pathway programs. The new programs will provide high schoolers with opportunities to gain employment skills that give them early college credits and work-based learning experiences.

The 40 competitive grants were awarded to 16 districts or charter schools for the 2018-19 school year. This year’s awards expand on a strong history of financial support for career and technical education in Delaware, totaling $2 million in investments since 2015.

Expanding what works

School districts will use the funds to implement these career and technical education programs that allow students to explore career options and follow their passions. Currently, nearly 9,000 students take advantage of the program across 41 high schools—a 4,000 student increase since last school year.

Pathways are developed in lockstep with industry and economic trends, ensuring students are progressing toward in-demand careers. This year, students can choose between 14 career pathways, including new options such as Teacher Academy and Academy of Finance. By 2018-19, even more will be added to the fold, including Agricultural Power and Engineering, and Agricultural Structures and Engineering programs. More information about pathways, including certification and college credit opportunities, can be found here.

 

An ongoing, collaborative effort that benefits everyone

With imminent shifts in Delaware’s workforce, a strong focus on career preparation for high schoolers is necessary to ensure that students are graduating prepared for both college and career.

But students aren’t the only beneficiaries. Employers, by building and supporting pathways, are supporting the development of their future workforce, and will be able to recruit qualified job seekers from local communities. And since students can often earn early college credits by participating in Pathways, local colleges are receiving freshmen who are more prepared for college-level coursework.

Learn more and get involved

To see which districts received awards and descriptions of new and expanded Pathways, check out this list below, or click here. For more information on Delaware Pathways, and what it means for students, parents, and employers, check out Delawarepathways.org.

 

New Pathway Grant Awards Beginning in School Year 2018-19

 

Appoquinimink

Appoquinimink High School: Early Childhood Education Teacher Academy ($10,000)

Appoquinimink High School: Public and Community Health ($6,000)

Middletown High School: Early Childhood Education Teacher Academy ($10,000)

Middletown High School: Public and Community Health ($6,000)

 

Brandywine

Brandywine High School: Early Childhood Education Teacher Academy ($13,000)

Concord High School: Early Childhood Education Teacher Academy ($13,000)

Mt. Pleasant High School: Early Childhood Education Teacher Academy ($13,000)

           

Caesar Rodney      

Caesar Rodney High School: Academy of Business Information Management ($12,000)

Caesar Rodney High School: Architecture Engineering Technology ($10,000)

Caesar Rodney High School: Early Childhood Education Teacher Education ($11,000)

 

Capital          

Dover High School: Architecture Engineering Technology ($12,000)

Dover High School: Early Childhood Education Teacher Academy ($6,000)

 

Colonial       

Penn High School: Environmental and Natural Resource Science ($12,000)

 

Delaware Military Academy        

Delaware Military Academy: Academy of Business Information Management ($12,000)

 

Delmar                      

Delmar High School: K-12 Teacher Academy ($10,000)

 

Indian River

Indian River High School: Computer Science ($5,000)

Indian River High School: Nurse Assisting ($11,000)

Sussex Central High School: Agriculture Power and Engineering ($14,937)

Sussex Central High School: Agriculture Structures and Engineering ($14,763)

 

Lake Forest 

Lake Forest High School: Agriculture Power and Engineering ($15,000)

 

Milford          

Milford High School: Agriculture Structures and Engineering ($15,000)

Milford High School: Public and Community Health ($15,000)

 

New Castle County Vocational Technology 

Hodgson Technical High School: Cisco Networking Academy ($7,500)

Howard Technical High School: Cisco Networking Academy ($7,500)

 

Polytech      

Polytech High School: Cisco Networking Academy ($7,500)

Polytech High School: Early Childhood Education Teacher Academy ($7,000)

 

Red Clay      

AI Dupont High School: Academy of Business Information Management ($12,000)

AI Dupont High School: K-12 Teacher Academy ($5,000)

Conrad School of Science: Computer Science ($5,000)

Thomas McKean High School: Early Childhood Education Teacher Academy ($11,000)

Thomas McKean High School: Environmental and Natural Resource Science ($12,000)

 

 

Smyrna        

Smyrna High School: Academy of Business Information Mgmt. ($12,000)

Smyrna High School: Agriculture Structures and Engineering ($15,000)

Smyrna High School: Computer Science ($5,000)

Smyrna High School: Early Childhood Education Teacher Academy ($8,000)

Smyrna High School: Agriculture Power and Engineering ($15,000)

 

Sussex Tech          

Sussex Technical High School: Cisco Networking Academy ($7,500)

 

Woodbridge

Woodbridge High School: Agriculture Structures and Engineering ($12,821)

Woodbridge High School: Computer Science ($5,000)

Woodbridge High School: K-12 Teacher Academy ($5,000)

 

New and Expanded Pathways

Academy of Business Information Management

The NAF Academy of Business Information Management introduces students to the skills needed to plan, organize, direct, and evaluate business functions essential to business operations through courses focusing on entrepreneurship, global and domestic economics, information technology, customer service, and ethics. Students gain critical career knowledge through a series of work-based learning activities that are conducted in school as well as outside the classroom. These activities may include, but are not limited to, job shadowing, mock interviews, and resume writing workshops. In addition, a paid 120-hour summer internship is designed to be included as part of the program.

 

Agricultural Power and Engineering

The Agricultural Power and Engineering program of study provides students with the mathematical, scientific, and engineering principles and methods required to understand dynamic power systems and metal fabrication. Students practice real world applications, communication skills, and problem solving skills associated with dynamic power systems and metal fabrication. Students are prepared for a variety of careers including engineering, welding technicians, mechanical and industrial technicians, maintenance technicians, mechanical engineering, metal fabrication, CNC operators, power technology repair and troubleshooting, and green energy technologies.

 

Agricultural Structures and Engineering

The Agricultural Structures and Engineering program of study provides students with the scientific principles and methods required to understand the interrelationships of construction.  Students practice real world applications and problem solving skills associated with agricultural designs and engineering principles. Students utilize problem solving, as well as communication skills to develop engineering concepts and building practices that are sound and reliable. The program prepares students for a variety of careers including carpentry, engineering, architectural design, electrical, plumbing, masonry, construction framing, business management, sales, building maintenance, home improvement, and green energy technologies.

 

Architectural Engineering Technology

The Architectural Engineering Technology program of study engages students in the world of construction and architecture through coursework focusing on site selection, drafting, architecture, and engineering planning, budgeting, cost estimating, and project management.  Students utilize strategies to solve open-ended problems while they learn how to apply technical skills, knowledge, documentation techniques, and processes using modern, industry-leading technology and software. Work-based learning experiences and industry-mentored projects will introduce students to a wide array of careers such as architects, civil engineers, construction management, cost estimators, and drafters.

 

Computer Science

The Computer Science program of study helps students to develop analytical thinking and problem solving skills as well as algebraic reasoning and quantitate analysis necessary for careers in computer science, programming, and IT.

 

Early Childhood Teacher Academy

The Early Childhood Teacher Academy program of study prepares students for careers in an early childhood setting.  The program engages students in developing a realistic understanding of early childhood education while exploring the importance and impact of teachers as well as the uniqueness of early childhood development.  Observation opportunities including special needs and non-classroom settings, provide practical experiences to enrich the learning.

 

Environmental Science and Natural Resources

The Environmental and Natural Resources Science (ENRS) program of study provides students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human-made, evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing them. The program prepares students for a variety of careers including environmental engineer, environmental science and protection technician, geological and petroleum technician, natural sciences manager, wildlife biologist, and zoologist.

 

K-12 Teacher Academy

The K-12 Teacher Academy program of study prepares students for careers in elementary and secondary education. Observation opportunities in a variety of age and discipline settings, as well as special needs and non-classroom settings, provide practical experiences while enriching the learning. Students participate in a long-term placement during their senior year which allows for in-depth experiences in a classroom setting.

 

Nursing Assisting

The Nurse Assisting program of study engages students in open-ended problem solving where they study topics such as medical terminology and human anatomy and physiology. Students will acquire important skills necessary for healthcare professionals such as medical mathematics, communication, safety practices, legal responsibilities, and teamwork. In addition, students will develop technical skills such as providing personal care of the resident while taking care of their environmental needs and psycho-social needs. Students will identify signs and symptoms that require alerting other members of the healthcare teams such as choking or a significant change in vital signs. The program prepares students for a career as a certified nurse assistant (CNA), patient care technician, home health aide, licensed practical nurse (LPN), or registered nurse (RN) in acute or long term care settings.

 

Public & Community Health

The Public & Community Health program of study engages students in a comprehensive approach to health. Students learn the history of public and community health as well as examine complex public health problems, major theories of disease etiology and intervention. Students explore public health issues related to epidemiology, mental health, disabilities, and substance abuse.

Delaware: The Next Switzerland?

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Every state in the country—Delaware included—is hard at work trying to reinvent their economy. Automation and globalization have flipped the labor market upside down. The added challenge is that just about every living-wage job is going to need some training beyond high school.

 

For the last several years, the Rodel team and many, many partners have poured a lot of effort into Delaware Pathways. We’re beyond proud of the program’s growth and its yet-untapped potential: In just a few years, the number of high school kids receiving real-world career prep and training has grown from 27 to over 9,000.

 

Again, we’re proud of our progress. But a little outside validation is always nice. Last week, a national group called Jobs for the Future (JFF) released a case study at their national Pathways to Prosperity institute called “Propelling College and Career Success: The Role of Strategic Partnerships in Scaling Delaware Pathways.

 

The major takeaway? When it comes to career and technical education and preparing young people for life after high school, Delaware is emerging as a national leader. The report lauds Delaware for our cross-sector collaboration, including leaders from higher education, the private sector, the United Way, and the Departments of Labor and Education–all working together on a long-term strategy. Frankly, it’s this type of collaboration driving our work.

 

We have a chance to do something special.  Four years ago, Bob Schwartz, a co-founder of the Pathways Network and a Harvard professor, invited me and some colleagues from Delaware and around the U.S. to visit Switzerland to see their pathways. They have been at it for hundreds of years and are considered the best in the world. We were so impressed, Rodel added one of the architects of the Swiss model, Ursula Renold, to our international advisory board. As is laid out in the case, fast forward to Delaware’s Pathways Conference in the spring of 2017, and Dr. Schwartz said to Governor Carney and the rest of the crowd assembled, “if Delaware continues on its current trajectory, I may not need to ask my American colleagues to hop on a plane to see Switzerland; I might be able to just take them to Delaware.”

 

We’re excited that this work is gaining steam locally and nationally. Check out this column from EdWeek: In Delaware, Creating Career Pathways for Youths.

 

We have a long way to go, but the public and private leaders committed to this work should celebrate the foundation that has been laid and the lives that have been changed.

Delaware’s Public High Schools Ranked Among Top Ten Nationally

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Over the weekend I read that U.S. News released its annual collection of high school rankings—and, lo and behold—Delaware’s public high schools landed as eighth-best in the country.

 

Before we pop the champagne, we should note that the website’s methodology examines the highest performing high schools in each state. We realize that some of Delaware’s highest performers select their students, at least in part, on some entrance criteria, and do not always reflect the full diversity of the state’s overall student body.

 

But this is still cause for celebration. Delaware ranked eighth because six of its schools (or roughly 17.6 percent) earned “gold or silver medals” from the publication.

 

  • Gold: Cab Calloway School of the Arts, Charter School of Wilmington
  • Silver: Middletown High School, Caesar Rodney High School, Mount Pleasant High School, Sussex Technical High School

 

The lofty ranking is one more positive sign of momentum for Delaware’s schools—and seemingly a shifting tide in the perception and reputation of our public school system. In the past few years we’ve seen:

 

  • Delaware high school graduations rates spike from 80 percent to 85 percent (see Rodel’s “At A Glance” page on graduation rate trends). Delaware was the No. 1 state in terms of increased high school graduation rate in 2014 as recognized by The U.S. Department of Education.
  • More students enrolling in AP and dual enrollment courses than ever before. In fact, the number of student taking dual enrollment college courses tripled from 800 in 2014 to 2,700 in 2015-16.

 

As encouraging as all this is, we can’t rest on our laurels. We have lots more work to do in preparing our high school grads for college and/or careers.

 

For example, we know that just 49 percent of Delaware’s young adult population (ages 18-24) has attained some postsecondary education and that by 2025, 65 percent of jobs in our economy will require some level of education beyond high school. Closing that gap will be tough, particularly for our highest need students.

 

But with the forward movement in our high schools, the growing partnerships with our higher ed partners to increase dual enrollment and college persistence, and our deepening commitments from business and education to build meaningful career pathways for students, I’m excited about where we are and where we’re going.

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