Individual states develop employability standards based on industry trends, and their guidelines support local school systems to better prepare students for the workforce. These range from skills used to develop mindset, work ethic, and their social and emotional skills. When developing the guidelines with a Business and Industry Advisory Committee, include these standards as they will assure that curriculum is developed with students’ future employability in mind.
Once the standards have been developed, share them with all staff in order to maximize student outcomes. Share these standards with business and industry in the area as well, and see if they have any feedback or additions. This will assure that you are preparing students for local standards as well since many students may decide to stay in the area.
1. Include state employability standards in school improvement plans and curriculum.
2. Share the standards with all staff, businesses, and industry.
Training teachers on implementing project based learning well will ensure program success. We connected with the Buck Institute for Education for resources and training, and provided follow-up support from interested volunteers within our district.
1. Reach out to organizations who can support your goals with training or resources.
2. Select staff members who will champion the program to do the initial training.
3. Develop a plan for sustainability.
Training the administrative team on Real World Learning will allow them to provide better support to teachers. Start by providing an overview of your district’s vision for RWL, including the different forms that this can take. The administrative team will then be able to support teachers by championing RWL in ongoing district improvement plans and allocating financial resources for RWL training for teachers. Providing administrators with the relevant resources to implement the district’s strategic plan will assure that you focus on preparing students for their professional lives.
1. Provide administrators with an overview of the district vision for RWL.
2. Review school improvement plans for evidence of required career awareness goals.
3. Provide relevant resources to support RWL.
The Indiana Department of Education has developed the Professional Growth Plan as an alternative to renewing a professional educator’s license. The Indiana Department of Education has a new requirement of 15 professional growth points for teacher license renewal related to career, employability, and economic awareness.
While fulfilling a state requirement, this also provides teachers with an opportunity to get professional development and training on partnering with employers to promote student career navigation. Share this Department of Education guidance with all staff, and guide them in the coursework process. By providing them with avenues for externships, guest speaker events, field trips, and other opportunities for teachers, they can fulfill their requirements for their teaching license while learning how to better support students to gain their own professional development.
1. Research your state's Department of Education requirements for employability training for teachers.
2. Help teachers link Real World Learning opportunities to professional growth.
In order to supplement classroom RWL experiences, externships for students will be an invaluable asset for their growth. Meet with local and regional economic development teams to coordinate how your students can find new opportunities.
Additionally, meet with area universities and colleges to locate other funding sources that would support program sustainability and allow students to have more experiential learning and training opportunities. These funding sources allow K-12 representatives, post-secondary representatives, employers, and community-based organizations to collaborate on comprehensive, career-focused solutions for their community.
1. Meet with local and regional economic development teams to plan externships.
2. Meet with area universities to locate other funding sources.
3. Meet with area legislators to advocate for career readiness support.