While RWL is not a new idea, hosting a community event that includes administrators, teachers, students, and local business leaders would give all stakeholders a chance to learn about RWL opportunities. The event would provide an occasion for everyone to network and learn about local business opportunities and interested parties. If done well, the event will result in multiple collaborators who can draw connections and begin to coordinate their activities.
In addition to the other RWL activities and experiences available, we will host career exploration events at each school. The events would develop students’ interest in career pathways and engage them in RWL activities. The students would then have a firmer grasp on their career interests so that they can be better prepared for their professional lives. In order to better tailor future experiences and activities to their interests and needs, students would also have access to an online portal that would enable them to provide feedback on the RWL experiences and activities they are engaged in.
While we have piloted RWL activities in our district, we have gained some insights as to how we can improve it. The next phase will involve developing best practices and tying them into our roadmap so that we can have the most successful program possible. This will include creating more opportunities for students to develop themselves professionally through either job shadows or internships.
Richard Sheehand, Ed.D., Superintendent of CVUSD realizes that they’re preparing students for jobs that have yet to be imagined. “It is important,” he shares, “that we engage our students in Real World Learning activities that build on their career interests, and develop 21st-century skills that are vital for success in a knowledge-based economy.” It is the shared hope of the district that this will provide students with the greatest number of options so that they can make the most informed career decisions.