Eight states have joined forces to find the best ways to help connect high school students to a postsecondary education that leads to a full-time job. The Pathways to Prosperity Network is trying to develop a “gold-standard model” for states to use, identifying lessons learned and policy recommendations that are useful, according to a report in eCampus News.
The State Progress Report 2012-14, released by Jobs for the Future and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, found that while job availability differs from region to region, the health-care industry, information and computer science, and advanced manufacturing are areas of growth in all eight states and only require two-year degrees.
The report noted that career information should be provided to students in middle school. It also found that important “levers” in each participating state included work-based learning experiences; allowing students to earn college credits in high school; bringing together employers, high school, and community colleges to provide work-based learning opportunities; and creating cross-sector state leadership teams to make work-based learning opportunities possible.
“The states we are working with are committed to destroying once and for all the old notion that some kids need to prepare for college while others are being prepared for careers,” said Robert Schwartz, who helps lead the network. “They understand that, in the 21st century, all young people need to be prepared both for some form of further education and a career.”