Greater attention is being given by education and political leaders for a focus on student achievement to include both college and career readiness. The practices that should be implemented to achieve this broad definition of readiness will require significant and creative efforts by school leaders.
Before embarking on adopting practices such as career academies, STEM initiatives or expanded Career Technical and Education programs, leaders need to establish a “Why” for improvement. In order to elevate authentic student readiness to a primary goal of education, it requires raising the level of awareness among school staff and parents and a strong role of advocating for practices that contribute to college and career readiness.
One of the activities of the Successful Practices Network is to support school leaders in their awareness and advocacy efforts. Through this website, social media, the online community and membership in the SPN school network, a variety of resources and ideas will be shared to support your local awareness and advocacy initiatives.
Keep in mind some of the important practices in regard to any awareness effort.
- Frequency is Important – rather than providing a large volume of information provide frequent, small pieces of information as a continuous flow of ideas.
- Stimulate Discussion – raising public awareness is not a one-way communication process, but should include opportunities for discussion and reaction to new information that is presented.
- Focus on all Audiences – do not limit awareness activities to staff, be sure to include school board, parents, community leaders and most of all students.
- Focus on the Future – the emphasis on career readiness should not be used as an indictment or criticism of past educational practices. The focus on career readiness is about improving future direction rather than correcting any implied mistakes in the past.
- Blog – the SPN blog provides a continuous stream of ideas and perspectives provided by staff and guest authors on current topics related to career readiness. You’re encouraged to view the blog on a regular basis and share interesting articles with staff. If you’re seeking ideas on how to begin your awareness activities, specifically look at the blog, “Ten Ways to Raise Awareness on Career Readiness.” <link>
- Online Magazine – SPN provides an ongoing archive of Internet articles related to career readiness in a flipboard called the Career Readiness – Now and for the Future. This provides an ongoing and updated resource for articles and information.
- Twitter – SPN provides an active twitter feed, @SPNTeachers and @SPNLeaders with interesting articles and links related to school improvement practices.
- Video — SPN website has copies and links to videos that support local presentations to raise awareness of issues around career readiness
SPN is not the only organization providing information to support your awareness efforts in career readiness. Please check out our partners page for several organizations which provide valuable information and services.
Following are links to several career readiness resources which you will find useful.
- Pathways to Prosperity: Meeting the Challenge of Preparing Young Americans for the 21st Century 2011 report summarizing challenges of school reform and career training.
- Common Core State Standards & Career and Technical Education: Bridging the Divide – strategies for district leaders to ensure the implementation of Common Core State Standards engages, informs, and benefits from career and technical education
- @HoustonCCR – Career Readiness from Houston ISD
- @actecareertech – Association for Career & Technical Education
- @NRCCTE – National Research Center for Career and Technical Education
- @EPIC_online – Educational Policy Improvement Center
- @CTEWorks – National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium
- @MyFutureMyWay – Academies of Nashville
- @jfftweets -Jobs for the Future
- Ready for Success Blog – College and Career Readiness and Success Center (CCRS Center) from American Institutes for Research
- Engage. Connect. Now. – The NC3T Blog
- Learning That Works – National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc)
- Jobs for the Future Blog – Jobs for the Future