Tuesday, August 27, 2013

NISD Strengthens College & Career Readiness Plan

Navasota is moving to adjust career and college readiness initiatives and align them to meet the needs of the workforce while keeping pathways to college open. WIN Learning is partnering with NISD on tailoring planning and development of this program. This program is aimed at working earlier with students to ensure they are equipped with the skills and career direction needed for a productive life after high school.  The curriculum will be started through NISD’s Career and Technology program with a personalized Career Readiness System  through WIN Learning for junior high  and high school students.

Students must acquire increasingly complex skills for both 21st century jobs and postsecondary education opportunities. We know that career technical-education pathways require rigor and skill intensity. These courses will also help the college bound students relying on both sets of skills to get into college and beyond. The WIN Learning system will help Navasota ISD deliver highly prepared students to both the general workforce and college campuses.

The WIN Learning Personalized Career Readiness System is based on the WIN Educonomy Model – an intersection between education and local and regional economies where data on job markets helps students understand employ-ability as well as foundational and social skills within the context of future careers. This real-world focus helps determine the personalized selection of coursework and other experiences in high school that will lead students to their desired careers, either directly after graduation or following further training and/or completion of their college education.

The research-based Career-Driven Education model offers a three-pronged approach to prepare students for today’s global economic opportunities and challenges. With the data-rich career exploration system WIN Strategic Compass®, students can analyze current and projected labor market data to reveal career pathways. The program’s Initial Skills Review™ measures individual career readiness and skill development gaps, which leads to the WIN Career Readiness® Courseware, offering direct, contextual instruction through applied academics for workplace skill mastery.

The system also includes the recently launched WIN Soft Skills Series®, a first-of-its-kind program which builds skills mastery around the behavioral, attitudinal, social, and readiness skills employers and post-secondary programs demand. As the only web-based soft skills curriculum on the market today, WIN Soft Skills will provide Navasota ISD educators with an exclusive curricular framework to teach their middle and high school students highly sought after foundational behaviors such as conveying professionalism, communicating effectively, promoting teamwork and collaboration, thinking critically and solving problems. All attitudinal skills addressed in the courseware are revealed within the context of the workplace, to provide relevancy to the learning experience.

Navasota ISD will begin its implementation through Career and Technology Education Program, 9th grade Academy, and the Bizzell Academy.  Students will complete the Initial Skills Review. In 2014, all middle and high school students will begin using the Career Readiness and Soft Skills direct instruction courseware to advance basic workplace and college readiness skills.

The program was first introduced in March when representatives from NISD, the City of Navasota and the Navasota/Grimes County Chamber of Commerce hosted a meeting with local stakeholders to discuss workforce development and ways to educate students and expose them to real world projects to help prepare them for local job opportunities.  Currently NISD is funding the program through local funds and Career and Technology Education directed funds.  The hope is that the District will find a local partnership to sustain the program long term.

“Navasota, like many districts, is at a pivotal point where they need to have students understand education’s direct bearing on their future careers, keep them engaged in school, and prepare for what lies beyond high school,” said Joseph Goins, executive vice president, WIN Learning. “By incorporating this new education and workforce model, they are doing everything right to prepare their students for whatever they choose to do after high school graduation -- be that to attend college or a trade school, join the military or directly enter the workforce in the local community.”

NISD will soon announce a community based meeting to share the economic indicators that WIN has reported will help determine the path of the work-ready curricula of NISD as part of the transition to the endorsement plans under new legislation passed last spring.

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