Career Readiness

The importance of aligning education with the needs of economic development has never been greater. Economies are transforming at a pace of change unmatched in history. Globalization is rewriting the rules of competition.

The United States lags behind many countries in achievement and attainment in secondary and postsecondary learning, according to OECD. Employers report that today’s graduates frequently lack basic skills in math, science, writing and foundational skills in adaptability, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. At the same time, technology and productivity gains in the workplace require higher level thinking and technical skills, even for entry-level positions.

Defining a Career-Ready Graduate

A career ready graduate possesses the knowledge, skills and dispositions required to succeed in a sustainable wage career. This means graduating with a strong foundation in core content literacies, lifelong learning skills and career oriented dispositions that support working independently and collaboratively in a variety of settings.

All students need a combination of rigorous academics, technical training, skills development, and a love of learning to be ready for 21st century careers. Schools, employers and higher education institutions must join forces like never before to prepare all students for success beyond high school.

How We Focus on Career Readiness

As a catalyst for innovation in education with a statewide reach, NC New Schools is uniquely positioned to help align education and the economy. Our focus on career readiness for all students includes the following efforts:

  • Support development of a statewide seamless system to transition all students successfully from school to career.
  • Advance the power of excellence in teaching, learning and leading through effective supports for teachers, principals and administrators to ensure they can meet the individual needs of each student.
  • Continue to blend secondary and postsecondary experiences so all students have the opportunity to graduate with a high school diploma and college credit or industry-recognized credential(s).
  • Expand networks of economically-themed schools and blended career academies to forge direct connections to high-demand, high-growth sectors of the economy.
  • Encourage expansion of deep, meaningful partnerships with industry leading to increased high quality work-based experiences and industry-linked field studies for educators and a continuum of school-to-career experiences for students, ranging from career awareness activities to job shadowing and mentoring, to internships and apprenticeships.
  • Encourages development of regional and local intermediary organizations to be the connector between teachers, counselors and students and high-quality work-based experiences. Examples include Industry Innovation Councils, local school and districtwide business advisory boards, local chambers of commerce, regional workforce development boards, education partnerships, and economic development organizations.

Download our 4-page brochure:
The Power of School-Industry Partnerships

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