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Career Pathway Quality and Rigor
The New Skills for Youth states addressed career pathway quality and rigor by developing statewide pathway models and policies and ensuring equitable access to pathway components that enhance students’ college and career readiness.
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All New Skills for Youth states developed policies and directed funding and support to expand work-based learning (WBL) opportunities in career and technical education and other programs.
Introduced State-Level WBL Coordination
Five states designated statewide or regional intermediaries to coordinate outreach to employers among WBL providers, including school districts, schools, non-profits, and postsecondary institutions.
Launched Efforts to Promote WBL Quality
Eight states established minimum standards and guidelines for WBL placement quality and pathway alignment.
Provided Platforms to Connect Students and Employers
Five states provided virtual platforms to connect students and employers for WBL, and one state created virtual WBL experiences to connect rural students and industry professionals.
Expansion of Work-Based Learning
All New Skills for Youth states focused on expanding WBL during the initiative, and the number of students participating in WBL increased in multiple states. Opportunities to expand WBL programs remain, particularly in rural communities or areas lacking transportation and for students in pathways outside career and technical education.
As capacity to collect student-level data on WBL participation developed, states tracked a variety of measures to assess change in WBL over time.
WBL OpportunitiesIn April 2019, Louisiana voted to expand Jump Start Summers, a summer program allowing students to earn pay and participate in WBL, to
Districts and SchoolsAs of December 2019,
26high school and workforce partners in Massachusetts offered 61 innovation pathways (new under New Skills for Youth) requiring a 100-hour internship or capstone project.
StudentsAs of March 2019, WBL course enrollment in Tennessee had increased by
27%between the 2017-18 and 2018-19 academic years.
Benjamin Logan High School, Ohio
In 2018-19, Benjamin Logan High School launched “Career Connections,” an 18-week paid internship program for 12th grade students, using pilot funds from the state’s Personalized Professional Pathway (P3) initiative developed during New Schools for Youth. In the program’s first year, 20 students completed internships with 13 different employers, including an early childhood education center; elder care facility; sheriff’s department; and HVAC/construction company.
A business teacher at the high school manages the program and serves as the single point of contact for participating employers, who meet with the teacher at least four times by phone and in person throughout the internships.
Participating employers complete regular evaluations of student performance, with a focus on reliability, punctuality, teamwork, leadership, and communication. School staff rely on these evaluations to ensure that students are meeting their internship requirements and that any issues arising are addressed promptly.
As part of the P3 pilot, the Ohio Department of Education provided guides and resources to Benjamin Logan High School and seven other pilot districts. These were used to create forms to support employer engagement, such as an internship agreement and evaluation form.