Kentucky Schools Adopt Online Career and College Readiness Suite

The Kentucky C3R, a collaborative, career and college readiness initiative that is introducing instructional strategies and online learning tools statewide, reports there are now more than 100 rural middle and high school across 30 districts using the WIN Learning online suite of tools.

The Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative (KVEC) and Green River Regional Educational Cooperative (GRREC) are implementing the program, funded by a U.S. Department of Education Investing in Innovation (i3) grant.

“Across Kentucky, teachers are integrating WIN Learning and career-focused instruction into classes such as English language arts and math, and students are responding positively to the real-life relevance the program offers,” said Dessie Bowling, KY C3R grant manager. “In one school district, 82 percent of the students who completed the WorkKeys Assessment passed. This represents a 76 percent increase from the year before.”

The federal i3 competition sought to reward districts, school consortia, and nonprofit organizations that proposed the most innovative programs focused on improving teacher effectiveness, low-performing schools, standards and assessments, and data systems. The $650 million initiative is part of $100 billion in education aid funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the economic stimulus measure passed by Congress four years ago.

The Kentucky initiative outlined a plan dedicated to increasing student achievement and graduation rates within two high-need rural regions of Kentucky using WIN Learning’s Personalized Career Readiness System in both middle and high school curricula. The standards-aligned, web-based courseware offers project-based activities that can be adapted to a variety of instructional offerings including elective courses, math and literacy intervention classes, blended learning models, extended day programs, and career readiness certification programs.

Based on the propriety WIN Educonomy Model, the program is helping Kentucky students understand employability, and foundational and social skills within the context of future careers based on job market data specific to their local and regional economies.

Each of the registered Kentucky students begins with theInitial Skills Review™application, which measures individual career readiness and skill development gaps. After that, students are given access to the WIN Learning Career Readiness® Courseware (CRC). Designed for concept mastery, WIN’s CRC includes 41 competency-based, Internet-delivered modules, and more than 120 hours of skills remediation per skill, in ten academic and foundational skill topic areas. They include: reading for information, applied mathematics, locating information, listening and observation, applied technology, business writing, writing, work habits (soft skills) and teamwork. Learners work at their own pace through the system receiving constant, relevant feedback. Post-tests at the conclusion of each module and certificates of completion tell students they have succeeded in mastering the material.

The career-contextualized online learning tools also includes the career exploration system, WIN Strategic Compass®, which gives students a way to analyze current and projected labor market data to reveal career pathways. The final offering of the WIN program includes WIN Soft Skills Series®,a soft skills curriculum that helps build skills mastery for students around essential applied competency skills and foundational behaviors such as conveying professionalism, communicating effectively, promoting teamwork and collaboration, thinking critically and solving problems.