LOW-INCOME, RURAL STUDENTS ARE CHANGING THEIR FUTURES THROUGH kid-FRIENDLy RTTT-D PROJECT IN KENTUCKY - Tech Learning

LOW-INCOME, RURAL STUDENTS ARE CHANGING THEIR FUTURES THROUGH kid-FRIENDLy RTTT-D PROJECT IN KENTUCKY

Kids drive own learning with input on WIN Learning’s Career Exploration Mobile App development Kingston, Tenn. – May 20, 2015 – As the school year ends, many students in low-income rural areas are left feeling that their time in class hasn’t brought them any closer to ever going to college or getting beyond a minimum wage job. However, students in north central and south central Kentucky are plotting their career paths and even finding the grants, scholarships and other funds to pursue their paths, thanks to the efforts and initiatives of the kid-FRIENDLy (Kids-Focused, Responsible, Imaginative, Engaged, Determined to Learn) Project (http://www.kidfriendlyky.com), a program funded in 2012 by the largest Race To The Top-District (RTTT-D) grant awarded.
Author:
Publish date:

Kingston, Tenn. – May 20, 2015 – As the school year ends, many students in low-income rural areas are left feeling that their time in class hasn’t brought them any closer to ever going to college or getting beyond a minimum wage job. However, students in north central and south central Kentucky are plotting their career paths and even finding the grants, scholarships and other funds to pursue their paths, thanks to the efforts and initiatives of the kid-FRIENDLy (Kids-Focused, Responsible, Imaginative, Engaged, Determined to Learn) Project (http://www.kidfriendlyky.com), a program funded in 2012 by the largest Race To The Top-District (RTTT-D) grant awarded.

The kid-FRIENDLy Project focuses on student empowerment, supporting students’ building daily habits of goal setting, teamwork, critical thinking, communication, creativity and problem solving, making them leaders of their own learning. The program also promotes personalized learning strategies, including online and off-campus work environments, flipped classrooms, student teaming, and emphasis on students’ learning needs, preferences and responsibility.

“When I started high school, I had no idea what I was going to do after graduation,” used to be a common refrain among students in the area, but now many are taking action for their future career paths while still in high school. They are deciding on professional fields such as civil engineering or psychology and researching which colleges have the courses best suited for helping them realize their goals. Individuals interested in positions in the agricultural field have joined organizations like FFA and 4H in addition to deciding on postsecondary education options.

The RTTT-D grant has made it even easier for students to consider and prepare for their future career paths by funding the development of a related WIN Learning Career Exploration and Planning mobile app for kid-FRIENDLy. The WIN Atlas app helps students identify potential career interests and gain insight into the relationship between their education and career pathways. It includes an Interest and Work Profiler feature that aids in the development of an individualized learning plan by helping students choose a career pathway that matches their interests, priorities and work values. “It’s about student empowerment,” said Dr. Teresa Chasteen, CEO and president of WIN Learning. “They’re digital natives, tech is welded to their palm, so they get to use the app the way they want. They have a voice and ownership in the development of their path.”

“Research shows that students who see the relevance of their curriculum to their own goals and are studying things they have chosen to learn are more likely to have a good reason to come regularly to school and to be willing to put attention and effort into their schoolwork,” said Joseph Goins, WIN Learning’s executive vice president.

Managed by two education service agencies, the Green River Regional Education Consortium (GRREC), and the Ohio Valley Education Consortium (OVEC), the kid-FRIENDLy Project works with 111 schools in 22 districts. The districts use WIN Learning's Career Readiness System to assist students who need extra support in reading and math. Additionally, educators use myStrategic Compass to help students explore career options. “This tool is very useful for students to take a look at their strengths, examine career options in Kentucky versus those outside of Kentucky and make a more informed choice about their career path,” said Sandra Baker, the associate executive director of learning support services for GRREC.

“Our students don’t have many models of careers,” said Dennis Horn, the Race to the Top program manager for OVEC. “There are very few examples in many rural communities, few opportunities for job shadowing or internships, and there is a general mindset among parents and students that ‘we can’t afford or attain it, so why bother.’ Students often have a hard time seeing a clear path to meaningful postsecondary experiences that will lead to a good life, so WIN Learning and the work of the kid-FRIENDLy program fills a deep need.”

Educators themselves receive support through the kid-FRIENDLy’s Leaders Developing Leadership component, which provides guidance to principals in leading change, improving teacher performance and making data-based decisions. The program’s Communities of Practice component supports teacher leaders as they learn about personalization and innovation in the classroom. The project also includes a competency-based teaching component that supports schools as they shift from focusing on course completion to mastery of standards so that students will be able to move fluidly from standard to standard rather than grade to grade.

One of the most popular components of the WIN program among educators and students is WIN Learning’s soft skills curriculum. The schools use WIN Learning’s SOFT SKILLS curriculum in different ways. For example, one school requires the students to pass the soft skills test before being eligible for job shadowing. Others use the SOFT SKILLS curriculum during Life 101 classes or to assist students with passing industry certification assessments. According to the teachers, “Soft skills are very important, especially in everyday life, and it's funny how students at this age, they don't have a lot of knowledge of soft skills. Kids today don't know how to interview, they don't know how to ask questions.” Students have also attested to the value of the soft skills curriculum with statements such as “There are many communication and listening skills that it taught me that I didn't have any clue about before.”

“This partnership gives educators the tools to help build student awareness around their future career options and the relationship to their current classroom learning,” concluded Chasteen. “It’s exciting to be part of something so transformative –– where more and more students will graduate with a vision for their future and a plan to get there.”

Elisa Beth Brown, GRREC program manager, was interviewed about the kid-FRIENDLy Project on Ed Talk Radio on Thursday, May 14. Interested parties can listen to the talk at http://bit.ly/1RKst7Z

About WIN Learning

Since 1996, WIN has become the leading provider of career readiness solutions to help districts prepare pathways for students’ futures, whether they are college, trade school, military or workplace bound. For more information, go to www.winlearning.com or call 888-717-9461.

# # #

Featured

Related

PARTNERS FOR EDUCATION AT BEREA COLLEGE SELECTS WIN CAREER READINESS SYSTEM TO PREPARE APPALACHIAN KENTUCKY STUDENTS FOR LIFE AFTER HIGH SCHOOL

Award-winning digital teaching and learning solution selected to help 20,000 students in school districts across 18 KY counties develop skills needed for college and career success   Kingston, TN – Aug. 26, 2014 – Committed to improving educational outcomes for Appalachian Kentucky students and putting them on the path to success after high school, administrators of Partners for Education at Berea College have chosen the WIN Career Readiness System as its digital teaching and learning solution for college and career readiness preparation. The award-winning, web-based solution from WIN Learning provides a comprehensive career exploration and planning system, college readiness assessments, and career readiness foundational academic and employability skills support. 

WIN LEARNING PUBLISHES WHITE PAPER ON THE IMPORTANCE OF RIGOR, RELEVANCE AND REAL-WORLD APPLICATIONS IN MATH CLASSROOMS promo image

WIN LEARNING PUBLISHES WHITE PAPER ON THE IMPORTANCE OF RIGOR, RELEVANCE AND REAL-WORLD APPLICATIONS IN MATH CLASSROOMS

Kingston, Tenn. — March 30, 2015 — Research shows that connecting students’ classes to their future and to real-world careers inspires them to work harder in school. Yet, when it comes to math, many schools struggle with how to best provide these connections for students. To help educators make learning relevant in a subject that students often question as irrelevant, WIN Learning today announces the publication of a new white paper titled, “Mathematic Rigor and Relevant Career Experiences.” 

WIN LEARNING TO OFFER ITS CAREER AND COLLEGE READINESS SYSTEM TO URBAN SCHOOL DISTRICTS THROUGH PARTNERSHIP WITH SUSSMAN SALES

Kingston, Tenn. – Sept. 3, 2014 – A 2012 report from the National Center for Education Statistics states that urban youth often have more difficulty envisioning and investing in their futures fully, due to circumstances endemic to many urban communities. To help expose urban students to a vast variety of career paths and provide them with the required academic and skills instruction, WIN Learning is now offering the WIN Career Readiness System through Sussman Sales, the leading provider of education solutions to New York Public Schools and other urban districts.

WIN LEARNING AND NEPRIS FORM STRATEGIC  CONTENT AND TECHNOLOGY PARTNERSHIP promo image

WIN LEARNING AND NEPRIS FORM STRATEGIC CONTENT AND TECHNOLOGY PARTNERSHIP

Alliance connects college and career readiness curriculum with ‘virtual’ expert in classrooms     Kingston, Tenn. – April 16, 2015 – WIN Learning, developers of the WIN Career Readiness System, and Nepris, a cloud-based platform connecting STEAM (science, technology, engineering, performing arts and math) professionals with teachers and their students, today announced they have entered into a strategic partnership to provide students with opportunities to connect the knowledge and skills they learn in school to the real world.  

POMONA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT RECEIVES ACCREDITATION AWARD FROM COUNCIL ON OCCUPATIONAL EDUCATION

WIN Learning’s Web-Based Career Readiness System is the foundation of district’s career program   Kingston, Tenn. – Nov. 10, 2014 – Pomona Unified School District’s Adult and Career Education Program has secured accreditation from the Council on Occupational Education (COE). Under the leadership of program director, Dr. Enrique Medina, the Pomona program exceeded the expectation of the COE and received a six-year term, the maximum awarded, in part because of its comprehensive implementation of the WIN Career Readiness System developed by WIN Learning.

EL PASO ISD ADMINISTRATORS TO PRESENT ON CAREER AND COLLEGE READINESS EFFORTS TO MEET POST-SECONDARY REALITIES AT MODEL SCHOOL CONFERENCE

District Piloting WIN Learning’s Personalized Career Readiness System With Soft Skills-Based Training, Personalized Project-Based Learning And Career Exploration Program Kingston, Tenn. – June 12, 2014 – Bob Dylan’s lyrics, “The times, they are a-changin’,” have never been more relevant as educators face new mandates for preparing students for the future. School administrators must ensure their high school graduates are both college and career ready.  The importance of this demands that schools enhance their curriculum offerings to help student develop the essential academic and soft skills. 

WIN LEARNING AND NEPRIS FORM STRATEGIC  CONTENT AND TECHNOLOGY PARTNERSHIP promo image

WIN Learning Announces Strategic Partnership with the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network

In an effort to close the large and lingering gaps in graduation rates for many groups of disengaged or disadvantaged students, WIN Learning, developers of the WIN Career Readiness System, and the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network (NDPC/N), the nation’s leader in school dropout prevention, have formed a strategic partnership to help students recognize the personal relevance of their education, reach their learning potential, and graduate from high school ready for college or career.

High Plains Regional Education Cooperative to Make WIN Learning’s Soft Skills Series Available to School Districts Across Northeast New Mexico

Web-based Courseware Designed to Hone Interpersonal Skills, Attitudes and Work Habits Required for Career and College Readiness Kingston, TN - Aug. 19, 2013 – Understanding that college isn’t necessarily the first stop on a student’s post high school path, High Plains Regional Education Cooperative (HPREC) is the first in New Mexico to offer WIN Learning’s WIN Soft Skills Series® to schools across its eight member districts. The only web-based soft skills curriculum on the market today, WIN Soft Skills builds mastery around the behavioral, attitudinal, social, and readiness skills that both employers and post-secondary programs like college and trade schools demand.