Kingston, Tenn. – June 10, 2013 – As the labor market transformed during the knowledge economy era of the last 50 years, getting a high school diploma has become ever more important. Alarmingly, nearly one in every three students who start high school in the ninth grade fails to complete the 12th grade within four years, leaving millions of young people out of school and grossly ill equipped to compete in the 21st century workforce and economy. But in West Virginia, a new Personalized Career Readiness System from WIN Learning is playing a critical role in helping high school students across the state persist and complete high school, and prepare for the postsecondary education and workforce training that will be critical to the state’s future economic success.
According to Assistant State Superintendent of Schools, Division Technical, Adult and Institutional Education, Dr. Kathy D’Antoni, the WIN Learning system was selected because it was the first program she encountered that fully supports Career and Technical Education (CTE).
“The WIN Learning system sets the standard for readying students for both college AND careers through the integration of academic, technical, and employability skills development; by partnering with local business and industry; and by emphasizing the attainment of meaningful credentials,” she said.
Indeed, at the Fayette Institute of Technology (FIT) in Oak Hill, WV, Principal Barry Crist credits WIN Learning with not only helping students meet their academic goals, but in finding their element in future careers. “Students who are genuinely excited about graduating and moving on to an engaging career aren’t typically found in rural, vocational technology programs. But through this program our students see the direct connection between what they’re learning and their future,” said Crist. “Many plan to seek out some of the most advanced certifications in their fields. WIN Learning is something every high school should offer.”
The 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 employability, 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 completing their college education.
“It is the resource I’ve been waiting for,” said D’Antoni. “It’s rigorous. It’s relevant. It’s personalized and it’s project-based. It puts everything in context for our students. They can relate what’s going on in their classrooms now - be it math or science or language arts – to what they will do in the future. That is so powerful, especially because it supports students whether they go directly into the workforce or elect to secure a postsecondary credential or degree.”
Designed for middle and high school students, WIN Learning’sPersonalized Career Readiness System is a comprehensive solution comprised of a series of standards-aligned, web-based programs that help students understand and prepare for the realities of college and the workplace. With the data-rich career exploration system WIN Strategic Compass®, school district leaders and 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, and the WIN Career Readiness® Courseware uses applied academics to promote workplace skill mastery.
The system also includes the 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.
D’Antoni also plans to extend the program’s use to support West Virginia students as they prepare for the mandatory WorkKeys® Assessments. WorkKeys is a program that measures students’ foundational skill levels valuable to any occupation at any level of education in such subjects as applied mathematics, reading for information and locating information. When a student successfully completes the program, they received a certificate that ensures mastery.
“These ‘real world’ skills don’t just happen organically. Our students need curriculum support in honing these critical skills,” said D’Antoni. “With WIN Learning we not only prepare students for good outcomes on the WorkKeys Assessments, but we know that it can complement diplomas, degrees, and resumes and it gives job seekers an advantage in the interview process.”
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. To date, more than 10 million students worldwide have participated in the specialized career–driven courseware and education intervention initiatives as well as career-readiness certification programs. For more information, go to www.winlearning.com or call 888-717-9461.
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