Webinar: True Career Readiness For All
August 31, 2019
thank you for joining us for today’s leading change webinar,
True Career Readiness For All. Today’s webinar is sponsored by Odysseyware.
Before we begin, I’d like to review just a few quick housekeeping
items. We will be accepting questions throughout
the webinar and stopping periodically to answer them.
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We will be sharing a recording of the webinar with you,
as well a copy of the slide deck once we wrap up here,
so keep an eye on your email box, tomorrow for detail on how to access those
Now, let’s get started. I’m pleased to welcome our speaker from College
of the Sequoias in Central California,
Mike Niehoff. Mike has 25 years of experience as a secondary
educator. He’s currently the career technical education
grant manager at College of the Sequoias but has also been a teacher,
advisor, director of activities,
learning director and principal
whose got a lot of experience to draw on and share with us today.
He’s the founding principal of the award winning one to one
project based Minarets High school, Minarets Charter High School
that opened in 2008. He and his students and programs have been
widely recognized by apple, Google,
The National Association of Secondary School Principals,
CUE and many other organizations.
Mike is a regular education blogger, including for smart blogger on education,
educational technology and mobile learning and his own education blog which we
encourage you to check out Edu Change & Advocacy.
He’s a Google certified teacher, CUE Lead Learner
and Buck Institute for Education National faculty member
who regularly present on contemporary and progressive education issues.
We’re really looking forward to hearing what Mike has to share with us today
about career and technical education, so I’m going to go ahead and hand things over
to him to get us started. [pause]
>>MIKE: Right. Well, happy Wednesday everybody.
We’re going to jump right into this career readiness for all.
And before we do, we’ll kind of do a little historical perspective.
Although the term college and career readiness has certainly become
kind of a very popular term.
And I think it’s something that we initially most of us will probably like to
buy into. But we’re going to maybe kind of deal with
why those are potentially flawed
or at least not living up to those expectation. But again, historically
American high schools had traditional, a two pathways
sort of system. And I think I had this as a student
and also participating in this system as a teacher.
We sort of have the college-bound or college prep track
if you will. And then we have something that was typically
called vocational Ed that you saw like in short classes and that
type of thing. The problem with this system is that
I’m not sure we necessarily either one of them was ever
completely maximized or successful but I think it was at least accepted
that that was sort of the dominant paradigm. There were obviously problems with this
and it was tracking and that made some of feel uncomfortable that
we were maybe making decisions about students futures
or lives based on whatever criteria we were using.
But I think society at least bought into the idea
that this was sort of a dual purpose of high school.
And this probably went on for a 100 years possibly,
certainly most of the 20th century. However,
We’ve kind of undergone pressures probably for many years now
and a lot of us have seen these kinds of graphs before,
these information graphs, how is America competing international?
How are our high school students competing with
their peers internationally? And we’ve kind of seen these whether it’s
the PISA or others is that we typically do not score
in a whole host of categories but usually related to things related to math,
science, or English language,
reading, that type of thing. This is something that we’ve seen these for
years. I would say this honestly started probably
back when we started the space rates with the soviet union is that
we were kind of on this international global competitive train.
And at least by the standardized test, we were not doing well,
have not done well and still do not do well.
We could argue whether this is truly the way to gauge global competiveness
because if you check things like international patterns,
number of entrepreneurs and a whole bunch of other things America
actually is number one but one these test we typically are not.
[pause] The other thing that we’ve seen,
I think certainly as myself as an educator I have participated in sharing this sort of
information with students all the time this idea that the more education you receive,
the more money you make over your lifetime. Seems pretty logical right?
And seems to make sense and I think even students buy into this idea.
I think it’s probably the number one reason why
majority of the students have identified their goals as aiming towards college
or higher education or university.
Just because they’re going to make more money, they are going to get a better paying job.
And educators really bought into those hook line and sinker
and I think parents have too. We’re going to talk about whether this is
accurate or not or whether it is still relevant or not.
And it has truths but it is not necessarily portray the entire
story and that is part of our problem.
But this is certainly still a key and primary motivator
that education will use all the time. [pause]
Okay, so through the 20th century,
as the 20th century sort of concluded there, we really saw a shift in American education
because of those international comparative scores
because of wanting the higher salaries, seeing that last graphic.
And just sort of pushing the country to be more competitive,
to be more accountable. We really saw some new systems developing,
we saw an increase emphasis on standardized assessments
all the way to the national level. We saw a big push to send more people to college
and specifically, the four year universities.
That happen, we really started seeing the vocational Ed
programs, a part of that was those,
traditionally one of those primary tracks, we really saw that sort of fading away
to the point were actually a lot of schools literally just got rid of
their short programs or their vocational Ed programs.
There was definitely a greater emphasis on English and math
and kind of core academics with the idea that more students
or all students need to be prepared to go to the university.
This is when they are going to make more money, this is where the jobs are
and this is how we’re going to compete internationally is that we have to get more people to the
university and our courses have to prepare them.
So we really bought into this whole heartedly. I think it’s culminated with
what happened with No Child Left Behind and sort of our standardized assessments movement.
And you’re seeing now finally a big reaction to that
kind of a delayed reaction because it didn’t really,
necessarily deliver what we wanted. We haven’t become more competitive globally.
We’ve sent more people to college and we’ll talk about whether that’s been successful.
We haven’t engaged more students in school, so we really went down a road
in a response and now you’re seeing sort of the swing
because that didn’t actually pay off or play out like we imagined.
So this idea that kind of going back to what is the purpose
of high school, what is the purpose of our education.
We talked about in higher Ed we know it’s about giving hopefully a job
or higher paying job. But we’ve really struggled with what is the
purpose of high school. And so
if you’re a high school teacher, you’ve always had these discussion with students,
you know kind of why are we doing things. And I think the challenge was that in
many of courses still to this day, we will say things to students such as
we’re doing this because you will need this in college,
meaning the university, so we’re doing this in English or math
or maybe some other subject, you’ll use this in college.
And I don’t know about you but myself,
I had some experiences where I was doing advanced math in high school
and I can tell you now that 30 plus years later,
I’ve never used it in any aspect of my career whether it was at the university
and I’ve been to three universities and I’ve obtained several degrees,
I didn’t use any of that content knowledge at all
nor have I ever used in my career. My career has got nothing to do with that
subject area. So we’ve had kind of a false I would say,
promise there to students. I think students are becoming more and more
savvier if you will to what is relevant, what do people really do in the real world
and we have to give them, not just say that
but be able to demonstrate it to them whatever we’re teaching in our classes
that it is something that people use on a daily basis
that all of us will be able to use. And whether it’s a technical skill,
or an academic skills. But it is something we’re wrestling with
and I think that is driving a lot of our discussion towards,
what does it really mean to be career ready or you could say even college ready.
And so this is something we have to kind of continue to flesh out
and be a little more honest with ourselves and that we might have a system
that is existed for lot of years now that may not be relevant
and it may not answer those type of questions to students.
Okay, so we talked about how we really bought into
this university for all. And it seemed it felt good.
As a teacher I’m getting more students to go to college,
more students to get into four year universities, our courses are preparing them more.
But I can tell you that in my estimation it has not been a success.
I can tell you in my home state of California, which I think it’s probably fairly typical
nationally, even though we got more students to maybe
be qualify to go to college
and some more students to attend the university, it has not been successful.
Only about half of the students that ever enter a university
ever complete or graduate. And then only half of them are finding a job
that needed that degree. So it’s actually created this whole new economic
category called gray collar jobs. We’re familiar with white collar and blue
collar and this was developed by a gentleman Kevin
Fleming at Citrus College as he gather all the data on this
that we have a lot of people now even these ones that have actually graduated
it’s not a good success data point but the ones that are graduating,
they are not finding jobs that require that degree,
they are taking jobs that only required a 2 year degree
or a technical degree. So they are actually over educated
and under employed and they are not making that income that they
promised by getting more education. So this is kind of a really new phenomenon
we have to wrestle with is that we bought into something
that felt good, sounded good,
maybe even looked good and made sense but it has not paid off.
And now, we’re kind of stuck, well, what do we do?
And quite honestly, if you go to most high schools today,
this will still be the dominant I’d say message is about go to the university,
go to the university. Our courses are set up that way,
our requirements are set up that way, we looked to the universities to help us with
our requirements, and our programs,
and our assessments. There are exceptions that it is changing
but there still is, we have not seen the fall out completely from
this but for those of you might have
relations with people that are in their early to mid 20’s
and they’ve been completing university and getting a variety of degrees,
talk to them about their employment possibilities and aspects
and it’s not what it once was. When I went to the university in the 1980’s
yes, if you got a bachelors degree, you were going to be employed,
that was not a debate. Today, just getting any bachelors degree does
not lead to a specific job or career much more complex than that.
So one of things that I’m going to be referring to
is a college instructor, administrator at Sequoias College,
did this great study and a video that was produced called Success
In The New Economy. And he really broke this down.
And I think this is something that everybody needs to really pay attention to
and take a look at that traditionally
this has always been the case that out of any ten jobs in America,
only one of them would require an advance degree,
only two required a bachelors degree and seven of the ten require a two year technical
degree and this has always been the case.
And it historically has been the case, it’s the case now
and it’s estimated to be the case in the future. So we created a whole system about sending
more people out to the university, which again sounded good,
felt good, looked good,
appeared to be good, but it did not really connect to what the
economic realities are. So you could argue in reality what we should
have been really doing is encouraging more students to get that two
year technical degree because seven of the ten jobs are there.
And again this is tough because we don’t want to discourage students
from getting advanced degrees or bachelors degree
or master’s degree and so on. But what we want to teach them is
what career are you heading for, what jobs are you interested in,
what is the expectation there. And to have those aligned
and I would say now is a lot of misalignment. So we have a lot of students going on to community
college and university with no career plan,
no understanding of what jobs are available, what jobs they would be qualified for
or what jobs they would be interested in. They are just going on to get education
because that’s what they been told. So we really have to work to connect those
things a lot better. [pause]
So I refer to this video and I would really highly recommend
to all educators, all parents,
all business folks, all leaders in our country
that they have not watched this a little less than 10 minute video
called Success In The New Economy. It’s phenomenal
because this gentleman has gathered all this data about what we have done
in terms of our educational program and philosophy and national movement
and how it has not been connected to the economy despite all of our efforts
and despite some of that data that we looked at earlier.
So again, I would really highly recommend as soon as you’re completing
[LAUGHTER] your participation in this webinar
that you watch this video. This is something that I think is really going
to guide what we look at in terms of our high school
programs and how we advice students
and how we get them into the proper educational setting.
One of the things that we’ve got be really careful is that
when we had the university for all, we probably should have been calling it college
for all is that we do need to emphasize to high school
students that they’re going to need some post secondary
training. There really is not an economic situation
any longer where students can graduate from high school
and get a good paying job and a career.
However, there are lots of great jobs in technical fields
and they require two year degrees that we should be making sure that they are
aware of then all that fits together.
So again, highly recommend this video.
[pause] Before we kind of jump into this
as we move forward to the future here and kind of how we should response
maybe accepting that we didn’t respond initially the right way the first time in the last 20
years that we have an opportunity not to respond
differently to the way employment and work and the economy is actually evolving.
Does anybody have any question so far, or comments?
>>We have a couple of questions which may be addressing.
But basically, and this is a big question.
[LAUGHTER] What kind of
were your recommendations for changing the perception of CTE?
We had some people ask specifically about the parents
who grew up in the old paradigm but also to educators
who are having to prepare our students.>>MIKE: I definitely,
I’m going to address that. That’s kind of
hopefully will be the mid or towards the latter part of this presentation.
But you know there’s a lot education that’s taken place.
We really have to be honest with ourselves that even as educators,
we have probably been perpetuating some things that are not accurate,
not complete that we maybe had some biases. And our parents I think are responding to
two things. They are responding to certainly what they
know and what they experienced
which may or may not be as relevant as it once was.
And they are responding to the dominant paradigm that we’ve been perpetuating
that may not be accurate. So we’re sort of all victims of our own
campaign that we run for a number of years. And I’m sure people could question,
what I’m going to share with you is just another campaign.
But hopefully, you’re going to see that we’re looking at
things a little bit more connected and in a little more complex way.
So yeah, that’s going to hopefully become clear here.
>>Okay, we’re good. People are looking for answers to that,
so I think we can dive on it.>>MIKE: One of the things that I think we
really, and again,
as an educator I don’t have a problem with sort of enditing myself
and my peers is that we have not traditionally even in high school really
delve into the economy, work,
industry and certainly the nice thing about career
technical education is that they have and are
trying to do things that relate to industries and career
they talk to people, they’re connected to people.
And traditionally educators have not done that
and certainly not in core academics but the reality is that whether we fully accept
it or not the future of,
because of the global economy and a whole sort of
long list of many things including technology, is that the future of work is changing,
the dynamic of our economic is changing. This is something that is new that we have
not experienced before, so the global economy is real.
And some of the things that people are writing about is that
that the future of work is going to be very different.
So the one thing I’ve been reading a lot about is that this
40% of all future work will be contract work. So most of us are familiar with people that
already do this, right? They are independent contractors,
they have a skill set in a profession. They may have their own company
but the reality is they are going out and getting jobs
all the time. They have to kind of find their work,
they have to kind of sell people on their work.
So the fact that our future, nearly half of our economy will be based on
people who do that, it’s pretty dramatic.
So this idea that most of us grew up with whether you work for
an organization or work for a company,
that is really disappearing rapidly and that people are going to be
free agents if you will. They are going to have to go out and really
find the work and sell themselves.
So that’s a whole new paradigm that that’s going to be such a dominant part
of the all work that’s available. You could argue,
you’re seeing things like, Uber is an example of that right.
So we had taxis and taxi cab companies
but now, there’s a whole bunch of people who are kind
of basically taxi cab drivers but they are really independent contractors.
We may not like that, we may be afraid of that,
we may be skeptical but that’s coming,
that’s the reality. So think about all the work that we all are
familiar with how that becomes more entrepreneurial,
more contract, more free agent like.
And so because of that people are going to be really have to be adaptive
so what we, goes back,
in school what do we’re really training people to do.
The other statistics there is that the current 55-year-old
which I’m almost at that [LAUGHTER]
year, you know spent ten years on a job
while the typical 25-year-old spends three, so we know that the reality is
is that there’s a demographic too probably for lots of different reasons.
One the education, situation,
the economic situation. That kind of I think related to this entrepreneurial
future of work thing is that people are going to spend less time
on jobs. They are not going to have those long durations
with one organization or one career,
so much more rapid now. So they are going to actually prepare for
that individually but we have to address that sort of educationally,
like what tools they need, how do you become adaptive,
how do we all have an entrepreneurial sort of skill set,
all the soft skills, all the technical skills
and you’re going to have lots of different jobs,
you’re going to maybe work in multiple different industries.
It doesn’t make them become relevant because one of the misperceptions of CTE is
that we are training students for a career and that’s not the case.
Okay, and the other thing we have to look at is related to this world of work
is that this is really having a dramatic impact on kind of the skill set thing,
so I just was having a discussion, somebody was sharing with me that
there’s a movement out there right now that how important cursive is
that we should be teaching cursive in school and that students don’t know how to write
in cursive. And I threw back and I’m like
I don’t see that on the Fortune 500 list as a skill.
So what you’re saying was again a shift, historically there was a big emphasis sort
of the academic skills that writing, computation,
reading. So you could say in 1970
maybe our high school, standard high school academic program
was responding to industry and was relevant.
But today that’s not what industry is saying, it’s really focused a lot more on these soft
skills. And things like problem solving,
all these communication skills and some of those traditional academic skills
have moved now which might again,
might shock people, might frustrate people,
might disillusion people but it is the reality.
So we are definitely in transition, we’re definitely shifting
and what is our response to that? And knowing that it’s going to continue to
evolve, how do we really prepare students for that
world? And you’re seeing a lot of responses to that.
Certainly Carmen Cole was in attempt to respond to that
or any new standards and assessments are attempt to respond to that,
tech integration has been in attempt to respond to that.
So we’re trying is not that people aren’t in this game,
but we’ve got to continue to kind of dive deeper
and really look at this, and really talk to industry
and really study it and then really see how we can create things
that are adaptive for our students.
Okay, so now you’re seeing kind of this idea of vocational Ed kind of reemerging
and it has been called career technical education or CTE for many years now.
And I think that’s probably a good thing because I think vocational Ed as we knew it
probably had a lot of limitations. I don’t know if it was really very connected
to industry, I don’t know if it was very connected to jobs
specifically. I think we didn’t even necessarily have to
connect it to the technology or current technology.
I think we had, so we had a lot of water down vocational Ed
programs. And I’ll be honest I think a lot of it was
not the school’s priority and we did a lot of things where we just track
students and there was some dumping ground type mentality
going on doesn’t mean they want their programs in certain
places. But what we’re seeing now with career technical
education is really a whole new model.
And this idea that we really are focusing on skills
including academic skills, but it’s kind of these global skills that
we need. And this idea that we really are connected
to industry and work, so that we have regardless of what program
or course, is that it ties directly to things that are
happening in the world, things that are happening in the industry,
so there’s a relevancy, there a contemporary nature to it,
there’s an adaptive nature to it. And this idea that this has to include things
like job shadowing and internships and work based opportunities.
And then this idea of the four C’s, so you’re going to hear a lot employers talk
about, we want students,
you saw that from the Fortune 500 right? Want students to be collaborative.
And so again, how do you create something where students
get all of these skills and they get them in real practical ways.
Probably not happening in most of our core academic classes,
although there are exceptions. But hopefully happening in things like CTE
or career technical Ed courses. And so it’s taking some of the old
engagements, some of the old attractions,
some of the old ways where we get students involved
but the whole new kind of approach in terms of the level of sophistication
and context. And you see all kinds of things develop
so we’ve been seeing for years now like this link learning academies
and link learning pathways. And well people are developing full blown
programs, right? And links learning is something that’s become
very successful and popular. It’s not the only way to do CTE
but it means but the idea that you have students learning
English, maybe math
or science or maybe some other courses connected to
a career or pathway area, so the idea there.
And the real advantage is that students are having,
they are cohorted students, so they are taking that
they might be an Ag science program and there are other core academics
or linking to Ag science, so they’re learning things in a context.
And it’s one of the probable things that happen there
and we’ll talk about that. And the idea that this is work based movement.
But if you’re really talking about getting students career ready,
how are we exposing them to the world but they never campus,
that’s probably not getting them ready for careers
or for the real world. If they never interact with professional,
that’s not probably getting them ready for the real world,
if they never communicate with or present to adults outside of school
that’s probably not getting them ready. If they are not using current equipment
and current technology, that’s not getting them ready,
so that idea. And in this kind of come back
is that we’re seeing some early success with students
that are having these different experiences, having higher graduation rates,
actually entering college more. So despite this thing that
before we were kind of doing this big university push,
didn’t really pay off in any way and we weren’t getting at many more students
there. Students that are taking CTE courses
or actually continuing their education on a higher rate
and they are completing at a higher rate. So they are finishing,
they’re graduating, they’re finishing degrees
so they actually have a higher post secondary completion rate.
And they are coming our way with I will say discrete skills that can be identify
by employers or educators et cetera.
[pause] So why is CTE successful?
And I think some of it is obvious and maybe some of it less so
is that first of all, more so than ever before I think students
are looking at being engaged. I think some of our traditional academic programs
have just further and further kind of removed themselves from what’s happening
in the world, whether it’s technology
or solving problems and so on. So you’re seeing people look to more project
based type things And CTE is certainly part of that
to just engage students, right? Because if you don’t have students interested
in what you’re doing, or come into your class and participating
we’re kind of spinning our wheels. And so this idea that it works because we’re
getting people involved, we’re getting students involved in their own
learning and anytime we do that you’re going to have
more success. The other thing I talk a lot about is the
power of the cohort is that we’ve known for years
that human beings perform better when they belong to something,
when they are part of a team, part of a group
and they have an opportunity to get to know each other over time
and get to know the people they work with. And so what’s nice about a lot of CTE pathways
and programs is students take multiple courses overtime
that are potentially connected to one another in a variety of ways.
But the reality is their peer group becomes a cohort
and they work with a cohort of adults. And that’s extremely powerful,
that’s not something that all high school students have today.
They go through four years of high school and they haven’t really connected to a cohort
of peers or a cohort of adults
And those two things alone are probably the most impactful things
and CTE does that. The other thing is this idea I’m getting tangible
experience so we live in a world now where students need
to be able to articulate their skills it’s not just saying I passed the test or
an assessment what can you do,
what can you demonstrate, what can you show,
what can you prove if you will. And CTE allows students to have that opportunity
to practice and get skills
and be able to demonstrate those skills. And the other thing that I kind of touched
upon with the cohorted thing is the mentoring.
And so the reality is that there’s nothing more powerful,
probably more impactful in a variety of ways than for
young people to have adult mentors outside their parents
in some cases in spite of their parents, unfortunately. And where do they get that?
Well, traditionally we’ll probably,
students got to have maybe athletics or co curricula activities
or clubs or maybe that really,
it was that really good connection with an academic teacher.
But what’s nice about CTE is again, over time,
these become your mentors and in fact in CTE
students will meet adults outside of their school environments
so professional. And that have a huge impact on people.
And so that makes sense why they may be enjoying some may be high
levels of success. And I would say this is something that every
students deserves, Every student deserves an opportunity to interact
with adults on and off campus
that become their mentors over time. I don’t think students need necessarily 30
but they use one, two or three really powerful connections and relationships,
and CTE is designed to have that built in if you will.
[pause] Okay, so
I think you asked earlier about maybe what are some of the challenges too
and maybe why parents may not understand some of the changes
or may not understand what CTE is or is not for my student.
And one of the things I see that’s really happening a lot in CTE
and it’s happening within CTE, within education is that
because it started out as we had the college prep and the vocational Ed,
we’re looking at CTE’s replacing vocational Ed
and the reality is what we’re saying, it’s for the students that are not going to
go on to the university. And I think that’s a really dangerous myth
and misnomer if you will. Not that it is rooted in good intentions.
There are kids that aren’t engaged or that maybe we just see as not being successful
and we find something for them, so it’s not a bad motivation.
I applaud educators and others who are looking and they see students
that are not successful, not engaged
and say hey, this would be for them and there’s no doubt that it’s true.
The problem with that is to say that the university bound student
wouldn’t benefit from these experiences. So for example,
if I’m a university bound student I wouldn’t benefit from
meeting professional, I wouldn’t benefit from being part of a cohort,
I wouldn’t benefit from knowing my teachers and advisors as mentors,
I wouldn’t benefit from some of the technical skills,
I wouldn’t benefit from some of the career exploration
or internships, or job shadowing.
So right now those kind of live with the disconnect. So we have to somehow get over this hump that
CTE is for the other kids, hence CTE for all, right?
And the other misnomer I want to talk about is that
committing to a career pathway and the idea that a lot of parents
and I think students and maybe even some educators think
if I join one of these CTE classes or pathways
or academies, I’m committing to a life time career.
And that is just not the case. It is a way to engage,
it’s a way to get some experience. The chances are
students are going to change their careers while in high school
and after high school as we all know. Most adults are changing their careers right,
throughout their life time. So when we get involved in a career pathway
or a CTE program or a class,
we’re not committing to anything for a lifetime. What we are doing is committing to something
short term that’s going to give us some skills
and some experiences and some connections
that we wouldn’t have otherwise that would take us somewhere,
that would guide us. It might allow us to explore career,
might allow us to eliminate a career, it might become a career that we continue.
But it really starts creating that path of exploration
and that path of work determination. So we have to get rid of the idea that’s normally
for the other kids and that I’m choosing a career pathway for
a lifetime. So when I join this program,
I’m not only going to work in this industry, this my I’m stuck with my high school career
or my post secondary training, it’s not the case, right?
We have to look at it as the means to an end, it’s a way to get skills and experiences that
I wouldn’t get otherwise. And I would even say in some cases it may
not matter which CTE program you’re in, you pick something,
you do something because it’s going to be relevant
and it would lead to something. Real quickly I was at a school at Las Vegas
in November doing some work there.
And Las Vegas has 7 of these career tech academies. But I was really impressed with the experience
the kids are having, they even have a culinary program.
And it kind of led to that larger discussion I just had is that
I saw riding up school at 7am excited about their work.
They still take English and math and all their core classes
but they are in this culinary program. And I was impressed just with the way they
worked, they way they interacted with the adults,
they way the interacted with the community. I was a guest there
and the way they interacted with me, but one of my colleagues,
that’s great but are all those students going to work in culinary
field? And I said I don’t think that’s the goal,
I think it’s to give them an experience, to have their high school experience be more
enriched. And it’s going to allow them,
most of them probably won’t pursue a career in culinary
nor should they necessarily. But they are having a better high school experience
and a more engaged high school experience and getting all these skills
that goes back to that early argument, so. Okay, so
going forward what’s our challenge that we talked about?
If you buy into or accept the things that I’ve been discussing,
don’t we need to do a better job of kind of getting our kids
career ready right? and a lot of traditional programs is not going
to do that. One of the things I’ve been advocating for
is that I think most adults I would hope might suggest
that, I’m not sure there’s a larger pursuit you
have your whole life and a career. It is a lifelong pursuit.
Most of us are continuingly perfecting our careers
and checking out opportunities, right? So I don’t know if there’s something that’s
more important to study or to learn about
and we’ll talk about that. Traditionally, we don’t really spend much
time on that in high school, right? And so if it’s the most important journey
of our life and pursuit of our life
we’d devote a lot more time to that pursuit starting as early as possible.
The second thing is that the CTE academies and pathways are great,
but they really don’t have about 10 or 20% of our high school students involved.
So we have to do something besides just saying well,
there’s those kids in CTE and they are having their experience
and those are other kids in the university bound program
and they are having their experience. I think those university bound students or
all students need to gather these experiences and skills.
So we’ve got a lot of work to do. How are we going to do that?
Well, we’ve got to start looking at having these discussions and studying this.
If the average college student changes their major three times,
maybe we should be looking at that or how can we improve that
or maybe in high schools you get the chance to explore majors
and careers and be learning about that.
I think what we’ve done is, we’ve let people go through four years of
high school, without any real serious exploration or experience
and then we’ve unleashed them on a college. And of course,
how will they know what they are going to do.
So this CTE for all mentality or career readiness
would I think help students by the time they get to college
regardless of what they are doing or what level
or what career interest be more focused, right?
they would have eliminated some things, they’ll have a better idea of what they want
to do doesn’t mean they still won’t change
because that’s the nature of these. And then they’re going to have some skills
too that I think are going to benefit them along
the way. [pause]
Okay, so what have we done at high school? I’ve worked in 6 different high schools
And we’ve tried lots of things but traditionally, we have a counselor.
And counselors are focused primarily on academic counseling
and just primarily on getting students to college and the university.
Not that they haven’t tried other things but that’s what they spend majority of their
time doing. And so we do a couple of things like have
a career fair, maybe as a high school student I see my counselor
a few times, I go to a couple of career fairs,
and that’s about it. Maybe if I’m lucky I do a research project
on a career as an eighth grader or as a ninth grader
more as a tenth grader or maybe as a senior.
But that’s about it We have these very cursory sort of experiences
handful of meanings to my counselor mostly about college and finances
and scholarships and those kind of things. A couple of career fares and maybe one academic
assignment, that’s not a lot of career preparation.
And this is the most important journey of our lives, so.
So here’s what I’m suggesting, what if all students
had the following, what if we build in a career exploration into
our curriculum, into our classes?
Are you telling me that in a math class, we shouldn’t be exploring what careers use
math, why not?
And that could be across the board, right? Maybe we need to have a class,
we’ll talk about, that’s all we do. I’ve written and will suggest to get here
and that English will be a natural class to do this.
And we have English for four years in high school,
what will be more important to read, write,
research and learn about and present about which are all English skills
in your career. And then the reality is we’ve got to get kids
out, they’ve got to have that work based experiences.
So all kids need to have an internship and do job shadowing
it can’t be just the handful. And I think a lot of us kind of inherently
know that but for some reason we don’t do it, right?
The CTE students do it but we don’t do it for everybody.
There are schools that are though, there are schools that deal with the whole
grade level or a whole class
or something like that. And then the idea that you work on real projects,
that you get the chance to collaborate with professionals
and advisors and you connect your skills
and technology to something that’s relevant and real.
It’s sort of project based component. But again, we’ve got to a better job.
Why can’t our curriculum include career throughout? It should be embedded throughout,
and it can be and should be. So English, I mentioned,
core subjects, I mentioned. Or maybe this should be,
funny all the required classes we have but we have no required course that addresses
career and maybe we should.
I don’t know if you can have a more important class
and maybe you have it every year, I don’t know.
Maybe we should have it at least at your freshman year
and then after that you get opportunities to do CTE
or to do internships or to do work based things.
But we’ve got to devote time and curriculum into this.
And right now I think what you’re seeing is a big disconnect between
a lot of our courses, and career.
And we expect that somehow to magically happen but they operate these separate or isolated
Okay, so I’m kind of advocating for this complete commitment.
What about career education and CTE for all, so I don’t want CTE to be for the other kids,
I want CTE to be for all kids. And so we have to understand what that means,
parents need to understand it, educators need to drop that myth,
we need to look at the future of work, we need to see what’s happening in the world,
we need to realize that most important journey that we all embark on
and yet we don’t devote the whole lot of time to that.
We really let people sort of figure this out on their own, right?
A lot of time people try to help them but we really let people kind of navigate
this world themselves and I really think this has to be kind of
a concerted cohesive effort. And we’ve got to talk to parents and students
about how the world has changed. This 21st century scale thing is not
just an acronym like it sounded, right? this is real.
The world is dramatically changing because of technology
and the global economy. And to get people ready for that
we really have to have this discussion on you know really a daily basis
with everybody, with all the stakeholders right?
And so I think you’re going to CTE expand and you’re going to see this idea that career
readiness which always falls after college,
college career readiness that it’s going to become
the dominant sort of pursuit of our secondary education, right?
Because in the end we know it is and yet
not necessarily making that a clear and cohesive curricula pathway for people.
So I think what it will look like is we’ll really have to be creating some new systems,
so I do know schools that are doing this, I know a school that’s literally about 10,
15 minutes away from me small real high school but a 1000 students
and they’ve had some CTE programs and pathways. What they decided to do is
next year they have 10 and they are calling them colleges.
Every student has to be in a pathway, you have 10 to choose from pick one.
You want to change, at the end of one year?
You can change. But the reality is that we’re going to expose
you to something, we’re going to let you have that work based
experience, those internships,
those professional mentors, the technology,
the relevance, the application all those kinds
the soft skill, all the employers said they want,
we’re going to give all the chance to do that. It would be okay that that doesn’t become
their career, it would be okay if they change pathways.
So they are calling them colleges like college of engineering
or college of human services or college or Ag science.
But I think that’s legit, I think if you have 10,
that’s pretty good a selection, I think all students can find something.
And again, you’re not committed to the library
for your entire high school career. So I worried about this previously,
for Odysseyware for this idea that I think because English is that four year requirement,
we really have an opportunity to do something with English class.
I think English class is begging to be as relevant
to career as it could be. And English also would
have to this with technology and presenting
and publishing and that world of work.
They were talking about that 40% for a waiver every student needs to have their
own website and their own portfolio they really do, right?
That’s going to be their resumes, their portfolio,
their website and all the digital work they do.
English is built for this, right? English is built to go out and meet people
and interview them and do research and talk to people.
High Tech High in San Diego which is a chattered school
and very project based they do this for their juniors.
Their English class, juniors all do an internship.
And they can intern for a nonprofit, they can intern for corporate entity.
But they realize that English is the great place to do this
because you have to have English as a minor all four years of high school.
And English is about communication and all these soft skills
and so on. So I’m going to keep advocating
that English would be a great place for us to embed this career readiness component.
And that’s sort of it. That’s 45 minutes of career readiness.
>>That was great. You passed a lot of great information in that
45 minutes, so thank you for sharing all of that.
We’ll let Mike take just a second before we get into the next portion of the
Q and A. And I’d like to thank today’s sponsor, Odysseyware.
Odysseyware offers educators many learning solutions
to help prepare students for career success. They have programs that can fit right into
what Mike’s been talk about where you’re exposing students to realize
careers and what skills those take
and what it really means to be a veterinarian or be an environmental scientist.
So please, you can learn more about those options at
Odysseyware.com. And again, thank you to our sponsor.
So Mike, we do have some questions that came. You mentioned
a bit about aligning what students are learning with what companies need.
So we have a couple of questions come in that were just asking,
how much do you think the companies in an area should be involved in
developing what’s taught in the schools? And how do go about it
involving those individuals into what’s happening school?
I think we’re seeing this at the highest level ever,
that is something that was always a good idea that existed in some cases.
But I think now you’re seeing a universal sort of demand for that
business or sort of the professional side of our society
is more interested in education than ever before.
Because what they’ve realized is that, we have this misnomer that we don’t have jobs
out there and the ironic thing is we have lots of jobs
but we just don’t have people trained for them.
So we have people that are unemployed, we have people finishing school and can’t
get a job. And yet we have all these people who really
have legitimate well paying jobs out there and they can’t
find people so that’s that. So I think employers or industries are frustrated
a little bit they more so than ever before.
Because really education is not really matching their needs a lot,
so you’re seeing them engage in the high level. But I think you can’t have enough,
I think there’s so many great advantages to having industry connected to your school.
They are going to be advocates for you, they are going to be sponsors for you,
they are going to be partners for you. It will start with them advising you on a
program, hey, this is the equipment you need,
these are the standards that we have in our industry,
these are some of the skills that we really continually need to hone in on.
But it would start there and then it would evolve.
And schools that are doing this already realize this, right?
So they become partners of yours. They really are the same people that are going
to give you those internships or those work based experiences.
These are the same companies that are going to come and sponsor a student
or scholarship a student through a specific training
or a specific program. Because they’ve realized that they have to
kind of help create their future employees too
this can’t be something probably out of frustration a little bit,
they know they can’t leave that to the schools by themselves
this is not going to happen automatically or magically.
They have to be in because they have the expertise,
they have the need and they really have to kind of help the schools
I would say kind of create their future employees
and they have a vested interest in doing that. So yeah,
It’s going to be something for some schools or educators
It’s going to be new, for some that they’ve been doing this
but they’re going to have to engage their local
and regional employers and industries, they are going to have to invite them,
they are going to have to have discussions with them,
they are going to have to make them part of the school community.
And I’ve got to tell you, I think they are dying to do it.
And anyone that’s in the industry for the long-term realizes they have to be involved
because this is where their future is coming from as well.
And they also realize that kids need these experiences and these skills
and they’ve got to give that. Most of them are really anxious to do it,
a lot of them are just waiting to be invited. And I think a lot of it it’s just an education
traditionally we’ve operated a lot in many cases in these
silos or kind of insular.
And we have to really become connected to our community,
what’s a bigger part of any community than your local industries
and business partners right, so. I hope it answers that though.
>>TINA: Yeah, I think that was great answer. And I think you’re right on that
a lot of times companies are just waiting to be asked.
So it’s a matter of getting the program together and asking them
to participate.>>MICHAEL: Yeah.
I’m a big believer in project based learning. And one of the components there is that students
have to do public work, they have to do work that’s real
and that solves real problems. Well, in doing that you need those people
but students will step up
and more that are watching and the more that some align
the more we can make it real for students. Hey, there’s professional watching,
there’s professional that are checking you out.
Because one of the things that’s happened traditionally in school is that
that’s been very much a disconnect I’m only doing this for my teacher,
I’m doing this for a grade, I’m doing this for points.
We have to create an environment I think where I’m doing this because it matters,
this is real, this is your life
we have create a little bit of urgency there and a little bit of motivation there.
Well, the more adults that are watching, that’s especially probably not your teacher
or parents but they are professionals.
And there’s mentoring going on there simultaneously, so it’s a big deal.
[pause]>>TINA: Yeah, absolutely.
So what age do you think students should start talking about careers?
Is this something after elementary school or right away?
>>MICHAEL: You know, that’s a great question.
I’m not sure there’s a magic age. I’m advocating that if we’re not doing it
in a high school I think we’re almost being criminal there.
And I say in high school, in a new level that we’re not doing globally
but throughout. But I mean,
I do know students and educators that are doing this in middle
school and even in elementary school.
You know I think it’s funny because I think when I was first grade I did
some sort of like your first report was like
what do you want to be when you grow up or something, right?
And then, of course you know,
it’s fun and cute when you’re in first grade and it’s going to change
but it’s a legitimate question to ask, right? But then it kind of goes away for years
it was like then we didn’t talk about it again until I don’t know when.
[LUAGHTER] You know what I mean, so.
>>TINA: Yeah.>>MICHAEL: And so I don’t know,
I think it’s something that in terms of exposing students to things,
I’ll tell you what there’s elementary schools out there doing
amazing things and elementary teachers are actually sometimes
naturally really good at this because they been doing a lot of this
and they are used to connecting things and they do things not in isolation sometimes
like high school does. And so I think bringing this in,
back then we used to go on field trips because we see the real world
and we meet people that are outside of our school environment,
well, that’s still legitimate, right? So I think never truly get a student excited
it’s okay that they may change 40 times about the time they are an adult.
But when they are excited and they’re motivated, engaged
they are going to have a better experience. So I would never want to discourage anyone
from starting early as you can and I think there’s lots of opportunities
to expose kids in elementary school to things, get excited about things.
And having them get that mindset that I have to care about what I do
because it’s going to relate to my future which is hard when you’re young, right?
But we have to model that and train that all the time so.
I’m obviously all about the urgency of high school
but I can easily say that we’ve got to think about this as a
life long journey that starts when you’re born
and certainly when you go to school so.>>TINA: Yeah.
I think that’s just a really good point if so much of this is about exploring options.
And so, the longer you get kids to explore those options
I think the better of they’ll be when they get to college and have to make
that final decision.>>MICHAEL: Here’s an example.
let’s say you’re a third grade teacher and you’ll exposing students to careers in
Ag science, right? Someone might want to argue
or mostly kids are going to go into Ag, most of them won’t.
But the fact that they that pursuit and that experience will inform
them to start looking at other things
it would lead somewhere, right? But if we never start doing something
it never leads to anything, right? So we can’t avoid things because
we’re not sure this is what somebody wants to do, right.
We’ve got to expose them to, give them opportunities
and the fact that you get exposed to Ag is going to be good for you
because you should know where your food comes from anyway.
So I mean it goes on and on and on, so we’re never going to lose by putting context
and sort of reality in play. And yes, they are going to change,
and yes, it’s going to evolve and yeah so.
You can’t avoid it.>>TINA: No,
so the sooner the better. So this is a very broad question as well.
But what you’ve described here is super exciting but it’s a really big change.
So how do you recommend starting conversations in the district
or at schools to start making these changes?>>MICHAEL: Yeah.
I think for me it would be that we have to probably start with some of the
myths. So we have to talk to parents
and students and educators about what the future of work,
looks like even though we don’t have all the answers
we have some good indicators that is changing dramatically.
And because of that all of us need to be engaged in this.
So we have to somehow like, because right now I still see CTE existing
very much like it’s a thing over here that yeah,
some kids need to do this because they’re unengaged
and we need to find everybody a job and not all of them is going to go to college.
And so for me, we’ve got to get rid of that myth
and look at this on a large scale of our career readiness
and what is that really mean. So I think schools are going to have to engage
everybody. One of the things that would help is I think
and educational leaders need to connect with and goes back to involving industry.
Make those non educators part of your educational discussions
so when you’re doing staff development or training,
when you’re attending meetings, when you’re doing planning,
when you’re addressing, creating any of these have those people involved in the discussions,
right? Look at the reading,
look at the research out there of course bring those people in.
So don’t start anything in isolation, I guess it’s what would say
and bring those people in. But it’s going to take,
it takes some bold leadership for sure, it’s going to take people to dispel some of
these myth I think. And really somehow I guess get all of us to
agree that pursing our career
is one of the most important journeys that we will embark in our lifetime
and how much time should we devote to that and hopefully get to arrive at the conclusion
at lot more than we’re doing now. And I think the other thing is that
I think that what’s going to happen is we’ve always struggled with students that
are disengaged or not performing
or however you want to describe that or students that come with various social
backgrounds, economic backgrounds,
education backgrounds. I think that stuff like the career education
And the CTE type experiences and projects, that’s a way to get the kids in a way to save
kids and a way to
reach out to kids that we aren’t doing globally yet.
So most educators are usually frustrated by the kids that aren’t performing
or that aren’t connecting or that I would say even fighting the system.
But we should probably listen to them and look out why are they doing that right?
Is there an answer to some of this that would get them connected to school,
or get them excited about something. So we have too many kids in high school
and junior high and probably and sadly we don’t know school
hurts not excited about anything they’re doing,
they are not connected to it, they are not involved in it,
they don’t see the relevance to it. So we have to start listening to the kids
and talk to them about and be open to what would you like to try.
And we can set up opportunities for them but we have to make school seem relevant to
them and this is the way to do it.
And there’s a lot of kids who don’t feel that at all right now
you know what I mean? I think you have kids that if they are going
to the university, they’ve been conditioned to that
or they want to do that go buy into a lot of things we ask them to
do because they have it as a goal. But if you’re not someone who has that clear
goal, you don’t necessarily buy into all the expectations
or ramifications. So I think we’ve got to talk to kids
and we’ve got to look wide, why are people not being successful
and why are people not engaged and have then look at this as a means to a
lot of ends for a lot of different people so.
>>TINA: Yeah. And I think that point about relevance,
is so important. It needs to be relevant to the student as
well as to as we talked about their future employers,
so we need to marry those two things.>>MICHAEL: Yeah.
And I think we have a lot of work to do with the students and the parents
and educators who are very caught up in the university bound avenue if you will
that we may not be giving those kids all the things they need
because I have a senior in high school, my daughter who’s going to a four year university
next year. and like most dads I think she’s a wonderful
kid and she is.
But she has not had experiences in school that inform her about her future.
This is that’s simple. She’s gone to classes,
she’s a participant student, she’s a good kid,
she has not had experiences that inform her about the future of work
and the world. And to some degree that’s on me and all of
us, right? So we have to get to this idea that
you don’t just go to college or go to university
and it magically works because it’s not, right? And by the way it didn’t come up
but how expensive is university and colleges we know it.
It’s anticipated that’s not going to get better. So another big advantage we didn’t really
get to is that why we should spend more time on this
and get students more informed and more connected
and maybe eventually by the time they do go to college
or university or any of their post secondary which they
all need some of course they are going to have a better idea of what
to do where to do.
Right now, we’re sending a lot of kids to college
and they’re figuring it out at college, right. So that’s why kids are going to school for
four or five six,
seven, eight years
because they are just constantly, I don’t know what I want to do,
I don’t know what I want to do, I don’t know what I want to be.
And I don’t blame them for that, that is we have not done a job of educating
them for that and now they are spending a lot of money
and time to try to figure that out. And I’m not sure we’ll ever completely solve
that but we have to address that,
does that make sense?>>TINA: Yeah.
I think those are excellent points in really making sure which is the intent
of secondary school of high school
of all school is to get you ready for that next stage of
life, changing that mindset of
get the skills you really need to have before you either go to college
or career and high school is the place to learn them. It’s not early.
>>MICHAEL: There’s a lot of different places for students
but we’ve got to address that yeah.>>TINA: Yeah.
Well, unfortunately, we have run out of time.
But thank you again Mike for sharing all of this information with us
and for pointing folks to those videos, the blogs.
So keep an eye everyone for a link to the slide deck as well as this recording,
you should be getting that tomorrow. You’ll also be able to find those materials
on the Odysseyware website. Also I just want to invite you to join us
on May 11th, We’ll once again be talking about CTE
with curriculum consultant Joan Badger. She will be doing a webinar on innovative
college and career readiness technology integration. So moving us a bit from the theory
and the ideas that Mike has presented into a little more of the technical
applications of all of this. So please go to Odysseyware.com
to find information about that webinar and to register.
Thanks again everyone and another great big thank you to Mike, for
joining us today. Have a great afternoon. File Name Page | 55