East Hawaii News

DOE: Hawai’i Career Pathways to Gain Boost

September 28, 2015, 5:03 PM HST
* Updated September 28, 5:10 PM
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High school students in the state will soon be provided with additional programs to prepare for high-skilled, high-demand jobs after graduation.

The Hawai’i State Department of Education announced Monday that it was committed to resetting career education by adding rigor and value to its programs.

With economic development data and partnerships with community employers, HDOE will design more rigorous career readiness pathways that span secondary and post-secondary levels and earn credentials for students.

The Council of Chief State School Officers is facilitating this work, which pursues recommendations made in Opportunities and Options, a report of CCSSO’s Career Readiness Task Force, which encourages states to make high school programs more responsive to the labor market by enlisting the employer community as a lead partner. It will also raise the threshold for quality career pathways in secondary schools and make career preparation matter to schools and students.

“This opportunity to dig deeper in advancing career pathways will complement the great work that is being done in our high school academies across the state,” said DOE Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We want to provide the supports that will allow students to reach their full potential and expand on the successful programs that have carried them into the workforce after high school.”

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States with CCSSO will develop an online resource center to provide strategies, case studies, self-assessment tools, communications materials, and models of best practice.

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“The task force recommendations were an important start, but states now must make them a reality,” said Chris Minnich, executive director of CCSSO. “In this global economy, we must prepare all kids to have an option in a career pathway as well as continued academic pursuits by the time they graduate from high school.”

Included in the plan is making career readiness a higher priority in state accountability systems by incorporating a more robust set of career-focused indicators that measure and value successful completion of meaningful pathways, work-based learning experiences, and credentials.

“The national recognition of these programs are not only well-earned but fine examples of student achievement and career-readiness,” said Suzanne Mulcahy, Assistant Superintendent, Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and Student Support. “We look forward to refining our education strategies based on CCSSO’s best practices combined with the work that is being done in our Smaller Learning Communities.”

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Hawai’i is one of 17 states that announced a commitment to develop and execute a detailed plan to implement the task force recommendations.

California, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Wyoming also committed to CCSSO learning Monday.

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