March 27, 2020

Preparing Our Students for the Real World: The Education Shift Our Children and Future Demand

“Life is like arriving late for a movie, having to figure out what was going on without bothering everybody with a lot of questions, and then being unexpectedly called away before you find out how it ends.”

— Joseph Campbell

Prepared by the National Center for College and Career Transitions in the USA, this thought paper is designed for school and community leaders.

Of course, when we say “leaders” we are thinking school board members, as well as school leaders in high schools, middle schools and elementary school. But we’re also thinking about community leaders, parents, and employers who partner with and have a say in how our schools function.

The authors heard widespread recognition of these challenges from current education leaders, and have seen numerous attempts to address them, often with tremendous success (some of these success stories are found within these pages). But they continue to remain the exception and not the norm, and given the needs of our communities, a sweeping change is required, both in mindsets and practices. We believe that the ideas in this paper will help you find clarity and direction to bring greater effectiveness and greater scalability to these efforts.

In section 1, the paper will take an honest look at the current reality of what is facing America students and its workforce in 2019.

In section 2, the paper will look back at how, particularly after World War II, our leaders made decisions that brought us to our current state.

In section 3, the paper will explore and define Career Connected Learning, and describe positive evidence that supports it.

Finally, in section 4, the paper will share a call to action, with specific action steps that you as a state or local education leader or influencer can take to embrace Career Connected Learning as a strategy for ALL students.


Preparing Our Students for the Real World