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"Beyond the Classroom " issue (June)
A newsletter (for adults) about career readiness (for kids).
Talk to just about any kid or adult and they’ll tell you some of their most important life lessons happened outside of school. School learning is critically important, but why are we — as a society — so convinced that the only learning of real value happens within the four walls of the classroom? I’m increasingly convinced that we ignore out-of-school learning at our peril. Far too many kids now are disengaged with learning, under-motivated, and stressed about the future. They need help connecting learning to life.
There are endless ways to give kids structured experiences in their communities, out-of-school activities, and in digital spaces. These experiences can inspire them to find a passion, help them sharpen vitally important skills, and connect them to the working world in lasting ways that greatly increase their chances of career success. For some teens, what that path ends up looking like may be anything but “traditional.”
This month I’m energized by the story of a young woman named Maddie, whose career exploration took an incredible turn, thanks to her insistence on following her passion instead of taking a pathway set by others.
Maddie writes, “When I was a senior in high school, I spent three months sailing aboard SSV Harvey Gamage, a 131’ gaff-rigged schooner, up the East Coast from Florida to Maine. It was a magnificent tall ship but the conditions were rough, with someone sleeping a foot above and below me and no running water or electricity! I felt miserable at first and struggled to adapt, but it was worth it. The experience was part of a hands-on, paid internship I did in high school, affirming that I wanted to pursue a career in marine engineering, which I have.”
This month, join me in celebrating the spaces and journeys we often overlook for their value in helping young people learn, grow, and discover the very best in themselves.
(If you’d like to reach me directly, I’d love to hear from you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
P.S. - My pick of the month, of course, is Maddie’s story! You can read it here. How I Sailed Away from the College-at-All-Costs Track—and Found my Dream Career
How Apprenticeships Bring Middle Schoolers into the Workplace
Many people still think of apprenticeships as experiences for people who want to go into a trade. While those experiences still exist, today’s apprenticeship landscape is growing rapidly — including for students in middle school, like Tajzhane. “When I first received this opportunity, I was actually surprised and really happy,” he shared. “Like, it was something that I didn’t think I would get the chance of doing in a long time, but also it seemed pretty cool.”
The Bottom Line: Apprenticeship is still an under-appreciated avenue for those wanting a jump-start on a specific career, or for any young person who wants to “test and try” a career cluster before pursuing it fully. For young apprentices today, the most valuable part of the experience is undoubtedly its potential to inspire them to continue learning.
About 75% of Students Want to Attend College — but Far Fewer Expect to Actually Go (Research from YouthTruth)
K-12 Schools Struggle to Prepare, Excite Gen Z About Learning (Research from Gallup and the Walton Family Foundation)
Social Media Presents ‘Profound Risk of Harm’ for Kids, Surgeon General Says, Calling Attention to Lack of Research (An advisory from the Surgeon General)
Most Parents Would be Supportive if Their Gen Z Children Didn’t Want to Go to College, Study Says (Research from Multiverse)
Globally, Employees are More Engaged - and More Stressed (Research from Gallup)
Community College Enrollment Grows After Decades of Decline (Research from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center)
Gen Z and Millennial Workers Feel Confused, Irritated, and Left Out by Endless 'Workplace Jargon' in the Office (Research from LinkedIn)
‘Flying Classroom’ Program Inspiring Florida Students to Explore STEM (Yahoo News, May 23, 2023)
More Teens are Finding Summer Jobs that Also Pay Well (Axios, June 9, 2023)
Caterpillar Youth Apprenticeship Program Celebrates Graduates, Inductees (Sanford Herald, May 19, 2023)
Senate Passes Bill to Block Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness Program (CNN, June 1, 2023)
Are Younger People Looking for Alternatives to Get to Their Dream Life? (Morning in America - YouTube, June 16, 2023)
Workers Need Preparation and Purpose (Education Week, June 13, 2023)
Indiana Looks to Make High School Curriculum More Focused on Career Paths (YR Media, June 1, 2023)
In Virginia, No Degree Is No Problem (Reason, June 1, 2023)
Minnesota-based Eden Prairie High School Empowers Seniors Through Micro-Internship Program (Eden Prairie Local News, June 1, 2023)
Here’s How South Texas Schools Will Spend $7.8 Million for CTE Programs (Caller Times, May 22, 2023)
Below is a list of upcoming events and recaps of recent panel presentations that elevate critical conversations in the youth career readiness space.
Register to Attend:
-Paving the Way for Pathways: Connecting Local Schools and Businesses (Tacoma - October 19-21, 2023)
-Association of Middle Level Education (National Harbor, MD - November 1-4, 2023)
-Changing the World is Hard: What Impact Investors Think About Non-Degree Pathways (A recap of an ASU+GSV panel conversation)
-Here to Stay: Expanding Pathways in Postsecondary Education (A recap of a SXSW EDU panel conversation)
-If Not a Degree, Then What? Verifying Candidates in a Skills-Based Hiring Framework (A recap of a SXSW EDU panel presentation)
-Engaging Employers in High School Work-based Learning (A recap of a SXSW EDU panel presentation)