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"Future Planning" issue (August)
A newsletter (for adults) about career-readiness (for kids).
Depending on where you live, kids in your area may be headed back to school — rejuvenated and refreshed after a summer of new experiences, and hopefully loads of learning that happened beyond the confines of the classroom. If they are like most kids, much of that learning probably happened in digital spaces. It’s my hope that kids will increasingly use these digital spaces to have experiences and conduct the kind of future planning they’ll need to eventually make smart and seamless transitions to the working world.
In that spirit, this summer we decided to launch a career readiness sweepstakes program for teens ages 13-19 who are enrolled in ASA EvolveMe — a digital platform where kids earn points and rewards for building skills connected to career readiness. A twice-weekly drawing will happen for a period of thirteen weeks, giving eligible EvolveMe members the chance to win between $5,000 - $7,500. Winners can use the prize for anything that’s connected to their postsecondary career or education pathway. That could mean signing up for an engineering bootcamp, buying a laptop and clothes for their first internship, or purchasing textbooks to attend a CTE course.
Our motivation? To use the power of digital connectedness to ensure that all kids, no matter their location or background, have a chance at building a powerful and achievable plan for their future. If you know any teens who are looking to figure out their next step and could benefit from this prize, you can find more details here.
(If you’d like to reach me directly, I’d love to hear from you. Email me at email@example.com)
P.S. - This month, I’m asking for readers’ help with something important — to help amplify our voice at SXSW EDU 2024.
Each year, SXSW EDU (the nation’s foremost conference on the future of learning), holds what’s called the PanelPicker, as part of their selection process for event programming. (This year’s PanelPicker runs from August 8 - August 20.) During this period, the public has the chance to vote for what they want to see at next year’s conference. This public voting accounts for 30% of the final selection process, and we need all hands on deck to help us cross the finish line! ASA has curated and submitted 13 exciting programming proposals for this PanelPicker round — all related to the topics you know and care about. All of our proposed programming + voting links for each session can be found here. You’ll need to create a SXSW account here if you don’t have one already; it’s free and only takes a minute. Once you have the account created, voting for sessions is a piece of cake; just click the “UP” arrow in the top right corner. Don’t be afraid to share the link with friends and family, too! Thank you in advance.
The Great Education Equalizer: Hands-On, Digital Career Experiences
I recently wrote for U.S. News & World Report that, “Longstanding stigmas taint great non-degree pathways to success, such as career and technical education (CTE) and apprenticeships. However, based on a recent study, less than half of respondents who identified as members of Generation Z – born between the late 1990s and early 2010s – said they had enough information to decide what post-high school pathway was best for them.” This dearth of information is not just a shame, it’s inexcusable today.
The Bottom Line: We need a full paradigm shift on postsecondary options. College is a great choice for some. But as a default option for all kids, it’s really not working. When kids have access to hands-on, digital career experiences early on, they get a much-needed opportunity to “test and try” a variety of things, while building skills and social capital that can help them on their road to a career. It’s high time we flip the narrative on postsecondary options, and embrace the many digital, hands-on career learning opportunities kids today have — as with CTE and apprenticeship — to help them get excited about their future.
Easing Up on Degree Requirements (Research from Cengage)
Trendline: Social-Emotional Learning (A special report from K-12 Dive)
Women Undergraduates More Stressed Out Than Men (Research from Gallup)
Minimum Wage Increases are Followed by Decreased Community College Enrollment (Findings from the National Bureau of Economic Research)
The Latino College Completion Gap is Widening Compared to White Students (Research from Excelencia in Education)
Unleashing the Power of Career Readiness Programs (The Spokesman-Review, August 6, 2023)
Launching the Career Connected High School Grant Program (Homeroom - The Official Blog of the U.S. Department of Education, August 10, 2023)
What 3 After School Programs Are Doing to Prepare Kids for the Future of Work (Education Week, July 17, 2023)
Everyone Wants to Be a UPS Driver Now (Quartz, August 9, 2023)
How Changing College Admissions Could Affect the U.S. Workforce (BBC, July 26, 2023)
Connecting to Students’ Interests Can Deepen Learning, Engagement (K-12 Dive, August 9, 2023)
How to Prioritize the Future of Historically Underserved Learners (eSchool News, August 1, 2023)
Biden Administration Announces Cybersecurity Initiative for K-12 Schools (Education Week, August 7, 2023)
Experts: WI Youth Apprenticeship Could Serve as National Model (WXPR, July 31, 2023)
Empowering Careers: The Work-Based Learning Revolution (YouTube / Podcast, July, 2023)
Biden Launches New Student Loan Income-based Repayment Plan (CNN Politics, July 30, 2023)
KPMG Offers Teens Paid Internships to Boost Interest in Accounting (CNBC, July 27, 2023)
ECMC Foundation to Distribute $1 Million to 98 Nonprofits That Support Innovation and Racial Equity in Education (Yahoo Finance, July 19, 2023)
edX and JFF Launch MicroBachelors Program Pathway Initiative for Non-Traditional Learners (Yahoo Finance, July 20, 2023)
American Student Assistance Announces Career Readiness Sweepstakes for Teens (Clayton County Register, July 26, 2023)
Pinellas County Schools Offers Career Exploration Camp (Bay News 9, July 23, 2023)
Biden Discharges $130M in Student Debt for 7,400 CollegeAmerica Borrowers (Yahoo Finance, July 23, 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)
What are the Ingredients for Education-to-Workforce Success? My Conversation with Mike Palmer on the Trending in Ed Podcast (A podcast recap, August 9, 2023)
-Democratizing Success: Blended Pathways for the Next Generation of Learners (A recap of an ASU+GSV panel conversation)
-Ready for Earning, Learning, and Life (A recap of an ASU+GSV panel conversation)
-Preparing the Next Generation for Future Careers - My Conversation with Jean-Claude Brizard and Michael Horn (A recap of an ASU+GSV panel conversation)
-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)