PivotED - "Stop Summer Melt" Issue - (July)
A newsletter (for adults) about career readiness (for kids).
With summer in full swing, we know there are countless kids out there who will fall victim to the “summer slide” phenomenon. American parents are busy working, their kids are enjoying some time off, and school is far from everyones’ minds. However, it’s not just textbook learning that has a tendency to fall off the radar during this period. Career readiness and informal self-discovery also come to a halt for many kids, and that can be just as damaging. It’s the summer slide.
Still, summer provides the perfect time for adults to inspire kids and and urge them to start planning for the coming year…and for their eventual careers. What can parents, educators, mentors and coaches do? Little things can make a big difference. You can offer an informal mentoring session. Bring your kid to work for a morning and ask them to help you solve a problem. Ask them to spend an hour each day researching a career and put their findings in a PowerPoint. Sign them up for a free coding bootcamp or have them sit in on a community college lecture. Ask them to check out ASA Futurescape and learn how their personal interests map to careers. And parents of girls in Boston can check out the Big Sister program, available to girls up to the age of 24. (I’m especially excited about this last initiative — more to come below!)
Now is a great time for parents, educators, coaches, mentors and community leaders to get creative and ensure some of this down time is used for planning, and for getting kids inspired about their future.
I hope you enjoy the (somewhat quiet) news and thought leadership roundup for July!
President & CEO,
American Student Assistance
Big Sister & Big Futures
The Story: In 2020, the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston launched its Our Big Futures program with support from funders like ASA. The program provides personalized career coaching and connects participants to resources necessary for financial independence.
The Bottom Line: We were so excited about the results that came from this initiative that we collaborated with Big Sister Boston on a newly-released best practices guide (a free download, and not just about female youth!) titled Preparing Youth for the Future: Teen and Young Adult Career Readiness Programs at Big Sister Association of Greater Boston. Educators, administrators and others can use it for tips on program design and implementation, strategies for building employer partnerships, information on tracking and reporting outcomes, and best practices for ensuring program funding and sustainability.
Why the Creator Ethos Is Key to the Future of Work
The Story: This piece goes into detail about the creator mindset; an ethos that forms the backdrop of the roughly 30% of American youth who want to become digital creators instead of occupying traditional roles. But, the article details, this isn’t just about setting people loose on social media and expecting them to make it big as influencers…it’s about people wanting to earn a living through things they are passionate about, and it’s about understanding that digital interconnectedness is at the core of that opportunity.
The Bottom Line: The creator ethos lives in all of us. Today’s young people are lucky…they will know a future in which they are actively encouraged to create bodies of work that are reflective not just of what organizations want, but of their own vision and passion. Finding and making room for that passion early on in the educational experience will be key to the whole thing.
Unbundling and Rebundling Education in a Time of Evolution
The Story: In this piece, my colleague Judy Goldstein summarizes an important concept: the bundling and rebundling of educational programs with a renewed focus on both a more personalized educational experience, and improved equity. She writes, “Schools that reframe learning to credential, credit, and count programs and experiences outside of the traditional program will thrive.”
The Bottom Line: When experiences, courses, and programs of study can be arranged and delivered to suit an individual student’s needs, we put the student (and not some predefined notion of what learning looks like) squarely back in the center where they belong. The unbundling of education isn’t new, but as we all work to redefine student success and career readiness, this is a concept worth watching closely.
Researchers Take Aim at Making Dual-Enrollment More Equitable (A white paper from the Joyce Foundation)
The Different Types of Potential Learners and What They Want (Research from Accenture)
Best Practice in Youth Work-Based Learning: Address Common Barriers (Research from American Student Assistance)
Educator Job Dissatisfaction Spikes to 79% (A survey from AFT)
Research Highlights Positive Impacts of Math-Focused Summer Learning (Research from the American Educational Research Association)
Schools Eye More Dynamic Summer Programs to Curb Learning Loss (K-12 Dive, July 20, 2022)
U.S. Department of Labor Awards $12.3M in Funding to Support Job (Department of Labor Newsroom, July 14, 2022)
The Supreme Court and Education: Key Rulings That Impact Schools (Education Week, June 30, 2022)
How Project EPIC Aims to Align Middle School PBIS, Mental Health Supports (K-12 Dive, July 19, 2022)
Direct Admissions Take Off (Inside Higher Ed, July 18, 2022)
No Degree? Educators Dismayed by Pass for Military, Spouses to Teach (USA Today, July 21, 2022)
Below you’ll find recaps of recent thought leadership events and panels featuring experts from across the education and career readiness ecosystem. The events below cover such topics as Gen Z career learning, professional development for educators, and non-degree pathways.
The Critical Need for Career Exploration Beyond the Classroom - See the session recap here
The State We’re In: Career Readiness in America – Watch the presentation here
Unbundled Learning and How to Rebundle Pathways – Watch the presentation here
”Amplifying High-Quality, Non-Degree Pathways” - Watch the presentation here
“Gen Z Career Learning is About Agency, Voice and Choice” - Watch the presentation here
“Educator PD: Key to Increasing Student Achievement” - Watch the presentation here
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