The Edmond Sun

Features

January 23, 2013

Making students career ready

EDMOND — Ever asked a kindergartner what they want to be when they grow up?

I love that game. I hear responses such as firefighters, doctors, mommies, teachers; you name it. One little girl told me she wanted to be a doctor, the president and a jeweler; she just wasn’t sure she’d have time to be all three.

The goal of education is to produce young people who are fully prepared for the workforce that awaits them outside of high school or college and to help them become fully engaged, productive citizens.

We in common education sometimes lose sight of this ultimate goal and set our sites only on the next frame in the unfolding picture of a child’s life — college. The end goal, however, is to prepare a student so they can find a job that pays them an adequate salary, makes the best use of their talents and skills, and satisfies their passion.

Education Week’s 2013 Quality Counts report, which was released this week, gave Oklahoma an A+ in the category of Economy and Workforce. The grade is awarded on the criteria of the state having a definition of work readiness, offering a high school diploma with career specialization, having a path in K-12 for industry-recognized certificate or license, and offering portable credits for K-12 students to earn career tech credits toward postsecondary education.

I was pleased to see this grade, but I know there is more to be done in preparing our students for their future careers. Part of this is we must work to incorporate more career counseling and work skills training in our common education experience.

To this end, I was excited to see a report this week detailing a Career Pathways Pilot Project taking place in Duncan Public Schools.

The goal of the program is to help students in the district develop a post-high school action plan that will help them determine their career pathways. Through participation, students will gain an awareness of their personal strengths, challenges and opportunities that will set them on a path of intentional instruction and guidance prior to high school graduation to ready them for college or career. The plan contains actions for students at all educational levels from elementary to high school.

The program is a collaboration between the Southwest Oklahoma Impact Coalition, a regional economic development entity; the Oklahoma Department of Commerce; the Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation; the Red River Technology Center; and GEAR Up/Oklahoma Higher Education Regents.

Duncan was considered perfect for the pilot because of the city’s robust manufacturing sector as well as a strong health care community. Duncan also has a technology center, a branch campus for higher education and a competent economic development organization.

The first meeting for the program drew more than 100 people, from employers, to teachers, counselors, cross agency partners, and members from the community – all working together toward the goal of preparing students for their futures of college or career.

I want to commend Duncan Superintendent Sherry Labyer and the Duncan Public School Board for implementing this program. I will be anxious to hear the outcome of the pilot. I hope other communities will consider emulating it. When we’ve prepared each student in Oklahoma for the rigors and challenges of the future work place, then we will truly have cause to celebrate.

JANET BARRESI is state superintendent of public instruction of Oklahoma. She may be reached via her website at http://ok.gov/sde/.

1
Text Only
Features
  • Cats outsmart the researchers

    I knew a lot had been written about dogs, and I assumed there must be at least a handful of studies on cats. But after weeks of scouring the scientific world for someone - anyone - who studied how cats think, all I was left with was this statement, laughed over the phone to me by one of the world's top animal cognition experts, a Hungarian scientist named Ádám Miklósi.

    April 23, 2014

  • clock edit.jpg Antique clock collection on display at Edmond Library

    In a world that’s often hurried and brief, the Sooner Time Collectors have nothing but time. Oklahoma chapter members of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors have provided antique pieces from personal collections to display at the Edmond Library until the end of April.
    Since the 1950s, Sooner Time Collectors have gathered to learn about the inner workings of clocks and to admire one-of-a-kind finds. Of interest to the community is their involvement with repairs for the Cowboy Hall of Fame clock and the UCO tower. They now have 35 members who meet monthly as a chapter of the 16,000-member NAWCC community across America and the world.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Be on the lookout for termites

    Warming temperatures and spring rainfall means swarming conditions for the homeowners’ nemesis in Oklahoma — the termite.
    Termites are Mother Nature’s way of recycling dead wood, as well as aerating the soil and increasing its fertility and water percolation. They are an important food source for other insects, spiders, reptiles, amphibians and birds within the food web, and they are essential for the wellbeing of the environment.

    April 23, 2014

  • McCain 1 House Republicans are more active on Twitter than Democrats

    Your representative in the House is almost certainly on Twitter. Your senator definitely is. But how are they using the social network? Are Democrats more active than Republicans, or vice versa? Who has the most followers on the Hill?

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Do your genes make you procrastinate?

    Procrastinators, in my experience, like nothing better than explaining away their procrastination: General busyness, fear of failure, and simple laziness are just a handful of the excuses and theories often tossed around. Now researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder have added another option to the list: genetics.

    April 22, 2014

  • VIDEO: Moose charges snowmobile, flees after warning shot

    While snowmobiling in New England, Bob and Janis Powell of Maine were charged by a moose and caught the entire attack on camera.

    April 22, 2014

  • 6th annual run event in Guthrie to benefit Free to Live

    The sixth annual “The See Spot Run” will take place at 9 a.m. May 10 in downtown Guthrie. This 5K, 10K and 1-mile run/walk event benefits Free to Live, a nonprofit animal sanctuary located Logan County. In the past five years of this event “The See Spot Run” has welcomed more than 3,000 runners and raised $30,000 for the Free to Live Animal Sanctuary.
    “The See Spot Run” will offer all participants the opportunity to compete in either the 5K or 10K event in addition to a 1-mile “Fun Run.” Walkers and runners (both two- and four-legged) are welcome and can register directly at www.theseespotrun.com. Visit www.freetoliveok.com. Donations also can be sent to “The See Spot Run,” P.O. Box 292, Guthrie, 73044.
     

    April 21, 2014

  • Touch-A-Truck event draws families to UCO

    Edmond Electric and Edmond Vehicle Maintenance are co-hosting the Edmond Touch-A-Truck from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 17 in the UCO parking lot off Second Street. Touch-A-Truck is a fundraising event that provides children of all ages with the opportunity to experience life-size vehicles and interact with community support leaders like police officers, firemen, construction workers and many more. Families will have the opportunity for a hands-on exploration of many vehicles such as Edmond’s own fire trucks and police cars, an Edmond Electric bucket truck and even a solid waste truck.
    Admission for the Touch-A-Truck event is a suggested $2 donation with the proceeds going to the Edmond HOPE Center. For more information, contact Edmond Electric at 216-7671 or email michelle.gumaer@edmondok.com.

    April 21, 2014

  • Why do wolves howl?

    Of all the myths that dog the wolf, none is more widely accepted than the idea that wolves howl at the moon. Images of wolves with their heads upturned, singing at the night sky, are as unquestioned as a goldfish's three-second memory or a dog's color-blindness (both also myths).

    April 20, 2014

  • Screen shot 2014-04-18 at 4.44.15 PM.png Paint, doodle and sketch: 3 apps for art lovers

    In the absence of a palette of watercolors and a sketchpad, these three apps can fill in as your art supplies of choice.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo