In response to some of the questions and concerns of the previous CPTE Task Force meeting, the second meeting agenda included exploring some of the existing resources in Minnesota in regards to getting all our students career and/or college ready. There was an update from the Department of Education on the implementation of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, the Department of Employment and Economic Development gave an overview titled, Minnesota Workforce Trends: 2013 and Beyond and finally, we heard from a panel of business leaders who shared what current employers are looking for in today’s work force.
For today’s blog, I will summarize and react to the first item on the agenda and address other agenda items next week.
First on the agenda was the Carl Perkins presentation. The Department of Education walked the work group through a one-page graphic titled: Minnesota Careers Fields, Clusters and Pathways Chart.
It is fascinating that a student’s career options can be broken down into six fields, 16 clusters and 81 pathways. With this level of working knowledge it should not be as difficult as it is to help students find their passion and guide them through the correct coursework to be career or college ready. We have taken the first steps in our state through the actions of the 2013 Legislature and now is the time to “get it right”. In order to “get it right” this requires systemic change in the education system. The next level of implementation needs to be rigorous, meaningful and accessible to all students in every school district.
One of the major challenges in “getting it right” is, how do we empower and bring the parents along? I would suggest a state-wide media campaign – effectively communicating with parents. The goal would be to have the parents know as much as the students in regards to career and college coursework.
You can go to the Department of Education website to see the Minnesota Careers Fields, Clusters and Pathways Chart with an understandable and simplified explanation of the chart. It is really a very useful tool.
In my next blog entry, I will focus on what DEED and the business leaders reported.