09 Jun Helping support our school districts in their efforts to prepare students for 21st Century jobs and critical careers in our region.
by Kate Moreland
Director of Career Development, ICR IOWA
School is out for the summer, however the collaboration between educators, industry experts, education partners and students is in full swing. The Career Connected Learning Coalition met in May and committed to the area of work they are most interested in advancing in our region. Six topic areas and working groups were formed to meet over the summer and determine metrics and goals for our region in the areas of: Computer Science, Project Based Learning, Soft Skills, Career Exploration, Work- Based Learning and Pathways Curriculum Mapping.
This exciting work will help support our school districts in their efforts to prepare students for 21st Century jobs and the critical careers in our region. Developing our talent pipeline, not only helps address our workforce shortage, but it helps students identify their interests and strengths so they can explore and experience careers to determine a fulfilling career path forward.
As the State of Iowa unveils new computer science standards, it will become important for school districts to ensure comprehensive exposure to coding to all students and increase the number of girls choosing computer science and STEM careers overall. In the TED talk below, education activist Reshma Saujani (the founder of Girls Who Code) shares her perspective that at a young age we teach our girls to be perfect and our boys to be brave, which decreases girls’ interest in the computer science field. This particular theory really struck me and made me consider our expectations for our daughter in comparison to our sons. How do we ensure that we are sending the right message and supporting all students in pursuit of their interests? Is there a role for all of us to play?
In an effort to make career exploration in our region easy and accessible, the ICR Future coalition will also be developing an online hub designed to help parents and students, educators, and employers understand career pathways and how to connect and support career-connected learning. We plan to launch the new website, www.icrfuture.org, this fall.