- New Jersey's Marlboro Township Public Schools takes four steps to help its K-8 students become college and career ready before they ever leave for high school, including having students take assessments four to five times a year to make sure they’re meeting state college and career readiness standards, eSchool News reports.
- Students are also introduced to professionals in the working world at an early age through remote video chats, giving them an opportunity to ask questions of the speakers for more immediate information.
- Soft skill development is also encouraged, as well as providing time for students to work on projects of their own choosing every week.
Those in charge of a school or district's curriculum don’t have to reinvent the wheel or strain budgets to make sure students have relevant college and career ready skills before they leave school. But getting them started early on building these abilities, before high school, is key to making sure they’re prepared when they finally graduate.
Schools must focus on helping students develop soft skills in high demand from employers, such as knowing how to communicate and collaborate with peers, as well as the technical skills and abilities they learn in school. Giving students an opportunity to see how professionals work and what they actually do can help them understand the tools they'll need, see those skills in action, and get an idea of what a typical work day may look like in a career they’re considering.
While Marlboro Township Public Schools uses Nepris to bring experts into classrooms, there are other options to link students to experts, including DreamWakers or even Google Hangouts. These online discussions can essentially serve as a crystal ball for students, providing a window into their potential futures.
Getting students thinking about what they need to learnin order to succeed in a desired career field may help them start thinking seriously about the steps they need to get there. The goal is to have students who are not only eager to start their lives when they leave school, but be prepared as well.