- Linking classrooms to the real world by connecting students to industry experts who can educate them about careers can help students find the “why” behind learning, eSchoolNews reports.
- This strategy is increasingly important as roughly 78% of all available jobs will require education beyond high school in the future and 60% of job applicants lack the skills necessary for most of those jobs.
- For schools who do not have easy access to industry experts, websites such as Nepris can help. Access to industry experts allows students to focus on what they want to do in life, broadens their awareness of prospective career fields, helps them focus on their futures, builds trust between students and teachers, and shows students the connection between classroom learning and the real world.
While some students are true scholars who love learning for learning’s sake, most students are immensely practical. They don’t want to “waste” time and energy learning something they don’t see as relevant to their lives. This is why making these real-world connections is so important to engage students and help them set goals for their lives.
Schools can help students make these connections in a variety of ways. Connecting with local businesses and industries is a logical step because employers have a vested interest in promoting themselves to a future workforce in the area. Career exploration events are another way to connect students to their future. Websites such as Real World Learning Network, DaVinci Real World Learning, and Nepris can also offer these connections. Teachers can also find ways to incorporate practical applications into subject areas such as math, science, or writing.
Increasingly, states are seeing the need for these connections. North Carolina just enacted a law requiring each local board of education to establish a business advisory council. The stated purpose of this council is to aid school boards in “identifying economic and workforce development trends related to the training and educational needs of the local community and advocating for strong, local career and technical education programs, including career pathway development that provides work-based learning opportunities for students and prepares students for post-secondary educational certifications and credentialing for high-demand careers.” Even if a state does not requires this, a school district can establish their own council. Regular meetings with industry leaders a few times a year will likely help establish these connections and may create opportunities for donations and grant funding to support school programs in the future.