Career Pathways and Technical Education Task Force

Guidance Recommendations

Recommendation:

Enhance the current World’s Best Workforce legislation about student plans to require enhanced comprehensive individual life plans and strengthen the process for review and revision of those plans.

Possible Action Steps:

1. Clarify the language in the World’s Best Workforce to make it clear that the “plan” is both a process and a document.
2. Specify that plan documents should, at a minimum, include students’ course taking and post-secondary plans aligned to career goals, and documentation of the college and career readiness skills the student has developed.
• Plans and Individualized Education Programs (IEP) are complementary to each other and should be coordinated.
3. Specify that plan documents must be electronic, portable and universally designed to ensure accessibility for all students, including those with disabilities. Plan documents should be accessible by schools, students and families. (MDE or an appropriate taskforce should establish technical specifications that define what makes plans “portable.” School districts may adopt technologies and delivery platforms that meet the guidelines established by MDE.)
4. Provide a uniform set of standards for the annual review and revision requirement of the legislation.
5. Provide an accountability mechanism and reporting requirement for the review and revision process (i.e., the percent of students meeting the standards developed by MDE will be weighted in MMR ratings).

Recommendation:

Students should have regular and frequent access to multiple individuals in the K12 school community who have reliable and accurate information about career and technical options.

Possible Action Steps:

1. Schools serving students in grades 6-12 must adopt, as part of their school improvement plan, a plan for staff development, which at a minimum, specifies how the staff will be trained on current workforce trends, types of degrees and certifications offered that align with those workforce trends and best practices about how to advise students about these options.
2. Secondary schools should work toward the goal of one school counselor for every four hundred students in order to help lead college and career readiness programs and staff development by 2018.
3. Annually, MDE, in consultation with other appropriate state agencies, will provide a report to schools on current workforce trends and the educational demand produced by these trends to assist schools in the implementation of their staff development plans.
4. Amend Minnesota Statues section 122A.60 STAFF DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM -Subd. 1a by adding a new class of permitted activities:
a. (8) provide opportunities for staff to learn about current workforce trends and the links between those trends, post-secondary education and career and technical education.
5. Revise continuing education requirements for teachers in grades 6-12 to include a requirement for work based learning experience by amending Minnesota statutes section 122A.09 DUTIES [Board of Teaching] Subd.4 adding:
a. (o) The board must adopt rules that require all licensed teachers teaching in a secondary school who are renewing their continuing license to include in their renewal requirements a reflective statement of professional accomplishment and the applicant's own assessment of professional growth resulting from a work based learning experience.

Work-based learning experience definition: Experiential learning which occurs outside of a K-12 setting.

Recommendation:

Students should be required to have an experiential learning experience to graduate from high school.

Possible Action Steps:

1. Revise Minnesota Statutes, section 120B.024 CREDITS to require .1 credits in experiential learning for graduation from high school. This requirement cannot preclude the possibility of students earning credit for learning in a non-classroom based learning experience.
a. Experiential learning definition: To include but not be limited to work site tours, job shadowing, rotations, mentor relationships, entrepreneurship, service learning, internships/co-ops, apprenticeship and employment
2. MDE must develop appropriate standards and benchmarks for experiential learning. These standards should clearly establish the elements of a high quality experiential learning experience in grades 6-8, 9-10 and 11-12.
3. MDE, in collaboration with DEED and other appropriate state agencies will develop sample programs of excellence which showcase the variety of ways students may demonstrate mastery of the adopted standards. At a minimum these programs must include:
a. a classroom-based model,
b. a work-based learning model and,
c. a service-learning model