Career Pathways and Technical Education Task Force

Committee Recommendations

Career Guidance

Recommendation 1: Enhance the current World’s Best Workforce legislation about student plans to require enhanced comprehensive individualized life plans and strengthen the process for review and revision of those plans.

Recommendation 2: All students should have regular and frequent access to multiple individuals within the school community who have reliable and accurate information/resources about postsecondary education and training options; including career and technical education and training options, to enhance the learning process and the development of their individual life plan.

Recommendation 3: All Minnesota families, including families of youth with disabilities, families experiencing socio-economic challenges, those with first-generation college bound students, and multicultural families, will have the opportunity to engage in students’ planning activities and will have access to training and resources so they may help their youth make appropriate career planning and education choices.

Recommendation 4: School and community partnerships are a key component in in the success of implementing individualized life plans and thus schools are encouraged to develop an infrastructure for fully engaging with employers, chambers of commerce, labor groups, postsecondary institutions, workforce development related agencies and other community based organizations

Experiential Learning

Recommendation 1: MDE in collaboration with DEED and postsecondary systems should develop and maintain a website profiling careers and employment trends and outline the educational paths necessary for success in these fields. This should be linked to required testing in all schools (PLAN and Explore). A state-led focus on trends using on-line resources for students and families would be more efficient than having each district compile the information.

Recommendation 2: Expand course offerings similar to the Minnesota Virtual Academy that include career clusters as well as strategies for post-secondary options and make them available to students and districts throughout the state. Allow the granting of on-line credit and include a list of Minnesota businesses who will support field experiences and internships.

Recommendation 3: Create a standardized experiential education process that includes career exploration opportunities either through a specific class for credit in high school or through embedded “on-the-job” opportunities within classes. Provide ways to implement this throughout the year including during the summer. Individualize this with assessment data to meet a student’s educational needs. Students should be required to have an experiential learning experience to graduate from high school.

Recommendation 4: Explore the option of a small business tax credit for each 80-hour field experience/internship opportunity that is successfully completed by a high school student. The student would also receive credit based on successful completion.

Recommendation 5: Provide staff development (and/or teacher training) to meet the needs of coordinating the experiential program and participants, including establishing the mentoring process, and evaluating the standards that are covered and determined met in the off-site experiences.

Student Transitions

Recommendation 1: Review and modify the Postsecondary Enrollment Options legislation to more effectively promote opportunities for all students to engage in early college opportunities.

Recommendation 2: Review and modify structural barriers to smooth transitions among educational levels and into the workforce.

Recommendation 3: Monitor the implementation of new assessment systems to ensure their effectiveness in gauging both college and career readiness.

Recommendation 4: Student experiences related to career exploration and career development must be implemented as a critical component of K-12 education

System Flexibility

Recommendation 1: Maintain high standards for education professionals and allow for flexibility in Minnesota teacher licensure structure that promote opportunities to explore new roles in supporting student’s career development.

Recommendation 2: Provide flexible governance structures that ensure that schools (districts) have the capacity and opportunity to modify/alter current practices to meet the needs of all learners.

Recommendation 3: Promote broad levels of collaboration with public and private entities to improve the alignment and increase the availability of resources and services that students’ can benefit from as they prepare for and access college and career opportunities.

Recommendation 4: Fully utilize technology in creating system-wide approaches in supporting students career awareness, knowledge and skills regarding future postsecondary education participation and career options, etc.).

Recommendation 5: Establish flexible strategies and procedures for working with business/employers in increasing opportunities for students to gain knowledge and experience in relation to career fields.