Posted on 04/05/2019 at 10:36 AM by Blog Experts

There is an effort in Iowa being supported through The Center, which supports districts exploring and implementing personalized, competency-based learning systems, to develop a Portrait of a Graduate.  This is a development process that allows district leadership to focus on those skills graduates need to be successful beyond high school, whether it is college or a career.  The image below explains the process. The goal is that 21% of districts by 2021 will have increased staff supporting the process and there is a goal of 50% by 2025.





Better align and expand the ecosystem of support for Iowans beginning college or career training or returning to complete, with a focus on Iowans who are low income and/or underrepresented minorities.

Improving remediation, including remedial coursework in high schools, rather than at community colleges lets students improve their skills in condensed periods rather than re‐taking entire courses. (AEA PREP facilitates this effort*)

Expand high‐quality work‐based learning experiences in high‐demand fields and careers for all students, particularly traditionally underrepresented students.

Increase K‐12 quality pre‐apprenticeships, registered apprenticeships, internships and other employer‐driven work‐based learning programs that bridge to postsecondary opportunities. This should include expanded summer youth programs. (AEA Learning Online facilitates this effort*)

Business professionals and teachers design authentic hands‐on work‐based learning to create more connections between school and employers for both students and teachers (teacher externships – improve specific content knowledge, such as math). (Work-based Learning Clearinghouse facilitates this effort*)

At every opportunity, integrate employability skills/non‐cognitive skills/social‐emotional learning. (The Center facilitates this effort*)

Identify and scale effective early academic and career development and delivery approaches so all students are prepared for a changing world.

Focus on high‐quality instruction based on Iowa’s academic standards (which include both content and 21st-century skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, writing and communication), especially for high‐need and underserved students, and on closing achievement gaps. (The Center facilitates this effort*)

Bolster the 21st-century skills component of Iowa’s state academic standards to encourage teachers to incorporate career information into the classroom. (The Center facilitates this effort*)

Utilize Iowa’s new College and Career Readiness definition, which is a roadmap for meeting the Future Ready Iowa goal. This is important to ensure early awareness of career choices and sustainability of the Future Ready Iowa plan beyond 2025. (PREP and The Center facilitate this effort*)

Support the implementation of House File 2392, which focuses on effective career and academic planning; high‐quality career‐technical education instruction; and regional partnerships. (AEA PREP facilitates this effort*)

A final question:  Has the school community developed a shared definition of student success? What are the expectations for the skills, knowledge, and traits that students will need for lifelong learning and preparation for college and career?  How is the school designed to help students build the necessary knowledge, skills, and habits?

(Content is from a presentation to the AEA Chiefs (1/2018) by Andrea Stewart, Mississippi Bend AEA.)

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