The COVID-19 pandemic has created urgency around re-engaging high school students who have fallen behind on graduation requirements and college and career readiness. There are untold numbers of high school students who, as a result of decreased engagement during the pandemic, failed or nearly failed courses this year.
Educators and advocacy groups agree that work-based learning and career exploration are key to re-engaging high school students. Making coursework relevant to post-secondary career opportunities and encouraging the development of transferrable, essential skills help students explore career options and encourage re-engagement.
Colorado Succeeds joined a number of school districts and education partners in urging the state to invest in a strategy address high school disengagement through career-connected learning:
- Prioritize career-connected learning and partnerships – encourage employers to partner with schools
- Support regional partnerships and collaboration
- Expand seat-time flexibility to encourage and easily facilitate learning outside the classroom
- Increase flexibility in community college service areas to encourage concurrent enrollment
- Incentivize blended learning and schedule flexibility