Jun 07, 2017
Yearlong, Paid Opportunity Allows Educators to Pioneer New Curricular Resources

BATON ROUGE, La. --The Louisiana Department of Education has partnered with national non-profit organization America Achieves to launch theLouisiana Educator Voice Fellowship, a paid opportunity for the state's most forward-thinking educators to learn about the rapidly changing economy and co-create a new generation of curricular resources that inspire all students to prepare themselves for college and career success.

"Louisiana has made great strides in advancing career and technical education for all students," said State Superintendent John White, noting the Department has worked with regional teams of employers, educators and workforce experts to develop nearly 50 graduation pathways, establish paid summer internships and boost the number of students earning industry-based credentials. "As we continue to create hands-on opportunities for our students outside the classroom, we must also ensure they are receiving updated and innovative lessons inside of it. There is no one better to tailor that curricula to the state's needs than our own educators and industry leaders."
The fellowship, which will be discussed in greater detail at Department's2017 Teacher Leader Summitthis weekin New Orleans, is a 16-month program that will connect more than a dozen teachers, principals and district administrators with state leaders and industry experts to learn about the changing set of skills, competencies, knowledge and preparation students need to be successful. Fellows, who will be paid a stipend for their work, will review best practices ofJump Start,Louisiana's premier career and technical education program; visit in-state and out-of-state industry sites to interview leaders about their needs; and study career readiness initiatives across the country.
Participants will then use this knowledge, paired with their professional expertise, to help create a new career readiness course, which will be piloted in the 2018-19 school year and phased in across the state to replace Journey to Careers, the current course materials, by 2020-21.
Over time, Louisiana will expand and enhance these instructional resources to create career-readiness materials for students of every age. In the future, these resources will enable:
  • Elementary and early middle school students to explore foundational college and career exploration topics;
  • Late middle school students to pursue personal financial literacy while expanding their college and career exploration;
  • Early high school students to complete personal interests inventories while learning critical self-advocacy and high school success skills; and
  • High school juniors and seniors to master job attainment and job success skills, using materials that are also applicable to young adults ages 18 to 26 who are not in school and who are either underemployed or unemployed.
Additional details will be provided during the "Future of Career Readiness: Preparing Students for College, Career and Life Success" and the "Career Readiness Initiative: Louisiana Educator Voice Fellowship" sessions at the2017 Teacher Leader Summit on June 8at 10:05 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. CDT, respectively.
"Every young person in Louisiana ought to be able to leverage their hard work and education to get on track for a good job and career," said America Achieves Executive Chairman Jon Schnur. "This program will help young people better understand the range of career and occupational options in Louisiana, as well as identify the decisions, pathways, and skills that can help them succeed."
It's critical for students to understand what employers, specifically those in Louisiana, want and need, said Stephen Toups, president of Turner Industries, a major employer of graduates with industry-based credentials.
"We all want young people with the basic skills necessary to succeed in the workplace--things like being able to communicate with unfamiliar adults, the ability to work effectively in teams, the ability to both take instructions and exhibit leadership skills," Toups said. "Mastering these 'soft skills' will help our young people be effective in the workplace starting from the day they are hired. The creation of a lifelong program of learning career readiness skills is the single best way to help every one of our young people succeed and to help our state prosper in the long run."
Educators who have experience developing career readiness courses, programs or resources for Louisiana students from all backgrounds and who are passionate about innovative pedagogy and embedding student learning in real world settings are encouraged to apply. All candidates must be employed by a public school system in a role that serves students between 7th and 12th grades.
Educators interested in joining the program can register on theLouisiana Educator Voice Fellowship website, and they will be notified when the application becomes available later this month. The deadline for submission is July 9. Fellows will be announced in early August, and the program, which will require no state funds to operate, will start in September.
With questions,
# # # # # #