In an attempt to broaden the scope of education reform to more effectively prepare students for life beyond high school, the Pathways to Prosperity Project is suggesting three major changes to the traditional approach taken to education reform.
1. “The first is the development of a broader vision of school reform that embraces multiple pathways to help young people successfully navigate the journey from adolescence to adulthood.” Given that only 30% of students follow the path from high school directly through a four year college, this notion that attending a four year college is the only way to achieve success in a career is antiquated and inaccurate. This new approach to reform would include emphasis on “career counseling and high-quality career education, as well as apprenticeship programs and community colleges as viable routes to well-paying jobs.”
2.“We need to ask our nation’s employers to play a greatly expanded role in supporting the pathways system, and in providing more opportunities for young adults to participate in work-based learning and actual jobs related to their programs of study.” Hands on practice in the work place and mentorship programs pairing students with professionals in the community teaches valuable skills and makes the work done in school more meaningful.
3. “The report contends that we need to develop a new social compact between society and our young people” with the goal of preparing students for successful transition into adult life. This success will be contingent on equipping students with both the education and experience necessary to transition into a career field.
“At the core of the project is building collaborations among schools, businesses, and nonprofit organizations as a means to get everyone working together.” This collaboration has the potential to transform an educational system that is struggling to prepare students for a changing landscape of life beyond the traditional brick and mortar classrooms.