Originally published by The Medium – March 10, 2021
By: Ashley Anderson
At Insight School of Kansas, we strive to set the standard for education while empowering responsible, innovative learners. We believe that education should be flexible and tailored to meet the needs of individual students. The COVID-19 pandemic has also accelerated the need for adaptability to prepare high school students for their life post-graduation. With our state’s unemployment rate at 3.8 percent, higher than it was prior to COVID, and the average student leaving college more than $37,000 in debt, some students are looking for additional options upon graduation.
This year we expanded our course offerings with the launch of our ISKS Stride Career Prep Program. Our goal is to expose students to a variety of in-demand career fields, allow them to explore their interests both inside and outside of the “classroom,” and develop a better understanding of the options available to them after high school. Currently we provide pathways of study in three clusters: Business, IT and Health and Human Services.
When students enroll in Stride Career Prep, they are provided with more than the traditional curriculum. Our students leave us with direct connections to their industry of interest by participating in a variety of work-based learning opportunities along the way. Not only do we help our students network with their industry community, but we also help build student connections with post-secondary education options, help them develop resumes, search for scholarships and prepare for interviews. Many of our students also plan to work towards certifications that will aid in their potential to join the workforce after graduation.
The ISKS Stride Career Prep Program encourages students to think outside the box and determine a future direction with an immersive, hands-on learning experience. Upon completion, our students are more prepared for their next step, whether that be continuing to college, joining the workforce immediately or a combination of both. Many of our students are excited about the opportunity to start in one role, for example Certified Nursing Assistant, and work towards growth within the industry.
Our program helps makes our students’ high school education relevant and meaningful to them. When interest is peaked and students are engaged with their future in mind, it becomes easier for them to make connections and understand the importance of learning in all courses. Whether students are learning programming in our IT pathway or exploring the various healthcare careers in the Health and Human Services pathway, the experiences thus far have been promising and exciting. We look forward to a future of growth within in our students and our program.
Ashley Anderson is the career readiness education coordinator at Insight School of Kansas, an online public school program serving students statewide.
To learn more about Insight School of Kansas visit, https://insightks.k12.com