Career Readiness for Students → Action Plan
Montgomery County Public Schools has developed a three-year action plan in response to a 2017 external review, Preparing All Students for Economic and Career Success, conducted by the Education Strategy Group. The plan was developed by a group of stakeholders that included parents, current and former students, staff, and business, community, and higher education leaders.
Develop guiding principles that elaborate on the MCPS vision and mission statements as it pertains to career readiness and that are inclusive of all students.
Consult postsecondary partners to garner their commitment to building alignment between the career readiness guiding principles of K-12 and higher education in Montgomery County.
Share the draft guiding principles with key stakeholders to socialize the ideas as well as gather input and feedback.
Revise and/or supplement the newly-released MCPS strategic plan to ensure that ideas from the career readiness guiding principles are meaningfully incorporated.
Begin to integrate guiding principles into appropriate MCPS documents and materials including curricular and communication and community engagement materials in alignment with the Stakeholder Understanding action plan.
See Stakeholder Understanding plan for additional details.
Develop professional learning opportunities aligned with the new guiding principles for career readiness for Administrators, Counselors, College and Career Information Counselors (CCICs).
Continue implementation of professional learning opportunities.
Establish a stakeholder committee to develop metric recommendations based on high-skill and high-demand industries.
Continuing into 2018-2019
Identify metric data which will be loaded into Performance Matters/Unify for the purpose of capturing, monitoring, and reporting data at the school-based and central office levels.
Create and post the Supervisor of Strategic Industry Partnerships job description in March, using employer partnerships including the Chamber to spread the word to the employer community.
Create a charge for the Superintendent’s Advisory Council.
Identify and recruit members of the Council.
Using the charge of the Superintendent’s Advisory Council as a starting point, determine the roles of MC, USG, County Government (workforce development), and MCCB (president/representative) and unpack how all will work together.
Convene Superintendent’s Advisory Council
Define what constitutes a quality work-based learning experience, with consideration to the full continuum from awareness, exploration, and preparation/training/jobs.
Clarify employer requirements and expectations for work-based experiences through major companies, small businesses, and industry associations.
Identify pilot programs/schools to test the program using the “gold standard” of work-based learning experiences.
Develop and implement a training plan and additional resources for students, staff, and business.
Establish metrics for levels of proficiency as well as measuring the quality of the work-based experiences.
Develop targets/timeline for multi-year rollout plan of work-based learning opportunities following the pilot.
Scale internships which are align to the new vision.
Develop a summer externship program for MCPS staff (teachers, counselors, etc.) which provides them with opportunities to have real-world experiences to leverage in their school settings with students.
Consider a regional approach to employer engagement.
Complete analysis of the labor market.
Develop a long-term plan for a recurring process to regularly collect and analyze labor market data to identify high-skill, high-demand industries and occupations and the skills and competencies (included associated industry-recognized credentials) that are needed in each.
Develop and execute strategies to vet the market analysis and high-value credential list with the Advisory Council - and later the MCCB - to make recommendation on pathways to prioritize and scale as well as retire.
Following the development of the Superintendent’s Advisory Council charge, create a new charge for Montgomery County Collaboration Board (MCCB) in the context of building and executing the strategy and direction set by the Advisory Council, with a focus on curriculum alignment, development of new programs, phasing out outdated programs, and ensuring program articulation with postsecondary.
Determine & clarify the roles of MC and USG
Identify and recruit members for the MCCB.
Convene the reconstituted MCCB.
Obtain industry data associated with existing career paths to demonstrate a level of demand for jobs in that industry. Locate additional industry data that also shows how ready the current workforce and/or student pool is prepared for the careers in those pathways.
Collect program qualitative data from a broad cross-section of stakeholder groups to determine satisfaction with current progra
Review and audit CTE data. Identify what performance data currently exists.
Collect 2 and 4-year data from students from MCPS from post-secondary education partners.
Collect the research / best practice recommendations for career pathway implementation and examples of comparable programs that are effective. Research best practices suggested in the ESG report, along with scientific journals focused on the implementation of career readiness programs. This may involve interviewing professionals of other districts and/or education researchers.
Develop a rubric to evaluate programs based on research. The rubric should focus on common themes identified from the research.
Using the rubric and a two-phase decision- making model, identify programs to phase out or redesign:
Conduct an impact assessment for programs to be phased out to understand the impact on all members of the school community and what supports are needed to address those impacts. Develop a transition plan for phasing programs out that includes communications with all impacted stakeholders.
Identify agreed upon criteria for all programs that are essential to the implementation of rigorous programs, considering best practices in PLTW Certification requirements and visits. Map all career pathways to available 4-year and 2-year degrees, and high-value industry certifications, including transferable 21st -century skills. Identify the high-value credentials and courses included in each program of study, so that each program of study is connected to a clear career pathway.
Review curriculum to identify areas of improvement, including scaffolding, differentiation, cultural proficiency, 21st Century skills, critical thinking, and problem-based learning and opportunities. Opportunities for industry-aligned work-based learning experiences, industry-recognized credentials, and college credit should be incorporated where applicable. Staff will invite industry and academia partners to participate in the curriculum review.
Identify funding opportunities for curriculum development through Perkins.
Curriculum development based on recommendations from above process.
Utilize stakeholder input to strategically determine programs locations, considering potential competition for the student population.
Field test regional choice models.
Provide comprehensive professional development on redesigned curriculum and program implementation. Share the systematic model utilized to ensure programs are high-quality and implemented with fidelity. Additional topics for the session will include cultural proficiency and scaffolding instruction to meet the needs of all students.
Conduct program monitoring visits to safeguard program implementation. Identify opportunities to provide schools and staff with support.
Review and finalize Finance Park Grade 7 curriculum and summative career exposure experience at Thomas Edison High School.
Develop options for systematic implementation of Naviance in connection with Grade 7 Financial Literacy curriculum.
Design and delivery comprehensive a professional development plan for counselors, teachers, and administrators on the regional labor market and high-value career opportunities, coupled with new vision (see Vision).
Expand career-related exposures and outside of school experiences for middle school students (e.g. KID Museum, Spark 101).
Leverage accountability and evaluation systems to create new expectations for school counselors.
Explore the development of a “Teacher as Advisor” system, so that career advisement is not placed solely on school counselors.
Leverage industry partnerships to create paid summer externships for CTE teachers and “core academic” teachers, and counselors.
Aggressively recruit and select teachers for summer externships
Launch a 6-week paid externship experiences for teachers in high-value, high- demand programs.
Form stakeholder group to develop recommended metrics (aligned with the metrics for career readiness success developed by the vision group) and vet metrics with stakeholder groups, superintendent, and the Board.
Partner with OCTO and OSA to develop systematic data collection systems, integrations (i.e. Performance Matters/Unify), and reporting that is aligned to with metrics, monitoring, and reporting.
Begin to integrate some level of career readiness measures (completer and high value certifications) in public reporting, strategic plan, and Evidence of Learning.
Explore opportunities to use Naviance for monitoring and career advisement.
Establish work group to review the ESG report and make recommendations for program modifications.
Analyze current research on economic and workforce trends.
Analyze stakeholder feedback from ESG and MCPS on career readiness and future goals
Conduct focus groups and interviews of current MCPS students, college students who have gone through career pathways, and graduates who are in careers.
Create visual identity for career-related programs and opportunities, including name and logo design, and vet with stakeholders
Provide background information and resources on career readiness programs to and solicit feedback from parents via Parent Community Coordinators. Feedback focused on: future goals for children and how MCPS can best prepare them to achieve the goals
Define the new value proposition and vet with stakeholders
Develop materials for schools to use during CTE Month in February (factoids, graduate profiles)
Develop a series of written and video Profiles of Success featuring graduates in successful careers who have benefitted from college and career readiness experiences in MCPS. Post on website and share via social media, email to all principals, central office staff, and BOE.
Provide high school journalism leaders with background information on current trends re: economy, college and career readiness and recap of graduate profiles. Provide their CTA via meeting with Superintendent: raise awareness about changes, career prep programs, and grads who have benefitted from MCPS programs
Create visual identity for career-related programs and opportunities, including name and logo design, and vet with stakeholders
Develop a toolkit for MCPS staff that includes key talking points that are audience-specific (i.e. counselors, principals,) FAQ, PowerPoint deck, links to videos and other relevant resources
Develop a body of collateral and resources targeting key external stakeholders, including but not limited to: flyers, FAQs, brochures, posters
Produce an informational video outlining the changing trends in the economy and workforce and the importance of career readiness
Develop a social media and media relations strategy that includes direct, targeted outreach to the full range of stakeholders that goes beyond the MCPS and school websites and social media
Revamp the website to align it with revised messaging and new visual identity, to include other key resources, and to improve navigation
Create flyer and information letters for new 2018-2019 programs.
Analyze national research on CTE, including but not limited to work of Advance CTE, to learn about perceptions and misconceptions. Review CTE marketing materials from other school districts.
Integrate national research on CTE in all messaging to internal and external stakeholders
Develop program-specific marketing templates and resources for schools to use to market their programs, beginning with programs in engineering, computer science, and education
Continue to implement social media and media relations strategy, including regular updates to high school journalism leaders
Develop toolkit of best practices and resources on career activities and identify touch points at the elementary, middle, and high school levels for incorporating activities (e.g., career days, Lunch and Learns, STEM nights, etc.)
Continue to produce and disseminate print and video Profiles of Success featuring MCPS grads in successful careers
Produce quarterly online chats with key employers to discuss career opportunities, relevant skills necessary for careers, and advice for students and families. Create summary of chat for translation into different languages and disseminate through usual MCPS channels
Develop annual comprehensive plan for CTE Month in February
Produce quarterly email update on career-related activities, research, trends, news. Disseminate to schools and key stakeholders.
Provide regularly updated talking points and information to Parent Community Coordinators and other staff that engage with parents and community members
Produce 60-second spots on various MCPS career programs-one per month
Highlight career programs regularly in The Bulletin and Quick Notes
Highlight successful career programs and school career activities in A&S meetings
Convene periodic face-to-face and virtual community meetings with parent and community stakeholders
Develop check-ins with students, families, and staff to whether level of awareness is increasing and to get feedback on improvements to marketing and communications. Include question related to awareness in current MCPS surveys of staff, students, and families