New Skills for Youth - Foundations for Work

In recent years, executive leadership and growing enthusiasm for career readiness have empowered state policymakers in Ohio to undertake a number of efforts to strengthen career preparation systems. Namely, Governor John Kasich's Executive Workforce Board, which includes business and industry representatives, members of the Ohio General Assembly, and state education and workforce development decision makers, has not only signaled political support and prioritization of a strong workforce development agenda but also launched new initiatives such as the OhioMeansJobs career advising website.

In this environment, the state has enacted new policies to strengthen accountability, improve career advising, and increase the number of students earning industry-recognized credentials. After the state Legislature passed a law in 2012 to reframe the structure of the state's school accountability report card, the Ohio Board of Education developed a plan to integrate career readiness data starting with a school report card specifically focused on Career Technical Education (CTE). This report card grades CTE programs on an A-F scale and includes metrics such as technical skill attainment, placement after graduation and industry credential attainment. Since the CTE report cards were rolled out in 2013, Ohio has recorded a 15-point increase in the percentage of students taking technical skill examinations.

The same piece of legislation updated the statewide accountability system by integrating industry credential attainment into a student's "Prepared for Success" score, which indicates the degree to which students are graduating from high school prepared for postsecondary education or career. Students earning state­ approved credentials are weighted the same as students earning passing grades on college entrance examinations or achieving an honors diploma.

To further prioritize credential attainment at the high school level, in 2014 the Legislature revised Ohio's graduation requirements and adopted a new credential diploma pathway. The new plan is scheduled to first affect the class of 2018 and will enable students who earn a state-approved credential and achieve a score that demonstrates career readiness on a job skills assessment to earn a diploma. Previously, students could complete a college­ and career-ready course of study only by earning a passing grade on five subject examinations.

The same law also required districts to provide career guidance to all students in grades 6-12 by the 2015-16 school year. The primary mechanism by which school-based counselors provide career guidance services is the Career Connections framework, which enables students to develop individualized plans that embed career awareness, exploration and planning into the educational pathway.The framework builds upon tools and resources such as the OhioMeansJobs website.

Last Modified: 5/1/2017 12:22:07 PM