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Preparing students for the National Career Readiness Certificate.

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Presentation on theme: "Preparing students for the National Career Readiness Certificate."— Presentation transcript:

1 Preparing students for the National Career Readiness Certificate

2 What employers want Employers tell us that a high school diploma, even a college degree, is not enough anymore to insure work readiness Employers want workers who can read, apply math and locate information Rustler Inc. CMR business ed student

3 What we’ve done Working with the Great Falls Workforce Initiative for the past two years the Great Falls Public Schools has moved forward on a pilot project on WorkKeys WorkKeys is a battery of tests assessing the proficiencies of students in those three areas: applied math, reading for information and locating information

4 National Career Readiness Certificate The ultimate goal is a National Career Ready Certificate It is a national registry used in 45 states to certify that a worker has proficiencies for specific jobs outlined by employers

5 How students earn certificates The Great Falls Public Schools’ pilot project has been extended this year to 200 CMR Business Ed “Rustler Inc.” students. Last year 160 GFHS and Paris students earned certificates The students are prepared for WorkKeys by a curriculum called Key Train, an ACT product

6 The pre-testing Students pre-test in Key Train and are given a score of 1-7 in the three categories Teachers prompt the students on their career choices. For example, a registered nurse would need a score of 5 on reading, a 6 on applied math and a 5 on locating information. The students interested in nursing with a score of 3s in those areas would use the curriculum to raise their scores

7 WorkKeys test Teachers select a test date when they feel students have progressed sufficiently to take WorkKeys Each of the tests is online and is 55 minutes, with 10 minute breaks We have our scores within 24 hours

8 First results Our first tests were administered Jan. 13-14 at Great Falls High School Students are ranked on a 1-7 basis on the tests with 7 being the highest. To attain a certificate a student needed at least “3” on all three tests for a “bronze” certificate, “4s” for a “silver” certificate, “5s” for a “gold” certificate, and “6s” for a platinum. To our amazement, the first 80 who tested all earned one of the four WorkKeys certificates Final tallies on our first WorkKeys run: 2 Platinum, 29 Gold, 43 Silver and 6 Bronze. In April at Paris: 48 students tested: 6 Gold, 22 Silver, 14 Bronze In May, 38 more GFHS students tested: 9 Gold, 27 Silver, 2 Bronze. Grand Total: 160 certificates: 2 Platinum, 44 Gold, 94 Silver, 20 Bronze Tests have been scheduled Jan. 4 and 5, 2012

9 What the results mean The certificate is awarded at four levels: Platinum: Skills for 99% of the jobs in ACT’s database of occupational profiles—the largest of its kind. Gold: Skills for 90% of the jobs in the ACT database Silver: Skills for 65% of the jobs in the ACT database Bronze: Skills for 35% of the jobs in the ACT database Total Registered Certificates Nationally last updated October 25, 2010 Platinum Certificates: 3,171 Gold Certificates: 133,518 Silver Certificates:370,529 Bronze Certificates:184,696 Total Certificates: 691,914

10 The certificate’s value Our job now is to enhance the certificate’s value Obviously, it has value in the 45 states where it is recognized Immediately, we’re educating our local employers in the value of recognizing the National Career Readiness Certificate Immediately, the students who have them possess a credential that is a resume builder

11 A first step The Great Falls Public School District has taken the lead in recognizing the National Career Readiness Certificate As the community’s third largest employer (after Malmstrom and Benefis) it hires regularly The District’s Human Resources Office asks for the certificate at levels appropriate to specific jobs. Recently it posted a job and indicated a preference for a silver certificate

12 What’s next? Intensively educating local business and industry about the certificate and encourage its use in the hiring process As a first step we’re asking employers to be familiar with the certificate and recognize it when it is presented to you Some ways to recognize it would be to offer certificate holders an automatic job interview or pay differential as a recognition that the holder comes to you verifiably prepared in the three tested areas The school district is working with the Great Falls Job Service and has discussed the possibilities of Job Service coordinating testing workers and offering the Key Train curriculum

13 Teaching “soft” skills At all three schools this year we’ve added the “Career Skills” part of the Key Train curriculum that measures “soft” skills such as work habits, communication skills, workplace effectiveness, and business etiquette WorkKeys testing is being offered on a voluntary basis to students at GFHS and Paris There is some discussion about WorkKeys as a critical requirement for diplomas for “At Risk” and Adult Ed students

14 How you can help Recognize the Career Readiness Certificate in your employment practices, particularly as they involve GFPS graduates Spread the word about this credential Attend the WorkKeys seminars and send your human resource hiring officers and other managers Assist us in underwriting the cost of software and certificates Lobby Supt. of Public Instruction Denise Juneau to include a WorkKeys option in her proposal that all students take ACT college entrance tests

15 Signing on Employers are asked to sign a “Letter of Commitment” that asks employers to recommend the National Career Readiness Certificate in hiring and/or promotion practices for one or more positions in its organization So far the following employers have agreed to do so: Benefis Great Falls Clinic Great Falls Tribune N.E.W. Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce Great Falls Public Schools City of Great Falls University of Great Falls This represents more than 5,500 jobs in Great Falls


17 Your contact Tom Kotynski Career and Technical Education Great Falls Public Schools 1100 4 th St. S. Great Falls, MT 59403 (406) 268 6024

18 Our first “Platinum” Tom Frasz of Great Falls High shows off his certificate

19 Some Web links (The Key Train Curriculum) (WorkKeys home page) (Search for jobs by skill levels) (National Career Readiness Certificate home page) (A case study on how the community of Elgin, IL is using WorkKeys/National Career Readiness Certificate for workforce development and academic attainment

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