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Students Learn Business Skills in Rural Kentucky School Districts

A new program, funded by a federal Investing in Innovation (i3) grant, is helping middle and high school students in 30 rural districts of Kentucky get a jump start on college and career. Dubbed Kentucky C3R (KY C3R), the initiative uses career-focused coursework, integrated with the schools' curricula, to teach students practical life and business skills.

Students begin the program by completing an evaluation to determine workforce readiness and skill base, after which they move on to coursework. The districts are using Win Learning's Career Readiness Courseware, an online competency-based system that enables students to learn at their own pace. The program features 41 modules covering 10 topic areas, including: "reading for information, applied mathematics, locating information, listening and observation, applied technology, business writing, writing, work habits (soft skills) and teamwork," according to a company statement. Students receive feedback as they move through the program and must pass the tests at the end of each module before they can advance to the next section.

Additional features of the system include Strategic Compass, a career exploration program, and Soft Skills Series, which teaches professional skills such as effective communication, workplace demeanor, teamwork, and critical thinking and problem solving.

"This real-world focus helps determine the personalized selection of coursework and other experiences that will lead our middle and high school students to their desired careers, either directly after graduation or following further training and/or completing their college education," stated Bowling.

The program was implemented by Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative (KVEC) and Green River Regional Educational Cooperative (GRREC).

Additional information about the Kentucky initiative and the career readiness program can be found online.

About the Author

Kanoe Namahoe is online editor for 1105 Media's Education Group. She can be reached at knamahoe@1105media.com.

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