In the time since Fort Osage received the Real World Learning Grant from the Kauffman Foundation, we have been making great progress at connecting classroom learning to careers in the metro area.
The overarching goal of the Kauffman Foundation program is for students to graduate high school with a market value asset that better prepares them for life after high school. A market value asset is defined as industry-valued recognized skills acquired in high school that create a more seamless transition from school to postsecondary education or the workplace. Examples of market value assets achieved in high school are internships and apprenticeships; substantive dual college credit; select industry-recognized credentials; completion of authentic, substantive project work for clients; paid work experience in the area of career interest; or entrepreneurial experiences.
A portion of the grant paid for a Business and Community Coordinator, Dylan Peterson, who has been busy helping make connections and will help students with scheduling internships, researching possibilities for dual credit/AP expansion, pairing business partners with teachers to implement client projects. Two real world learning projects in the works for students in the current school year with the Buckner Chamber of Commerce and Habitat for Humanity.
To further this work we have formed a Design+Plan Team made up of industry partners, parents and teachers to help develop our Real World Learning Plan. We have held one meeting already, and will be meeting several more times to evaluate our data and develop our plan for the next several years. Members of the team will also be visiting exemplary schools to see what Real World Learning looks like in practice across the U.S. By the end of the school year we will have a three-year strategic plan to present to the Kauffman Foundation, which will hopefully help us to secure additional grant funds to pursue our goals.
We are excited about this opportunity to build stronger programs and systems at the secondary level to ensure that each student graduates with the skills and experiences to be successful in whatever pathway they choose for their future.