By now we have all heard the term “College and Career Ready.” Though the definition varies slightly depending on who you speak to, it typically defines the academic skills required to forego remedial classes in college. “Life Ready” is a term that I feel is a far better approach than “College and Career Ready.” Though we aim to prepare our students for college AND careers, more often than not they have the option of college OR career.
Students spend thirteen or so of their first eighteen years in K-12. They leave our classrooms with many path options including a two or four year college, work, military, trade school, or apprenticeship. Those that attend college or a trade school will do so for a few years and then progress into their career where they will spend the majority of their life (hopefully) gainfully employed.
A slight shift in mindset allows us to look at this preparation with a broader lens. As an education institution, our primary focus is academic achievement. However, I fear that we are missing the most critical skills that employers seek such as leadership, problem solving, and communication.
The Life Ready initiative that I am helping to co-lead is considering an adjusted model where the importance of academic achievement is not impacted, but we find innovative ways to allow students to develop and enhance the important “soft skills” they are lacking upon graduation.
As the initiative continues to progress, I will capture the progress on this blog.