Educators, business leaders attend career-planning summit

Published: 01/21/2019, 9:06 PM

(OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.) Hundreds of educators and business leaders gathered in Moore last week for a statewide Student Success Summit to share best practices for preparing Oklahoma students for life after high school.

Presented by the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE), the summit took place Thursday and Friday at Moore Norman Technology Center’s South Penn campus.

The Student Success Summit is among OSDE's ongoing efforts to help districts have the tools necessary to implement the Individual Career Academic Planning (ICAP) program statewide. Since the 2017-18 school year, 74 districts and 134 schools have piloted the ICAP program, which will be required next school year for all ninth-graders. In many of the summit sessions, pilot schools shared best practices and lessons learned.

After full implementation, Oklahoma will join 33 states with career-planning requirements for public education students.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister emphasized the importance of personalized pathways to a successful future for all students.

“Students learn by doing, and because ICAP is an interactive process involving the student, educators, family and professionals, it facilitates meaningful professional connections that give students an opportunity to test-drive potential careers,” she said. “The robust conversations at the summit were designed to inspire stakeholders to start planning for ICAP implementation now.”

The summit kicked off with a student panel of young people from pilot districts discussing how ICAPs have put them on the path to promising careers.

One panelist, Nate Pierce of Pryor High School, changed his career plans after an internship he secured as a result of his school’s participation in ICAP.

“I would never have known I wanted to go into communications and programming had I not done an internship,” he said. “I woke up every day excited to go there.”

Friday’s programming included a focus on forging business and education partnerships. Mustang Public Schools, in the second year of an ICAP pilot, is involving local professionals in career planning for its sixth- through ninth-grade students. In classroom visits, the professionals share how the lessons of today are essential to solving problems on the job later.

“Our students are making those connections between what they are learning in class and how they can apply that to future careers,” said Tracy Skinner, deputy superintendent of Mustang Public Schools. “In addition, parents are becoming more involved in understanding their students’ interests.”


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