JFYNetWorks: Innovation in our DNA

JFYNetWorks: Innovation in our DNA

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JFYNetWorks has re-invented itself again. Now we’re in the forefront of College and Career Readiness, and our antennae are alive to all signals.

INNOVATION - It's in JFYs DNA

It’s in our DNA

JFYNetWorks has re-invented itself –again.

Now we’re in the forefront of College and Career Readiness.

JFYNetWorks has re-invented itself —again. It isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last. Innovation is our idiom, our instinct, our identity. It’s entwined in our DNA.

For 39 years we’ve kept our finger on the pulse of the economy and created new forms of education and training– competency-based instruction in the 1980s, sectoral job training in the 90s, blended learning in the 2000s, college and career readiness in the 2010s. Throughout these four decades of accelerating change in which technology has shrunk the globe and transformed the way we work and live, we have recognized emergent trends in the economy and adjusted our programs to help young people meet the new labor market demands. In making these adjustments, we have found points of leverage where innovation could make a decisive and measurable impact. That point of leverage now is college and career readiness.

Technology is transforming every job in every industry. The change is constant and the pace increases. This economy demands skills—higher skills than ever before, and new skills every day: not a static set of skills, but a dynamic skillfulness that evolves new skills out of old the way fruit gestates from seed. In this volatile marketplace of talent, skills are the only ticket of admission, and it’s standing room only.

The new rubric “College and Career Readiness” says there is no difference in the skills required for either goal. It’s college and career—not college or career. “College” emphasizes learning while “career” stresses applying, but these phases are two strokes of the same piston. Learning never ends; we understand it to be constant, as expressed in the phrase “lifelong learning.” And application has become so fused with learning that the value of a college degree is measured by the income it commands. The terms “college ready” and “career ready” are interchangeable. The universal adoption of the standard “College and Career Ready” signifies that college-level skills are no longer optional: they are required. College readiness is the single most critical criterion for participation in this hyper-competitive labor market– the minimum skill threshold that every high school graduate needs to cross.

College readiness is not a vague aspiration or an academic abstraction. It is quantifiable. Colleges measure “readiness” with standardized reading, writing and math tests. These tests have been in place for a quarter-century. Alarmingly, one-third of our high school graduates cannot pass them because they do not have the skills. They will have great difficulty completing college or competing in the job market. This is why the US college graduation rate has fallen from first to nineteenth in the world. This is the “college readiness gap.”

JFYNetWorks has taken on the college readiness gap as the new object of our long quest for economic opportunity and social mobility. We are using all our expertise in educational techniques and data analysis to raise the skills of young people to the college entry level. We recognize that every young person might not go to college; but we also know that every young person has to have the foundation of language and math skills required to compete in the labor market and to function as an informed citizen. “College and Career Readiness” is really life readiness.

We have dug deep into our reserves of innovation to develop our new College and Career Readiness program. We have pruned away programs that served so well in earlier periods to focus on the single objective of college readiness. Our data-driven system of online assessment, instruction and measurement uses the actual college placement tests and curriculum aligned to those tests. We bring the program into high schools, integrate it into English and math classes, and help teachers deliver it by providing training, coaching and support. The methodology is the fusion of online and teacher-led instruction called blended learning, the content is aligned to college placement standards, and the objective is college—and life– readiness.

Our mission has always been economic opportunity and social mobility for urban youth. Today, opportunities abound as never before, but the skills required to tap those opportunities are higher than ever before. It’s not only a new economy, it’s a constantly changing economy. The challenge for JFYNetWorks is the same as the challenge for the young people we serve: to keep up with the spiraling pace of change, to be relevant and effective, to anticipate the next challenge and meet it head on.

That’s why JFYNetWorks has re-invented itself again. Now we’re in the forefront of College and Career Readiness, and our antennae are alive to all signals. We have never stopped innovating, and we never will. It’s in our DNA.

Learn more about JFYNetWorks college readiness program.

JFYNetWorks’ Accuplacer Prep program has eliminated more than 1,590 courses resulting in a savings approaching $900,000. Proven Results found here.

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