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College and Career Readiness through Blended Learning

Career Readiness
Career Readiness

Chpice of Present, Choose be present more than showing up

by Eileen Wedegartner, Blended Learning SPECIALIST

Go into any classroom in any town and you’ll immediately get a taste of the teacher who presides there. You’ll see some of the latest research in education, famous quotations, pictures of important persons, findings in the teacher’s field of study. You’ll see school mission statements, school protocols, emergency evacuation procedures, teacher expectations and student work.

Road less traveled...leads to college success

One Student’s Journey

by Joan Reissman, Blended Learning Specialist

Today’s high school students are told constantly that they are on a long journey from school to college to career. They are urged to build their skills in order to succeed in a demanding job market. But for many, the transition to college is not mapped clearly enough. They enroll, but then find that their road to graduation is longer and more winding than expected. They discover that college acceptance does not guarantee enrollment in credit-bearing courses that lead to a degree. The road can detour through remedial courses that cost money and take time but do not count toward a degree. This is the story of one student who straightened out her college journey by taking a road less traveled by.

JFYNet is my Dream Job

My dream Job! How I got here had many twists and turns.

by Cathie Maglio, Blended Learning SPECIALIST

From 5th grade on all I wanted was to be a math teacher. And I did that after graduating from college, but it turned out not to be a good experience for me, so I left the classroom and looked for other forms of instructing. I worked as a data technician, a technical illustrator and tech writer, and a marketing assistant. I got closer to teaching in the classroom when I worked in textbook publishing and got to influence how math concepts were taught in the classroom.

Labor shortage continues. 99% of jobs go to college graduates

Labor Shortage Continues

99% of Jobs Go to College Graduates

by Gary Kaplan, JFYNetWorks Executive Director

“There are no jobs for high school diplomas.”

The May jobs report reiterates a theme we have been hearing with increasing urgency: the shortage of skilled labor. The current 4.3% unemployment rate is a 16-year low. That means there are very few unattached workers available at a time when job openings are near all-time highs. For employers who can’t find qualified workers it means foregoing opportunities for expansion. For the economy at large it means slower growth. But it’s not just a quantitative problem, it’s also qualitative: there aren’t enough workers with the specific skills employers need. The wide range and varied dimensions of the skills shortage are indicated by a survey of Saturday’s newspaper reports.

by Gary Kaplan, JFYNetWorks Executive Director

The need for a higher-skilled workforce is real.

by Gary Kaplan, JFYNetWorks Executive Director

The March state employment report (released in late April) focuses on two concerns: weak job growth and a shortage of skilled workers. Job growth waxes and wanes from month to month, but the skilled worker shortage has been a constant refrain for years. The Federal Reserve regional summary (the Beige Book) for April seconds the call for more workers at every skill level.

Diversity relies on deeper talent pool in Boston

How to Achieve Diversity in Boston and Massachusetts Business

by Gary Kaplan, Executive Director of JFYNetWorks and David Driscoll, former Massachusetts Commissioner of Education. | Originally published by the Boston Business Journal on 11/11/16. See the original post here.

Speaking to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce last month, Mayor Walsh challenged Boston’s business leaders to confront their lack of diversity and to assemble a workforce and leadership teams reflective of the city’s demographics. The response was enthusiastically positive. But how can diversity actually be achieved?

Leadership teams rise from the workforce, and the workforce of the Boston and Massachusetts business community comes more than ever from the college graduate pool. Promotion through the ranks is a natural process of corporate capillarity. Despite the steps that many businesses are taking to improve diversity, in order for more people of color to rise through the workforce there has to be a more diverse pool of college graduates. This is where the problem begins.

Workplace skills then and now: The Lesson of Inland Steel

Workplace Skills Then and Now: The Lesson of Inland Steel

by Gary Kaplan

“Sorry, son, we can’t hire you. You’re overqualified.”

Thus ended my career as a steelworker. The place was Inland Steel in East Chicago, Indiana. The time was the 1970s. I was looking for an interim job while I plotted my next career move. I thought that working in a steel mill would be educational, in addition to bringing in some serious, and seriously needed, cash.

I had grown up in the Calumet Region of Northwest Indiana, one of the world’s largest concentrations of heavy industry. Steel mills and oil refineries were the landscape of my childhood. Many of my high school classmates had gone directly to work at Inland, Youngstown, US Steel or Standard Oil and were well on their way to owning a house, a car, a cabin in Michigan, a boat, and eventually a union pension. Though I had been around the mills my whole life, I had never been inside them. I thought it was time I found out how America’s industrial might was created.

Rising to readiness through blended learning

Readiness through blended learning reaps benefits for all students.

by Eileen Wedegartner, Blended Learning Specialist

Since joining JFYNetWorks as a Blended Learning Specialist last fall, I have had the opportunity to visit many schools and interact with many students. Despite my many years of experience in the classroom and additional years in statewide education administration, this was a new and eye-opening experience. It has proved to be challenging, and extremely rewarding.

Having spent the better portion of my professional life working with students who face barriers to learning, I can empathize with their struggles and with the challenges their teachers face on a daily basis. As an educator, I have always believed that where there is a will, there is a way.

You Never Know What the Future Holds!

Be It Chance or By Design, You Sometimes Never Know What the Future Holds For You!

by Cathie Maglio, Blended Learning SPECIALIST

I was in a school library recently when a student came in to take a make up test. His teacher said to me that this student had just received a scholarship to play football at a nearby college. This student never expected to go to college. He did just enough to get by during his junior year and was thinking about going into the military. Now, with the scholarship in hand, he is getting serious about school and doing his work, not to just get by, but to succeed!

This student’s story got me thinking. In my travels as a blended learning specialist at JFYNetWorks, I see so many students who just want to do the minimum or less in school and never think about what the future holds for them. The choices these students make now could affect the opportunities that await them as they get on with life. They never think that an opportunity for them might be right around the corner and they may miss it because of their lack of motivation.