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December 19, 2013

Greater Clark Schools chief talks career, college readiness

Andrew Melin also decries parts of governor’s education plan

CLARKSVILLE — Updates from the superintendent about Gov. Mike Pence’s education roadmap for 2014 and college and career readiness after high school took most of the discussion at Tuesday’s board meeting for Greater Clark County Schools.

Andrew Melin shared his thoughts after meeting with the district’s advisory board on college and career readiness.

He said along with this year’s 1:1 program [which puts computers in the hands of every student], full-implementation of the district’s IMPACT intervention program and others, college and career readiness would complement those moves.

“This is an umbrella initiative that everything else fits under, everything else we’re doing,” Melin said. “All of this helps to feed this college and career readiness piece. This is the umbrella that ties everything together.”As college students in Indiana struggle to find jobs in their field of study — with 53 percent of graduates jobless or underemployed, according to Melin’s presentation — the program would seek to help students focus on what they want for their future while they’re still in K-12 schools.

He said especially as students rack up thousand of dollars in student debt, he hopes this will help them aim for something they both want to do and will be able to find jobs with. He said to do that, high schools will have to come up with career pathways for students.

“That means they have a focus, that means they’re striving for something,” Melin said. “If they change it the next day, that’s OK. But what I worry about today is developing kids who have no idea what they want tomorrow.”

He also said after meeting with business leaders, the traits they’re searching for in new hires don’t necessarily line up with degree-related skills, but involve basics such as punctuality and the ability to work in teams. To help foster that, Melin suggested the creation of a work ethic certification to give students who complete a certain set of qualifications.

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