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Prototype for Integrating Professional Training Into Education


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Presentation for the Prototype section of Design Thinking through Venture Lab

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Prototype for Integrating Professional Training Into Education

  1. 1. Problem (from Empathy Map) Students need a way to learn “soft” skills before they enter the workforce, because too many are held back by a lack of knowledge of and ability to work in a professional environment. Definition: Soft Skills “Soft Skills” refer to a cluster of personal qualities, habits, attitudes and social graces that make someone a good employee and compatible to work with. Companies value soft skills because research suggests and experience shows that they can be just as important an indicator of job performance as hard skills.
  2. 2. Solution (from Ideate) Create more linear relations with schools for all professions and trades. Just like doctors and nurses have training that gets them on the job and into their profession while they are being trained - do this for everything (including skilled trades and service work like elder care).
  3. 3. Classes Classes 9th Grade 10th Grade Shadow 1 Shadow 2 Shadow 3 “Soft Skills 101” Shadow 4 Shadow 1 Shadow 5 Shadow 2 Students interview and or shadow at least 5 companies/trades/professions Students begin working on “Soft Skills”, then shadow 2 places or divisions Prototype 1 High School
  4. 4. Classes Classes 11th Grade 12th Grade Internship 1 Internship 1 Internship 2 Internship 2 Students begin first internships, working with councilors as they go through the first steps of the job. As they prepare to apply for college, they make decisions based on their experiences on the job and in classes during their first 3 years of High School Students continue with internships, working with councilors as they make initial career decisions and college choices. Prototype 1 High School
  5. 5. Classes Classes Year 1 Year 2 Internship 1 Internship 1 Internship 2 Internship 2 “Small” internships that do not interfere with the student’s transition from high school to college. The internships become more integrated with coursework. Prototype 2 College - Undergraduate
  6. 6. Classes Classes Classes Classes Year 3 Year 4 Intern Intern Internship Internship Internship Internship The concept of semester projects integrate research into the work experience Students work with councilors to evaluate whether or not they need more training (graduate, professional) or if they are ready for the work world. Prototype 2 College - Undergraduate
  7. 7. “Rita” coordinates internship programs at one of the largest hospital/ biomedical complexes in the country. She works with placing students in health care internships, business internships, and research internships. She works with high school and community college students. Stakeholder Internship Coordinator for Major Hospital image: Corbis Royalty-Free
  8. 8. Tester Response: What Worked Well? Plus: Engages Students Early This program gives students real experience with which to make important life decisions. Plus: Builds Realistically The program builds up in student responsibility and engagement on the job in a realistic way. Students are not expected to take anything on too soon. Businesses are not being asked to take on students too soon. Plus: Has Counseling integrated With mandatory counseling interspersed throughout the program, students are being advised and issues are being caught before they become problems. Plus: Allows for movement from field to field, particularly in high school. Plus: Builds in immediate understanding of where their education is taking them Rita is particularly interested in helping students from less privileged backgrounds. Often, the students who need education the most see little or no value in their education. This will help show them why they are studying and why they are in school.
  9. 9. Tester Response: What could be improved? Issue: Too Big There are too many varied fields and avenues of training to rewrite everything at once. “Rita” recommended I scale down and concentrate on disciplines that have some infrastructure in place. Take Away: Scale Down For Initial Prototype I’ve chosen to scale down to STEM programs. Issue: Show How Program Meets Standards State and National Standards for high school students and Accreditation Standards for college need to be integrated into the program Take Away: Show Details of Standards Write out “Soft Skills” in relation to core standards of programs Issue: Finding Businesses Many businesses are not set up to integrate students into their work day. Initially the program will cost money as businesses change to integrate these programs. How do we answer this? Take Away: Need More Research This is a knotty problem, and maybe my solution is too complex. I need to look into this issue in particular.
  10. 10. Tester Response: Questions? ?: How will this be paid for? ?: Who will administer this from school side? ?: Who will administer this from business side? ?: Will the program be selective or universal? ?: What are the consequences if the student does not meet the needs of business? What if a student is late, screws up on the job, etc, what happens? ?: What are the consequences if the business takes advantage of the student? If the business just uses the student for non-internship responsibilities (say, cleaning the bathrooms in a law office, instead of working with the lawyers), what happens?
  11. 11. Tester Response: Any New Ideas? Idea: Narrow Initial Focus Rita suggested focusing on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) schools and programs. These fields have some of this infrastructure already built, and could be much more easily expanded to embrace such a program, than say Finance or traditional Business Idea: Put The Two Prototypes Together When I showed the ideas to Rita, she thought they were two aspects of the same program. When I told her that I had envisioned them separately, she thought they should just be one big program that covers a student’s entire journey Idea: Include Earlier Grades As Well Rita believes these connections can begin in primary school. She is also an advocate of the notion of “K—16 Education” Idea: Include Regular Soft Skills Classes The program could include workshops and regular check-ins on “soft skills” specifically. Problems could be caught in the very early stages. Idea: Integrate Peer Mentoring My brainstorm for Ideate did include peer mentoring. I’ll utilize the idea of older students aiding younger ones throughout the program.
  12. 12. Take Away: Prototype Career Development Step by Step: STEM Programs Grades 7—16 Definition: STEM Program STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. STEM programs are majors and departments (college), STEM middle and high schools that focus on this training, and STEM departments within larger middle and high schools. - Definition: Grade 7—16 In the United States, Primary and Secondary Schools are often referred to as “K—12”, meaning grades Kindergarten through 12. Students usually begin Kindergarten at age 5 and complete grade 12 at age 17. Some educators have been referring to “grades k—16”, meaning creating a continuous experience that threads primary, secondary and college curriculum together.