In 2014, Madison Consolidated Schools developed a district-level position to focus on the area of College & Career Readiness for our students. An Indiana Career Council Report, June 2014, Align, Engage, Advance: A Strategic Plan to Transform Indiana’s Workforce states the Key Priorities for College and Career Readiness in the state of Indiana are:
- Career Awareness: since 2014, Madison Consolidated Schools has strategically built a district-wide system for our students to learn about careers beginning in elementary grades with increased concentration on specialty areas through grade 12 and beyond.
- Invest in Education that is Aligned with Industry Sectors by Region: Nathan Hadley, College & Career Readiness Coordinator, works with regional partners to understand what we need to know about area industries which are important to and fuel our regional economy, what they anticipate to be their strategic needs down the road, and how we can help create curriculum to prepare students for college and/or career.
- Increase Work and Learn Opportunities for Students: partnerships are developing with numerous community business and industry leaders to create opportunities which allow us to focus on internships, work-based learning environments, and apprenticeships for students in areas of potential interest.
- Build Sector Partnerships: A sector partnership is defined by industry, businesses, a workforce system, and community organizations working together. MCS is continuing to build partnerships with local, global industries, business leaders, the non-profit sector, and community organizations such as economic development entities to understand the local/regional climate and opportunities for educational impact within our walls and into our community.
- Pathways with Dual Credit and Certifications: through our growing partnership with Ivy Tech Community College, curriculum pathways established at MCS provide “building blocks” for students, offering dual credit in high school which allows them to move through post-secondary education more quickly, or to obtain certifications which make them employable more quickly upon graduation.
- Increase Post-Secondary Completion: we strongly believe the focus on career exploration we have in place coupled with the curriculum and pathways tied to regional employment availability, carry over into post-secondary education success rates. By helping students identify areas of interest, providing them with classes and hands-on experience, and the availability of the dual credit or certification pieces which are critical for the transition into and completion of post-secondary education; we are increasing the success ratio for Madison students to complete post-secondary studies.
- Students Gain Employment within Educational Pathway of Study: while difficult to track, our hope is the state can cross reference data collected through National Student Clearinghouse with the Department of Labor’s database system for comparison of new hires in the pathways of Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering, Entrepreneurship, and Health Science.
MCS is staying ahead of the trends with a goal to position the district as a state leader in student preparation for both college and career success. Working with local, regional, and state partners to align our efforts through curriculum development, career exploration, and pathway expansion to create a challenging learning environment for all students.