Oklahoma currently faces a large work skills gap. In 2016, approximately half (46 percent) of the Oklahoma workforce had either attained only a high school diploma or dropped out of high school altogether. However, by 2025, 77 percent of Oklahoma jobs will require some form of education beyond high school.
To better prepare our students the Oklahoma State Department of Education launched the Individual Career Academic Planning (ICAP) graduation requirement for all incoming 9th grade students beginning Fall 2019. This 9th – 12th grade Career Development process will allow students to connect their personal interests to career interests while also researching programs available in Oklahoma to help prepare them for their dream jobs!
To support ICAP and create seamless career pathways we have began:
- Creating Math and Literature courses to reduce remediation rates among first time students.
- Creating seamless pathways from secondary to post-secondary institutions.
- Connecting with career technology center, college, and university leaders to discuss best practices for creating successful college readiness strategies.
- Redesigning high school by encouraging advanced coursework or dual enrollment, work-based learning and senior capstone projects.
- Developing and aligning career pathways with real-time labor market information specific to Oklahoma.
- Increasing concurrent or dual enrollment with earned college credit and career certification for students still in high school
- Preparing more students for Oklahoma’s wealth-generating jobs in Aerospace & Defense, Agriculture & Bioscience, Energy, Information & Financial Services and Transportation & Distribution
Thankfully we have been able to take steps towards creating college and career readiness pathways for all students! Take a look at our journey in a video here, College and Career Readiness