As the needs of the 21st century workforce change and in-demand job skills evolve, it is increasingly important educators work closely with businesses to ensure students are gaining the knowledge necessary to compete for area jobs. Strengthening this “School-to-Workforce Pipeline” is at the core of the CLASS Coalition’s work in schools nationwide.
The CLASS Coalition recognizes the value in connecting students with professionals in a wide variety of fields, from chemistry and website development to mechanical engineering and epidemiology. Our educators work tirelessly to bring the voices and experiences of the workforce into the classroom through professional lecture series, guest teachers and high-tech equipment, ensuring our students are better prepared for life after graduation. We also place a premium on providing students with relevant knowledge and experiences by involving local business leaders in the development of coursework, curriculum and school activities.
While the majority of the CLASS Coalition schools are focused on STEM education, we want to ensure all our students have access to the training and coursework that is relevant to the workforce. Each of our schools have launched unique initiatives designed to help accomplish this goal, including:
Developing curriculum and coursework that not only focuses on real-world problem solving, but also is created with the needs of the local workforce in mind.
Investing in high-tech labs that mirror the technology, equipment and tools used in the workforce, ensuring real-world skill development;
Hiring faculty with relevant experience in top careers, especially in the STEM fields;
Building relationships between students and business and industry partners through presentations, lecture series, and working lunches
Connecting students to valuable research, internship and mentorship opportunities;
Bringing in experts to advise students on resume writing and career-readiness;
Inviting field experts to connect with different student demographics, including women and minorities; and
Offering a wide variety of coursework in top career fields, including engineering and computer science.