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NWI Schools Going Above and Beyond Serving the College and Workforce Needs of Youth

Over 50 of Northwest Indiana’s principals, superintendents, and curriculum directors joined together to discuss what they are doing to make Northwest Indiana students college and career-ready. The Indiana College Accelerated Network (iCAN) and the Lakeshore Alliance for Student Success (LASS) hosted the work session Thursday, December 1, 2011 at the Merrillville High School lecture hall, featuring featured presentations from high school leaders denoting steps they are taking to prepare the students of the Region.

The sessions focused on how these schools are best utilizing data to maximize students’ success and preparation for college and/or careers. Dr. Mark Sperling, Assistant Superintendent of Merrillville High School, spoke on how the school is utilizing the national measure WorkKeys to determine the students’ career readiness.

The session continued with a presentation from Brent Martinson, Assistant Principal of Hobart High School. Martinson described the school’s implementation and study of the 10 Employer Expectations, provided by the Center of Workforce Innovations (CWI). “The What Does an Employer Expect of Me poster series is derived from a survey we conducted of 100 Northwest Indiana’s top employers,” said Linda Woloshansky, President & CEO of CWI. “It lists the top ten expectations that these employers have. The list gives the students a great idea of what will be expected of them when they enter Northwest Indiana’s workforce.”

Hobart High School has also implemented the iCAN Common Transcript. The Common Transcript encourages cohesiveness, curricula alignment and enables educators to measure a student’s success and progression towards career and college readiness. The transcript not only lists a student’s grades, but also activities, WorkKeys scores, 21st Century Skills scores, and any Dual Credit taken.

Those two presentations were followed by Crown Point High School Principal Eric Ban. Ban presented the group with the school’s data management systems that have been utilized to test and track student and educator performance.

These sessions are a part of the READY NWI initiative, creating a common goal of a career and college ready workforce. For more information on iCAN or READY NWI, or for a copy of the Employer Expectation poster, please contact the Center of Workforce Innovations at (219) 462-2940 or visit www.innovativeworkforce.com.

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