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THE WIN CAREER-DRIVEN EDUCATION MODEL: Proposed Implementation, Interventions, and Strategies Alignment with Perkins Grants

WIN Learning 1000 Waterford Drive Kingston, TN 37763

For further information, please contact: Joseph Goins, Executive Vice President WIN Worldwide Interactive Network 865-414-0033 Email:

January 2012









WIN Strategic Compass®


WIN myStrategic Compass™


WIN Career Readiness Courseware®


WIN K-8 Series


WIN Soft Skills Series™









Career Driven Intervention: An Educational Model for Today Two opposing trends are facing us today: First, unemployment levels average roughly 9% nationwide. And, second, there are millions of unfilled jobs. The reality is, we as educators are not preparing students for the workforce—either right from high school or after postsecondary education and training. Our youth are graduating high schools and colleges without the skills they need to succeed in, or even to secure, jobs. To respond to these challenges, WIN developed its CAREER DRIVEN INTERVENTION series of aligned eLearning tools that look at the realities of the workplace in the context of learning. With this model, educators can:


• • • •

GATHER REAL-TIME LABOR MARKET INFORMATION that characterizes the realities of the workforce and identifies educational needs. IDENTIFY REQUIRED EDUCATION AND TRAINING to better inform students of potential career pathways. PREPARE STUDENTS for jobs in demand now and for tomorrow. BUILD SKILL MASTERY around those foundational, behavioral, and attitudinal skills employers demand.

In other words, we can redefine Career and Technical Education so that students understand education’s direct bearing on future careers, remain engaged in school, and prepare for what lies beyond high school for them.

WIN Support for Career & Technical Education and the Perkins Grant The Perkins Grant was established to support Career and Technical Education in schools nationwide through innovative approaches to career and college readiness. Its flexibility has allowed Perkins grant funding to support a wide range of educational strategies including professional development, technology in the classroom, nontraditional training to correct gender imbalance, and academic and technical skills development. Perkins also urges support for introducing students to industries, and integrating core academic subjects into vocational programs. Perkins grants can be used for a broad range of programs, services, and activities designed to improve career and technical education for all students. With its career-driven eLearning solutions, WIN has created an exceptional program that fully supports the vision and goals of the Perkins Grant program and other Career and Technical Education programming. Win has created a new approach to CTE—an intersection between education and the economy where supply, demand, and career pathways are the new drivers for education, people and talent, occupations and jobs, and business and industry. We call this an EDUCONOMY. The remainder of this proposal will provide a background on the importance of career and college readiness, help define a new approach to career and technical education, and introduce WIN Learning’s educational model that assures all students are prepared for “what comes next.”


Partners in Education Nationwide, state education agencies and local districts are paying attention to the emphasis being placed on “educational relevancy,” and looking for ways to assure career and college readiness are integrated into the school day. For some, Career Driven Intervention models hold the key to school improvement, transformation, or restructuring for those schools in need of improvement. For others, this model simply makes sense: Schools should engage students in their educational journey early on so that their graduates are ready for what comes next, WIN shares the intent and vision of Perkins Grants, School Improvement Initiatives, and other career-focused programs. As WIN’s vision states, “Every community should have the capacity to develop the current and emerging workforce necessary to retain, recruit, and grow jobs leading to individual and regional economic prosperity.” This vision, coupled with state and district education goals, creates a solid foundation on which to build a partnership that assures all students are career and/or college ready when they graduate. (More on this vision can be found in Appendix A, which includes a presentation of the research and comments underlying the rationale for Career Driven Interventions.)

Opportunities Two camps are emerging in education—one focused on engaging more students in fouryear college programs and the other focused on careers, skills, and vocational or “career and technical” education. The first encourages more rigor in high-school coursework to accelerate the education of the top students. The second strives to meet the needs of students less focused on higher education by directing those students toward the educationl and training they need for current and projected workforce demands. WIN maintains that these two approaches are not mutually exclusive; their fusion in educational settings reflects the spirit and intent of Perkins grants. WIN’s Career-Driven Education Model provides several clear benefits that merge these two schools of thought: In brief, WIN: •

Creates a Jobs and Equity Agenda WIN’s proposed Career Driven Interventions model removes the distinction between jobseeker and student since most students will one day be part of our nation’s workforce. The resulting agenda is one of jobs and equity, with three goals: (1) assuring students understand labor market information and the dynamics of supply and demand; (2) providing all students with foundational knowledge and skills they need to be successful; and (3) giving students options and letting them follow their own individual career pathways through the new model for Career and Technical Education.

Redefines Career Education The Career Driven Intervention model is most effective when it engages students for success and helps them understand where they are going after high school. This understanding occurs when students have opportunities to: (1) understand the labor market and their place in it; (2) build foundational skills in mathematics and reading as well as soft skills; (3) view learning within the context of workforce dynamics, job


demand, and educational requirements. By engaging students in this educational model, they will increasingly understand the “whys” of staying in school, learning, and achieving success with a goal in sight. •

Creates Career Pathways Career pathways—with job requirements, skills, and education needs mapped out— provide clear direction on getting from “here to there.” Career pathways outline what is needed in a chosen occupational field, and point students to direct and alternative routes to that field. Regardless of whether an individual is looking for a career directly out of high school or following post-secondary education, the mapping of personal career pathways helps direct students toward training and education.

WIN Proposed Implementation and Outcomes WIN Learning suggests the following model for implementation to assure all students in your district—from kindergarten through high-school graduation—are fully engaged in a Career Driven Intervention model. When implemented with fidelity, this educational model prepares students for full participation in the economy—whether they reach this goal through a two- or four-year college or university, a certification program, or directly in the workforce. With the WIN model, career exploration begins in the early grades, with the WIN K-8 Series. In middle school, we continue with the upper levels of the K-8 series and begin to use myStrategic Compass. This is the point where students are starting to develop a strong focus on the future and are beginning to understand the academic pathways to get them there. Middleschool career exploration helps students choose high-school courses which advance their future careers, and thereby keeps students engaged in school through graduation. WIN’s carefully conceived design components for this model include the following. It should be noted that these components strongly support Perkins grants, with their focus on career and technical education, and the inclusion of family and community support: •

Implementation of K-8 Series at the building level, in elementary and middle schools in the district.

A single implementation of WIN Strategic Compass at the district level, customized to include all data from the communities within and around to your district as well as the entire state. Strategic Compass will allow district leadership and policymakers at the district and state levels to align education with the workplace; and drive education policy, community partnerships, and school improvement and reform.

Customization of a hands-on, user-friendly myStrategic Compass for students, families, and counselors to use on their own in middle and high schools in the district, and/or at designated community sites.


Integration of WIN’s Career Readiness Courseware into core curricula in middle and high schools —to build up skills to grade level, and/or to support recovery and recapture programs.

Integration of the WIN’s Soft Skills Series into the 11th or 12th grade curriculum for all students.

Anticipated Outcomes of WIN Interventions With a stronger sense of the road ahead, students can understand the patterns of study and other experience they need to prepare for careers they may have never even considered or thought possible. WIN’s Career Driven Intervention model will result in the following outcomes for your district: •

Students will have greater awareness of future careers and their relationship to what is being taught and learned in the classroom. Where there were no dreams, WIN can again help them dream of a future.

Schools counselors will be able to link education with an accurate profile of today’s local labor market; and link this knowledge to local higher education programs leading to costeffective solutions to certifications, degrees, and other job-focused training.

School counselors and students will be able to create individual career pathways which reflect careers of choice for each student. By delineating education and skill requirements along a career continuum, individualized career pathways can serve as a student’s very own “GPS” from education to the workforce, with steps in-between.

Students—including those with disabilities, LEP, and other high-risk groups—will have the foundational skills for work and college success, eliminating widespread need for remediation.

By preparing for next steps after graduation, i.e., Ready By Exit, high-school education will have greater relevancy, leading students to increased academic achievement and more sure paths to graduation; while freeing our schools from high drop-out rates, and student behavioral problems.

The WIN Career Driven Intervention model creates strong partnerships between business and education by balancing jobs with students seeking jobs, high-school courses with careers, and communities with competitive knowledge tools to support the development of strong economies.


The WIN Career Driven Intervention Model: PROPOSED WIN e-LEARNING INTERVENTIONS 1. CAREER EXPLORATION Identifies in-demand careers that match jobs



Determines skill levels needed to learn a job

Closes skill gaps

3. SKILL ASSESSMENT Measures individual skill levels


WIN Strategic Compass® WIN STRATEGIC COMPASS TRANSFORMS EDUCATION WIN Strategic Compass is a Web-based data-rich Pathways Intervention that creates a clear picture of the realities of the workplace. By having this information in hand, educators, policymakers, counselors, and communities can help direct students to industries where there are jobs. The result is a partnership between education and business on behalf of students and an emerging workforce. By effectively creating a continuum between education and the workplace through real-time labor market information, WIN Strategic Compass has become one of the most exciting tools available today for educational reform in districts and schools nationwide.

REALISTIC, ATTAINABLE CAREER PATHWAYS Strategic Compass is a “mapmaker.” Easy-to-use search keys and screen displays answer a range of questions that impact educational pathways. What careers are in demand in specified geographic areas? Which careers are projected to increase demand?

What educational experiences are required for specific careers? What skills and credentials are needed by employers or by college admissions on the way to a career?

In other words, Strategic Compass tells educators if students are prepared to leave high school with a plan for the future. Strategic Compass helps educators answer the question: Have we given students the tools to succeed, no matter what career pathway they choose? The answer is “yes!” Strategic Compass creates an economic and educational plan that defines a student’s place in a workforce which embraces well-prepared young adults at multiple entry points—after high school, two- or four-year college, training and certification, and apprenticeships.


DATA-INFORMED DECISION-MAKING WIN’s Strategic Compass creates a data-rich framework for discussions and planning of career and college readiness—in the context of educational aspirations, economic realities, and labor-force demands. This educational tool holds value for everyone: •

For educators – Strategic Compass benchmarks required workforce skills by occupation, targets demand occupations, and helps translate career readiness into a basis for school reform. Strategic Compass aligns the emerging labor supply from our education system with projected occupational demand, identifying gaps that can be remediated by new or enhanced program offerings in the educational system.

For counselors – Strategic Compass becomes an important tool for guidance and counseling, providing a relevant labor market analysis with detailed maps of career pathways. Working with students, counselors can help students plan for careers based on students’ own choices and realities. Counselors can create Individual Career Pathway reports which map paths to a target occupation. Requisite skills, education and experience are identified along with the institutions/programs which can provide them.

For businesses – Strategic Compass reduces information costs and uncertainties associated with finding and hiring the most qualified applicants.

For policymakers and the community – Strategic Compass provides a common language with which education, economic and workforce sectors can communicate on issues related to workforce equilibrium. It also provides a clear and accurate picture of where educational and community resources can be most effective in preparing students for college and careers.

GETTING STARTED – WIN PROFESSIONAL SERVICES The implementation of Strategic Compass begins with WIN’s customization of the database to reflect the economic, workforce, and education information of a particular state and district. Customized information includes a list of fastest growing industries in that state and region, in-demand careers, skill and job gaps, public and private academic and training programs to support in-demand careers, and other information relevant to the workplace. Once information for this customization has been generated, WIN will compile it into an annual Career Guidance Report, delivered to the district and to school counselors—extending the use of Strategic Compass data to the building level. The Career Guidance report—built in and available through Strategic Compass—was designed specifically for educators and guidance counselors to provide context for career discussions. Information in the report enables counselors to use realities and data to inform career guidance strategies for individual students. Types of information include regional profiles with average income, commuting patterns, educational attainment, and skills profile. Also included are cross-walked Classifications of Instructional Programs (CIP’s) to demand occupations and growth industries.


Annually, WIN updates the information in this report and presents it to stakeholders through a live event. Throughout the year, WIN makes available professional development programs to assure fidelity of implementation, review best practices, and focus on data-informed decision-making in the classroom. The Career Guidance Report also helps to inform policy decision-making at the district level—what programs to offer, what to enhance, continue, or discontinue; and what funding and policy decisions need to be made. With this report providing baseline data and benchmarks, district administrators can generate a wide range of additional reports through Strategic Compass’s report templates at any time to keep track of emerging workforce trends as they may impact education.

LABOR MARKET INFORMATION DRIVES STRATEGIC PLANNING AND DECISION-MAKING Following WIN’s customization of Strategic Compass for your state and district(s), and WIN’s delivery of your School District Career Guidance Report, Strategic Compass software is ready for use by the district to develop its own data-infused reports, projections, and analyses, or district-initiated updates to the Career Guidance Report. Strategic Compass includes three types of analytics, which are navigated by the district’s authorized users at the state, building, and district level; and compiled for display through more than 17 strategic planning templates. The ECONOMIC MODULE describes key industries: growth rates, employment rates, wage histories, labor inventories and gaps, and other customizable analytics. STANDARD ANALYTICS Top Ten Employment Unemployment Wages

Labor Inventory Occupation Gaps


DESCRIPTION Calculates the top industries and related occupations in growth and decline Displays percentage changes in employment over time and across multiple regions Displays unemployment rates in a region as small as a single zip code or as large as the entire nation Displays average and total wages for a specific industry or job across multiple regions, and within specified timeframes Displays total and percent of jobs by industry and multiple occupations Calculates occupation supply and demand gaps by career cluster, occupational group, education program, industry, STEM clusters or GREEN clusters; calculates current and projected total employment versus supply. Provides a visual representation of community patterns, employment, and other economic data as requested


Screen Display: Economic Analytics Map Radiologic Technologists Career Path ____________________________________________________________________________

__ The WORKFORCE MODULE provides skill gap and occupation profiles of the workforce in various settings. STANDARD ANALYTICS Demographic Skill Gap

Occupation Profiles


Supply and Demand

DESCRIPTION Gathers data on first-time workers by ethnicity, gender, and educational attainment Compares a selected occupation with others in terms of Career Readiness Certificate levels, skills, knowledge, abilities, interests, work values and work activities Contains a detailed description of any O*NET occupation, including career cluster, career pathway, education/experience requirements, skill requirements, average wages, Career Readiness Certificate level, and required instructional programs Identifies emerging, declining, and mature industry and occupation clusters including the identification of clusters with a competitive advantage Calculates the impact of the addition or subtraction of a firm on regional workforce equilibrium.


Screen Display: Workforce Analytics Used to Map Courses to Career Pathways

____________________________________________________________________________ The EDUCATION MODULE looks at the education gaps between career choice and current position in terms of demand, skill gaps, career pathways, career readiness, and instructional programs. STANDARD ANALYTICS Educational Gaps

Skill Gaps

Career Pathways Career Ready Programs

DESCRIPTION Calculates supply and demand for specific courses and training programs by career cluster, SOC occupational group, and green clusters Calculates the skills, knowledge, interests, attributes, work value, work style, and work activity gaps between occupations Maps career requirements by career cluster, occupation, instructional program, and experience Calculates the fastest growing occupations by Career Readiness Certificate level Shows career pathways for specific occupations; provides lists of two- and four-year institutions and training programs offering coursework and degrees to support specific careers


Screen Display: Education Analytics Used to Map Career Pathways

Strategic Compass can be further customized to include “search keys� that navigate directly to indicators state policymakers, district and school administrators, and educational planners want to track (e.g., graduation rates, college enrollment, employment). All screen display results can be exported to Microsoft Excel, and all images saved and used in Microsoft Office applications. Once selected data have been compiled, Strategic Compass can create an Individual Career Profile for each student. As students change their career interests throughout high school, Strategic Compass can change right along with them. The Individual Career Profiles are easy to modify and rebuild. The work done with Strategic Compass lays the groundwork for hands-on career exploration through myStrategic Compass.


Customized Educational Reports – An Example In 2010, WIN began working with the Rural Workforce Network Consortium (RWNC), a partnership of five Workforce Investment Boards in Texas (75 counties, 2 M population) which had targeted the Biotechnology/Life Sciences-Medical industry cluster as a regional competitive advantage. To support that targeted growth, the RWNC was charged with analyzing the currently available workforce and building a strategy that would ensure a career-ready workforce suitable for the industry growth they envisioned. Building analytics through Strategic Compass, WIN conducted an Employer Survey to determine hiring plans and skill requirements; a Career Pathways Analysis to profile target occupations and identify education requirements and K-12 programs of study; and an Economic Study to profile regional economic realities such as labor inventories. All of the information from these reports was compiled into a Curricula Assessment Report that aligned the emerging labor supply with occupation-driven demand. The Curricula Assessment Report included clear recommendations for better aligning secondary and post-secondary education with the projected job demand in the targeted industry. These recommendations were subsequently exported to a major regional report that recommended workforce development, economic recruitment efforts, educational initiatives and alignment, and funding streams. The generation of this report, which originally required more than 60 person-days to complete, was then automated within Strategic Compass so it could be replicated by project administrators at any time with different time parameters or for different industries in a matter of seconds.

WIN myStrategic Compass™ STUDENT-CENTERED, CAREER-DRIVEN EDUCATION At the user level for parents and students, Career-Driven Intervention begins with myStrategic Compass. Powered by WIN, MyStrategic Compass is a personalized electronic counseling tool that provides students and their families with hands-on opportunities for in-depth career exploration. WIN’s myStrategic Compass also includes two interest profilers: the O*Net Interest Profiler (IP) and the Work Importance Profiler (WIP). These two tools electronically examine what is important to a student in a job, and compare a student’s own values against various occupations to create a list of jobs reflecting these personal values. This process gives users three important pieces of information essential to career choices—what students like to do, what is important to them, and what they do well. In addition to its student-centered exploration, myStrategic Compass can serve as a district, community, or regional job bank to match students with post-secondary education, training programs, and jobs across a broad spectrum or customized to focus on a selection of regional industries in demand, or one single industry as the following example shows.


How myStrategic Compass Works – An Example Go Build Alabama ( was developed by WIN for the State of Alabama and its construction sector to support job growth across the state. At Go Build Alabama, students and other jobseekers can log on and register for employment, review a list of available jobs, explore occupations in which they have an interest, and calculate their own job skills/career readiness for employment. Employers, colleges, and training programs can log on, and review the list of individuals interested in college or jobs. MyStrategic Compass helps students identify their areas of interest and follow career pathways for those interests through to college or the workplace. The following series of screen displays developed for Go Build Alabama illustrate that progression: myStrategic Compass Screen Display: Internal Student Interest and Skill Set Assessments


Screen Display: Description of Student Selected Career, Further Exploration–Screen 1

Screen Display: Description of Student Selected Career, Further Exploration-Screen 2


Screen Display: Description Student Selected Career, Further Exploration-Screen 3

Screen Display: Identification of Colleges/Universities Offering Majors in Selected Career-Screen 4


As these screen displays show, students are helped to understand what they skills and education they need to accomplish their career goals. With this approach, myStrategic Compass provides a virtual ongoing case management and check of a student’s progress toward goals.

WIN Career Readiness Courseware® Online Career Readiness Courseware, powered by WIN, revolutionizes how we think about career-driven educational interventions. The Courseware is aligned to state standards and national proficiency tests so that a student can effectively prepare for any of these exams, while increasing their foundational skills for careers and higher education while earning a Career Readiness Certificate. This WIN Career-Driven Intervention curriculum is a breakthrough strategy for engaging students and improving academic achievement.

THE ASSESSMENTS AND PLACEMENT An Initial Skills Review assures precise skills-based placements within each topic area, allowing learners to be challenged, but not frustrated by work for which they are not yet ready. Once entered into their correct learning level, students progress at their own pace. Post-tests at the conclusion of each module and certificates of completion tell students they succeeded in mastering the material. Students who score lower than level three on the Initial Skills Review are at highest risk in terms of graduation or employment prospects. These pre-certificate levels of instruction in the Courseware can serve as remediation for lower-level learners who do not otherwise possess functional competencies to assure their continued success.

THE INSTRUCTIONAL COURSEWARE Designed for concept mastery, WIN’s Career Readiness Courseware includes 41 competency-based, Internet-delivered learning modules, and more than 120 hours of skills remediation per skill, totaling 1,200 hours of curriculum in ten academic and foundational skill topic areas.

The Courseware can be self-paced (individualized) online or delivered by an instructor in a group setting. The following screen displays illustrate the simplicity and student-friendliness of the work screen.


CRC Screen Display: LEVEL 6 Locating Information

CRC Screen Display: LEVEL 7 Mathematics


EFFECTIVE FOR ALL STUDENTS, FOR SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT INITIATIVES, AND FOR OTHER PROGRAMS FOR AT-RISK POPULATIONS The mastery design of the Courseware is adaptable for initial to accelerated skill levels by utilizing the precise placement points and continuous skill reviews that all students require at their learning edge. Voice and audio accommodations are available. Natural voice audio allows full participation of those with visual impairments. Fully descriptive and energetic screen displays provide additional access for those participants with hearing impairments.

Spanish Version The Career Readiness Courseware is available in Spanish for ELL/ESL learners, in the three primary skill areas aligned to the WorkKeys assessments: Applied Mathematics, Reading for Information, and Locating Information.

Career Links to Foundational Skills for All Students Complementing the hands-on career exploration in myStrategic Compass, the Career Readiness Courseware provides career exploration capabilities linked to foundational skills training. These capabilities reinforce, in real terms, how building skills “pays off” when seeking jobs or continuing to post-secondary education. An excellent example of this is best demonstrated through outcomes from the Fayette Institute of Technology (FIT) in West Virginia. After only one semester using the WIN Career Readiness Courseware, FIT had 100% of its 2010 graduating class employed or accepted into a post-secondary program. The FIT principal noted a remarkable increase in West Virginia Career Readiness Certificate test scores, which make students highly sought after by employers and college counselors in a highly competitive market.

Response to Intervention, Recovery, and Recapture Programs

 Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new beginning” (Carl

Current research and experience suggest we can increase student achievement across any age and for any population group if we focus on student interests and passions.


WIN’s Career Readiness Courseware is designed to maximize learning for a wide range of students who have basic literacy (beyond phonics and phonemic awareness) and numeracy skills (beyond number recognition) to pre-college preparation. This ability of the Courseware to address basic literacy and numeracy is illustrated in the screen display below.


CRC Screen Display for Level 3, Reading for Information

Interventions are based on students’ precise needs for improvement in reading for information, locating information or applied mathematics. With WIN, learners’ needs are met, not just labeled. This precise placement, instruction, and certification process can be especially beneficial to the large number of at-risk students lagging behind on measures of academic achievement and post-high-school outcomes (Rivera, 2011). With the Courseware’s content linked to real-life careers, even high-risk students advance their skills and employability, graduating with Career Readiness Certificates to present to employers.

Credit Recovery and Recapture – Examples WIN Career Readiness Courseware has proven highly effective in a range of alternative credit recovery programs, like the GED Options and the Genesee Job Corps program following: •

The GED Options Program—an alternative credit recovery program encouraging students in South Carolina to earn their GED—utilizes WIN Career Readiness Courseware to build students’ foundational skills. A state study of the program found students who succeeded with WIN showed far greater success in passing the GED. The higher the level CRC earned (Gold, Silver, Bronze), the greater the passage rate for GEDs. At the Gold level, 100% passed the GED, at the silver level, 70%, at the bronze level, 21%. Only 12% of students in the program passed the GED without first passing WIN’s Career Readiness Courseware. Students who mastered Level 5 or higher skills in the WIN Courseware passed the GED exam the first time, every time.

The Genesee Job Corps program (Flint, MI) shows results similar to the SC GED Options program. In Flint’s Jobs Corps group, students using WIN Career Readiness Courseware, and using it regularly, succeeded in passing the Test of Basic Education (TABE) more than those students who did not master the Courseware and were infrequent users. Evaluators noted the WIN users achieved higher academic gains overall.

CAREER READINESS CERTIFICATES WIN’s Career Readiness Courseware provides a portal through which students at all levels can earn Career Readiness Certificates. These nationally recognized credentials tell


employers and college counselors that students who hold the certificate have the basic workplace skills required for available positions, or the skills to aspire to high-level careers with post-secondary education. Three skill areas in the Courseware are assessed for the Career Readiness Certificate— Applied Mathematics, Reading for Information, and Locating Information. These three skills are required by more than 85% of all jobs today. To date, more than one million Career Readiness Certificates have been issued nationwide, with WIN recognized as the national leader in preparing jobseekers to earn any of the 26 nationally recognized Career Readiness Certificates.

Florida Ready to Work – An Example The statewide Florida Ready to Work program, operational since 2007, is built around WIN Career Readiness Courseware and Career Readiness Certificate. Following instruction on the Courseware, passing scores on proctored assessments earn students a Florida Ready to Work Credential (a WIN-customized State certificate). Florida Ready to Work has more than 350 implementation partners (schools and job centers) and 650 employer partners representing 300,000 employees. Since the program began, Florida Ready to Work participants have registered more than 479,000 courseware hours, with the lowest skilled making the most significant gains. More than 67,000 Credentials were awarded to high-school students, and more than 110,000 for all groups. A Florida state-level evaluation of the program showed credential holders had a significant advantage in gaining employment over other active jobseekers with no Credential and earned higher salaries in the workplace.

COURSEWARE ADMINISTRATIVE AND REPORT FUNCTIONS WIN Career Readiness Courseware includes an Administration section that reports on the progress of classes, groups, and individual students through each course. Many customized reports are readily available as part of the administration portion of the Courseware: These include: student enrollment, demographics, student progress, placement tests, on task, activity logs, contextual modules, and level assignments (both full and truncated).

SPECIAL FEATURES WIN Career Readiness Courseware has several exclusive capabilities that distinguish it from any other e-learning skills gap training programs available. •

The curriculum content builds upon the career exploration and career pathways developed in Strategic Compass and myStrategic Compass, focusing on identified skill needs and creating a cohesive, aligned Career-Driven Intervention.

The Courseware is Web-based, with 24/7 access to learning. Print and/or server-based delivery options are offered where Internet is not available.


The Courseware aligns with McRel for GED, COMPASS, TABE 9 & 10, ASVAB, CASAS, AEFL, McGraw Hill, WorkKeys assessments, State-specific requirements, and Accuplacer. WIN does not require schools to separately realign their educational programs.

The courseware includes natural voice audio and is 100% Flash, eliminating any requirements for a plug-in such as Authorware to launch its courseware.

WIN is an exclusive provider of “contextual” learning modules that address core skills required for entry into all 16 Career Clusters identified by US Department of Labor. All lessons support the US Department of Labor Workforce Development Performance Measures and the US Department of Education standards.

The courseware includes a comprehensive demographic collection and reporting system for NCLB as well as for other State and federally funded grants and programs.

WIN K-8 Series A separate WIN K-8 Series aligned with and accessed through the Career Readiness Courseware creates a right from the start career-driven intervention. WIN’s K8 Series is project-based applied learning for younger students. Downloadable files can be printed for each grade level. These lessons introduce demand occupations in six career clusters familiar to younger students—arts, business contact, business operations, science, social service, and technical. Instructor-led worksheets include classroom activities related to occupation and learning objectives. WIN K-8 goes beyond just career exploration by providing a skills-based introduction to career exploration for each grade level. Two examples are presented. The one to the left is a portion of the 8th Grade lesson. The one on the following page is for 1st grade students. For both examples, the academic skill being reinforced for these career explorations is applied mathematics.


WIN Soft Skills Series™ Behavioral and attitudinal values (the employer’s perspective on baseline workforce requirements) are provided in the WIN Soft Skills Series. This curriculum, paired with Career Readiness Courseware, looks at the skills specifically needed and valued by businesses and other environments where working with others is a characteristic of life. WIN Soft Skills includes four online training modules: Conveying Professionalism, Communicating Effectively, Promoting Teamwork and Collaboration, and Thinking Critically and Solving Problems. Each module includes embedded pre- and post-tests, learner interactions, and video-based scenarios. Each instructional unit within the modules includes 18 integrated formative assessments, one project-based learning activity, and one summative assessment. The course culminates with a final capstone project.

Implementation and Training The WIN Learning Professional Services team provides implementation, product training, and other professional development services for program administrators, educators,


workforce development teams, and paraprofessionals by offering a blended delivery approach that includes both onsite and virtual programs. WIN’s Professional Development Model is based on research emphasizing continuous improvement and School-Based Action Research (SBAR).

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES WIN’s Project Managers or other trainers will conduct live training sessions at client sites or other locations of client convenience. Training sessions are generally four hours in length, and require a workstation with monitor and high-speed Internet access for each attendee. The training is designed as a hands-on exploration of the system, with questions and answers throughout the session. Printed take-away review materials provide easy follow-up practice from any computer. There are four areas of implementation training and professional development: Planning, Training, Review, and Coaching. 

Planning: WIN will meet with district teams to set appropriate program goals and measurable criteria for success. The goal of these planning sessions is to help users develop a well-articulated, fluid implementation project plan to direct programmatic goals and associated milestones.

Training: Using a proven systematic learning process, WIN’s training is designed to: (1) support participants’ understanding of implementation goals; (2) motivate participants toward achievement of these goals; (3) connect the WIN products and solutions to the goals; and (4) provide sufficient hands-on time to practice and use the WIN products. Constructive feedback, action-based-research activities, and best practices are shared throughout all sessions. Participant guides, tutorials, instructor materials, quick reference cards, and project-specific materials are provided to support and enhance the participating educators’ professional development.

Review: The WIN Implementation Review helps program leadership and instructional teams to create a data-rich culture by reviewing program achievement in terms of the goals established during Implementation Planning.

Coaching: Throughout training, implementation, evaluation and beyond, WIN will stay connected to your administrative, instructional, and support staff. WIN will ensure your team has access to quality, capacity-building opportunities to share best practices and discuss any challenges that program staff may encounter. Ongoing access to just-intime assistance or refresher training will assure program success and sustainability.

TECHNICAL SUPPORT A dedicated toll-free number is provided for customer support, and is staffed from 07:30 to 16:30 EST. Voice mails and chat messages left during business hours will be returned within thirty minutes. Voice mails or chat messages left after business hours will be returned by 10:00 a.m. EST the following business day. Live technical support is also provided via chat. Administration manuals and user guides are available for each of the WIN solutions.


WIN Learning – Readiness Redefined Since its inception in 1996, WIN has been an innovator in matching education to workforce requirements, and strengthening partnerships between schools and communities to place students firmly in the 21st century workforce. With its integrated product solutions, WIN has remained at the forefront in providing courseware for applied academic and foundational workplace skills development. Based in Tennessee, WIN specializes in providing education and workforce development solutions for front-end analysis allowing policymakers, community leaders, and program providers to quickly assess labor supply and demand and align curriculum development, occupational skills training, career readiness, and career pathways with the knowledge and skill requirements for target occupations. Our collective experience at WIN emphasizes our ability to provide: (1) high-quality services to our clients on time and on budget; (2) the most rigorous and cost effective project designs possible to our clients; and (3) technical assistance to our clients for implementing plans and programs as a result of our services. The WIN team has conducted several studies and consulted on a wide variety of projects. These focus on quantifying the occupation-driven demand for workforce education and training programs, and the supply of trained workers. In just 15 years, WIN has become the national leader in career readiness initiatives, with more than 10 million WIN learners worldwide.


APPENDIX A: Rationale for Career Driven Intervention EARLY CAREER EXPLORATION AND RELEVANCY Career Exploration Beginning Early On By the time they enter high school, students should have a preliminary understanding of the world of work. If they do, they can begin exploring what types of jobs interest them, what skills and education are required for each job at each level, and which jobs are in demand in areas they want to call home. This early career-driven intervention keeps students engaged in school through graduation. Several studies identify early exploration as contributory to students’ success in school

Middle School : Career awareness

High School : Career exploration; skills and knowledge identified

Graduation : Career and college ready

and beyond. For one, Prepare and Inspire: The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (2010) recommended building on early student interest to prepare students for 21st Century careers. Another major report found that the most significant factor in a student’s choice of careers is their established interests which were nurtured early in school (Tai & Maltese, 2011). And, decades of research on Career Academies has shown the positive effect of integrating a career focus into educational structures (Kemper & Willner, 2008).

Relevancy of Education Relevance is a key factor in education. If students see a clear link between what they are studying and their personal goals—e.g., graduating, catching up, going to college, getting a job—they will work harder to succeed. A multi-state study of high-school dropouts found most students believe they could have succeeded in school (Bridgeland & Dilulio, 2006). More than 80% of dropouts who were interviewed stated they would have stayed in school if they were learning skills they could apply in the real world. Schools need to help all students be motivated, stay in school, and find their future, whether it’s a technical program, two-year associate degree, apprenticeship, or university (Hines-Dochterman, 2011).


COLLEGE AND CAREER READINESS Post-secondary Pathways in the Context of Careers College and career readiness across the country generally focuses on implementing rigorous academic programs and benchmarks for high-school completion. These requirements are rarely career-driven or even acknowledge what students need for future careers other than more education. As a result, remediation is required for 50% of college students who are unable to enroll or succeed in college-level courses (Alliance, 2011). Linking post-secondary education with career pathways can bring higher academic outcomes, decreasing a need for remedial education in college. College readiness is not the only pathway that is challenged by the lack of a careerdriven focus in education. Students are also not prepared to work when they leave high school (Otterman, 2011). They often lack needed foundational and soft skills to be work-ready, and a plan to align their work plans with the reality of the workplace. This entire approach—for both job- and college-bound students—is changing, however. Educators and policymakers are beginning to redefine what “post-secondary” should include with the goal to increase the high-school graduation rates and support success for all students. WIN’s Career-Driven Education model addresses the needs of all students after graduation by preparing them for eventual careers—whether now or after college.

Both College and Career Readiness Pathways to Prosperity, a seminal study from Harvard University, addresses schools’ lack of preparation for the “forgotten half”—our high-school students not transitioning to higher education. A recent commentary on this study made two major points (Litow and Schwartz, 2011). First, preparing for college and preparing for a career are not mutually exclusive options for high schools. And second, two-year colleges are invaluable for the growing number of students whose career interests do not require four years of post-secondary education. We need to graduate high-school students “with an idea of what they want to do in the future” regardless of the pathway they choose (Carnevale & Rose, 2011).  For students heading for college, the goal is to send them off with

an idea of what they want to do in the future. For students entering the workforce, the goal is to assure they go in with a skill set, training, and credentials (Harvard, 2011).

Opportunities at all Levels of Post-Secondary Experiences Through 2014, 45% of all job openings will require an associate degree, certification, or apprenticeship; 33% will require a bachelor’s degree or above; and the remaining 22% can be filled with a high-school education (Gerwertz, 2010). Economists project that over the next 15 years, our country will need 20 million workers with at least some post-secondary education— bachelor degrees, non-degree postsecondary credentials, and associate degrees—to meet future economic requirements and reduce income inequality (Carnevale, 2011).


Foundational Skills According to the National Commission on Adult Literacy, 90 million adults have literacy skills so low they were hard-pressed to succeed in post-secondary education or training (Landrieu & Murray, 2011). Additionally, results of the most recent Program for International Student Assessment show American students continue to perform below their international peers in mathematics. Taken together, these findings suggest students have a lack of basic foundational skills to compete in our global marketplace. This deficiency also underlies the skills gap in our country that keeps so many jobs unfilled. Landrieu and Murray, US Senators from Louisiana and Washington respectively, go on to say they believe the national skills gap is “a consequence of our failure to seriously invest in the education of America’s work force.” Soft Skills In the past five years, researchers have written a great deal about the requirements for soft skills as well as hard ones. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (including leaders from Cisco, Dell, Time Warner, and Microsoft) has called for a greater emphasis on 21st Century soft skills such as attitude and critical thinking for all students and jobseekers (Harvard, 2011). Other studies similarly express concern that our students do not have the behavioral and attitudinal skills needed for jobs and college (Wagner, 2008; Nagle, 2010). Recently, the US Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration developed its own pyramid of skills required for employees to achieve success in the workforce (USDOL, 2011). At its base are soft skills. Economist and Nobel Laureate James Heckman, a strong advocate for linking early education and the economy, expressed concern that schools have glossed over a key skill set, “soft skills,” which, as much as academic ability, may help disadvantaged students succeed. If Heckman is correct, “We may find a better society through education” (Blighty, 2011).

 Soft skills training—critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, communication,

adaptability, attitude, interpersonal skills, integrity, initiative, reliability, dependability, and willingness to learn—prepares students for success in college and career. They are what employers want, and can’t be left for learning on the job.

21ST CENTURY WORKFORCE SKILLS – LINKING EDUCATION AND WORK Skills and Skill Gaps in Today’s Workforce Sweeping changes in technology and a rapid growth in knowledge have transformed entire industries and their workforces. Consider required worker skill levels: In 1955, 60% of the American nonprofessional labor force was unskilled and 20% skilled. By 2008, while 20% of the workforce has remained professional, the remaining labor requirements have shifted the structure of the rest of the American workforce dramatically, to 68% skilled and 12% unskilled. Despite this realignment, or because of it, our country is facing a major worker shortage, even at a time when unemployment continues to climb. Economists are beginning to note the serious disconnect between jobs available and people career ready—between skills required and skilled workers available to businesses Carnevale, 2010). In fact, economists estimate up to 25% of all unemployment is structural—reflecting more than 3.0 million jobs (Samuelson, 2011).


 The Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank calculates that if we had a normal match between workers’ skills and skills employers need, the nation’s unemployment rate would drop from 9.6% to just 6.5%. (NGA, 2011).

Understanding Workforce Dynamics – Supply, Demand, and Skills There isn’t a day that passes where we don’t open the newspaper or listen to the evening news and hear there are jobs to be had and no workers—in manufacturing, in nursing, and, even in the apple orchards in the State of Washington (CBS Nightly News, 2011). Businesses across the country are concerned—first, they cannot fill available jobs and second, those applicants they see are not prepared. More than 30% of college graduates were underemployed, having prepared for careers where there was no demand (Higher Education, 2010). As a result of the mismatch between jobseekers’ skills and employers’ needs, there are a large number of “orphan jobs” in the manufacturing, utilities, transportation, mining, and agricultural industries, from both entry level to higher education degrees (Memmott, 2011). A survey of 2,000 businesses by the McKinsey Group found 40% had positions open at least six months because they could not find suitable candidates who came with the required skills.

 One thing is certain: There is a clear disconnect between preparation for college and careers, and awareness of the realities and needs of the workforce (Samuelson, 2011).

Both secondary and post-secondary education must match the needs of the marketplace. Students need to know that the degrees and certificates they pursue can be used in the workplace. Our educational institutions, including primary and secondary education, all need to be driven by external realities as well as internal traditions (Sparks & Waits, 2011).

 A recent National Governor’s Association report recommended utilizing labor market data to define goals and priorities in education, and prepare students for high-demand jobs (NGA, 2011)

The Economic Value of College and Career Readiness Nationwide, employers are questioning the ability of high-school and even college graduates to think critically, communicate well, and perform basic mathematics and other area skills. A 2008 survey of businesses with open positions determined 40% of college graduates applying for open jobs did not have the necessary applied skills to be hired (Society for Human Resource Management, 2008); and 39% of recent high-school graduates with no further education are unprepared for entry-level jobs. A recent broadcast by CNBC News Correspondent Brian Sullivan (CNBC, 2011) reported on the inability of major companies and small businesses to match skills to positions. Structural gaps occur because we are not preparing our workforce for available jobs and we are not keeping “millions of teenagers from dropping out of high school… effectively destroying their own economic prospects.” We are throwing away a portion of our workforce.


Clearly, many educators and businesses nationwide are calling for additional measures that redefine post-secondary outcomes to be more inclusive of all students, no matter their pathway following high-school graduation.


Alliance for Excellent Education. (May 2011). Saving now and saving later: How high school reform can reduce the nation’s wasted remediation dollars. Issue Brief. Washington, D.C. Bridgeland, J.; Dilulio, J; and Morison, K. (2006 March). The silent epidemic: Perspectives of high school dropouts. Washington, D.C.: Civic Enterprises, for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Britain Blighty. Soft skills and society: Not just smart, but persistent as well. (May 19, 2011). The Economist. Carnevale, A.; Smith, N.; and Strohl, J. (2010). Help Wanted: Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements Through 2018. Washington, D.C.: Centre on Education and the Workforce, Georgetown University. Carnevale, Anthony; Rose, Stephen. (2011 June). The Undereducated American. Washington, D.C.: Center on Education and the Workforce, Georgetown University. CBS Evening News Report. (2011 October 26). Interview with Scott Pelley. Etter, L. (2010 December 6). American teens trail global peers in math scores. The Wall Street Journal. Gerwertz, Catherine. (12/21/2010). ‘Relevant’ courses pique interest of students, industry. Ed Week. www.

Harvard Pathways Project. (2011). Pathways to Prosperity: Meeting The Challenge Of Preparing Young Americans for the 21st Century: Boston, MA: Harvard University College of Education. Higher education and wages. Plenty of university graduates are working in low-skilled jobs. (2010 September 8). The Economist. Retrieved at Hines-Dochterman, M. (2011 October 18). Career tech becomes increasingly important as funding shrinks: Alternative to college track is best choice for some students. The Gazette. DA District Administrator. Retrieved Kemple, J.J.; Willner, C.J. (2008). Career Academies: Long-Term Impacts on Labor Market Outcomes, Educational Attainment, and Transitions to Adulthood NY: MDRC Landrieu, M.L.; Murray, P. (August 10, 2011). How to close the skills gap: Small-business owners say that they have jobs but can’t find qualified people. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved at: Litow, Stanley; Schwartz, Robert. (June 9, 2011). Using a new model to create pathways to higher education. Commentary. Education Week. Memmott, Matt. (2011 June 15). 2 million ‘open jobs’? Yes, but U.S. has a skills mismatch. NPR News Blog. Nagle, Richard. (2010 January). Hiring, retention and training: Employers’ perspectives on trade and soft skills in South Carolina. University of South Carolina, South Carolina Workforce Investment Board.


Otterman, Sharon. (2011). Less than half of students in New York are leaving high school prepared for college and/or well-paying careers in the workforce. The New York Times, February 7, 2011). President’s Council of Advisors on Science & Technology. (2010 September). Report to the President. Prepare and Inspire: K-12 Education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) for America’s Future. Washington, D.C.: Executive Office of the President. Prepublication Version. Rivera, Carla. Minority men falling behind academically, study finds. (2011 June 21). Los Angeles Times. retrieved 06/24 at,0,5809820.story. Samuelson, Robert. Workers lack needed skills; jobs go empty. (2011 June 20). An editorial in The Columbus Dispatch. Columbus: Ohio. Society for Human Resource Management. (2008). Workforce readiness and the new essential skills. Alexandria, VA. Sparks, Ellen; Waits, Mary Jo. (2011 March). Degrees for what jobs? Raising expectations for Universities and Colleges in a Global Economy. NGA Center for Best Practices. Washington, D.C. Sullivan, B. (2011 October 10). New work? US has 3.2 million unfilled job openings. New York: CNBC Correspondent. United States Department of Labor (2011). Employment and Training Administration Competency Model. Retrieved from Wagner, T. (2008). The Global Achievement: Why even our best schools don’t teach and what we can do about it. NY: Perseus.


Career Driven Intervention: An Education Model for Today  
Career Driven Intervention: An Education Model for Today  

Proposed Implementation, Interventions, and Strategies Alignment with Perkins Grant