The America Achieves Educator Networks works to increase the number of students who have access to and complete a quality education pathway that leads to career and life success.
The Colorado Educator Voice Fellowship for 21st Century Learning will support teams of educators from across the state to learn about the shifting 21st century economy, related workforce demands, necessary employability skills, and models of college and career development to create a variety of industry-aligned performance tasks.
Through the Fellowship experience, from cohort covenings, industry site visits, interviews and guest speakers to learning about project-based learning and developing these model resources, educators will develop a shared understanding of 21st learning and employability skills.
Most importantly, they will develop their own capacity to lead aligned improvement efforts in their own schools, districts, and communities and participate in larger career readiness initiatives across the state.
By leveraging our network of expert educators, we will build innovative models that bridge the gap from the classroom to careers and develop educator understanding of and ability to shape systems change in their schools and communities.
Colorado has one of the strongest, fastest-growing and high-tech economies in the United States but faces great challenges in preparing, recruiting, placing and retaining the right people with the right skills to continue to support that growth. For example, some reports indicate that the State has 40,000 unfilled tech jobs. Often referred to as “The Colorado Paradox,” this is creating a shared sense of urgency and increased activity among industry, education, and civic leaders across the State.
The voice and expertise of experienced Colorado educators is key to the project’s success. Just as with other experts providing consultation in the effort, participating Colorado schools/districts/institutions and America Achieves are committed to honoring participants for their professional commitment and contributions.
Deepen their understanding of the changing sets of skills, competencies, knowledge, and preparation needed to be successful in good Colorado jobs in the 21st century.
Develop, with key industry and community stakeholders, a shared vision for and articulation of 21st century, transferable, employability skills (aka career readiness competencies).
Build leadership and communication skills to become champions for 21st century learning/career readiness and have an effective seat at the table with decision makers.
Apply principles of effective design of high-quality, performance tasks and related project-based learning.
Design, for potential use in Fellowship-represented schools/districts and postsecondary institutions and across the state:
industry-aligned, performance tasks/capstone projects based on real problems of work and 21st century employability/success skills (exemplars/models)
design/planning and scoring rubrics, and
related guides and instructional tools
Improve career readiness in their communities and across the state.
The Fellows’ performance task projects will serve as models to be used in various high school courses to meet state graduation capstone requirements and potentially, postsecondary contexts, to drive innovative teaching and learning of 21st century employability skills aligned to industry demands.