The middle grades are often overlooked when it comes to Career Technical Education programs, yet research shows that career-focused activities before high school can have a significant impact on student outcomes.
For Career & College Clubs, we’ve always felt the middle grades are critical (note that ‘career’ comes first in the program’s name) and have been working with educators across the country to bolster career preparation before high school. Two examples include:
Los Angeles Unified School District. The nation’s second-largest public district has adopted Career & College Clubs for middle schools that feed into Linked Learning High Schools. Linked learning schools integrate rigorous academics that meet college-ready standards with sequenced, high-quality career-technical education, work-based learning, and supports to help students stay on track.
Minnesota Department of Education. The state agency has partnered with Career & College Clubs to offer the program to middle schools throughout the state that participate in their career information system.
Notably, Minnesota is funding Career & College Clubs with federal dollars provided through the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 2006. Perkins funds can be used as low as 7th grade, an acknowledgement from policymakers that career education should start before high school.
Career & College Clubs recently met with Congressional staff on the House Education and Workforce Committee to discuss the Perkins program and how to further strengthen the program’s support for pre-high school career preparation.