Schools must adapt to job market

It has often been asserted, and proven to be true that, in many ways, schools today must prepare their students for jobs that have yet to be created. You may have wondered, “What exactly does that mean and how do we do that?” Basically, it means that in this ever-changing, technology driven, 21st-century world that we live in, schools must teach skills and foster critical thinking strategies that adapt to the competitive college acceptance process and changing job markets and thus make Scotland County a target for economic development.

One such area of the Scotland County Schools’ curriculum that places a particular emphasis on ensuring that our students are career ready is the Career and Technical Education course of study. CTE coursework is relevant learning that engages students. Students are integrating into their schedule classes about: family and consumer sciences, health science, marketing and entrepreneurship, technology engineering and design and trade and industrial education. Students are able to complete many of these courses with, not only a better understanding of their future professional goals, but with certifications that make them very competitive in the job market. And with the expansion of the course offerings available because of the ever-strengthening partnership with Richmond Community College, students have even more opportunities to take free college courses while they are in high school while also earning professional certifications that are highly sought-after by employers.

Additionally, our students are continuing to succeed across the board in their coursework. One marker of their success is our ever-increasing graduation rate. For the 2013-14 school year, our district’s graduation rate was 78.3 percent, which represents a 5.5 percent growth from last year and is the highest graduation rate ever in Scotland County. Furthermore, SEarCH was recently honored by State Superintendent June Atkinson for their 95.2 percent graduation rate — one of the highest four-year cohort graduation rates among all districts and schools in the state in 2013-14. Only twelve school districts and 43 high schools received this recognition.

Again, in this globally competitive world that we all live and work in, it is no doubt a challenge that we all share in making Scotland County a ‘target’ for business and industry to locate. We are proud to share the accomplishments of our students and staff with any and all and will continue to strive to ensure all of our students are college and career ready thus helping to make them, and our community more successful.

Meredith Bounds is the Public Information Officer for Scotland County Schools. Laurinburg Exchange Article

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