Sep 25, 2018

Quest for Success Curriculum Written by Louisiana Educators, Set to Expand Statewide in 2019-2020

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Select school systems across the state are piloting a new course designed to help ensure all students are prepared for success following high school graduation. The course, called Quest for Success, allows middle and high school students to develop essential workplace skills, explore various careers and industry sectors, and learn about themselves and their interests in order to successfully navigate high school, post-secondary education and career pathways.
"The ultimate indication of our students' career readiness and our effectiveness in preparing them is the success they find after they leave us--the extent to which they are employed in jobs they enjoy and that allow them to earn a good living, support their families and meaningfully contribute to their communities," said State Superintendent John White. "These are bold ambitions that will require families, educators and industry leaders to work together, but the implementation of Quest for Success, first through the pilot schools and then statewide, is a step in the right direction."

Quest for Success, which replaces the current course called Journey to Careers, was written by 22 educators as part of their participation in the Louisiana Educator Voice Fellowship. The fellowship, a partnership between the Louisiana Department of Education and national nonprofit organization America Achieves, supports the state's comprehensive effort to improve career readiness, which includes its Jump Start program.

"The Educator Voice Fellows worked alongside business and industry experts to carefully plan the nine units that make up this innovative career course," said Spencer Kiper, a middle school STEM teacher in Bossier Parish who participated in the fellowship and who was recently named 2019 Louisiana State Teacher of the Year. "Not only do these units simulate real-world work scenarios and equip students with the essential skills needed to be successful on the job hunt and on the job, but they expose students to their many career options, including in high-wage, high-demand fields aligned to the state's workforce needs."

Quest for Success is now being piloted in 38 school systems, and only teachers in those school systems who completed a specialized training are allowed to lead the course this year. Throughout the 2018-2019 school year, the course will be studied and revised based on teacher and student input, and a formal evaluation will be conducted at the year's end.

Following a successful pilot year, additional teachers will be trained, and Quest for Success will be expanded statewide in the 2019-2020 school year. Journey to Careers and similar existing career courses will later be removed from the state's available course listings.

"The collaboration with the Department of Education, leading educators from diverse schools and districts across the state, and a variety of national and local organizations and industry partners provides proof of the potential of diverse stakeholders in pursuit of a shared goal," said Heidi A. Ramírez, Executive Director of Educator Networks for America Achieves. "We're excited by the pilot course, what we believe to be one of the most innovative across the nation, and look forward to continuing to work together to continue to elevate the voices of educators, learn from the pilot implementation, make improvements, help the state prepare for full-scale implementation next year, and ensure all of our students are well prepared for career and life success."

# # # # # #