Sep 24, 2019

BATON ROUGE, La. — After being piloted in Louisiana classrooms to positive acclaim, Quest for Success, the innovative career exploration course designed by Louisiana educators to ensure students are prepared for and have access to good jobs, is now being scaled statewide.

“The ultimate indication of our students’ career readiness and our effectiveness in preparing them is the success they find after they graduate from high school,” said State Superintendent John White. “The implementation of Quest for Success, first through the pilot last year and now to the entire state, is one way Louisiana is ensuring that’s possible.”

The Quest for Success course, made possible through a partnership of the Louisiana Department of Education and national nonprofit America Achieves, is designed to help all students explore a variety of industry sectors, new and in-demand careers, and related pathways; develop the cross-sector knowledge, skills, character, and dispositions needed to be successful in these and other careers; and learn about themselves to successfully navigate high school and postsecondary education and plan to achieve career and life success.

Throughout the course’s eight strategically designed units, students progress from knowing themselves, to leading responsibly, to planning for their futures. A variety of industry-aligned, project-based learning tasks engage students in solving authentic problems and developing new knowledge and skills. Tasks range from personal vision boards and values statements to food trucks, websites, and community service projects.

“We’re preparing students for a changing world of work—workplace cultures that include remote work, honor diversity, demand collaboration, and celebrate innovation,” said Heidi Ramírez, executive director of the educator networks at America Achieves. “Students are learning new tools, approaches and ways of thinking—like agile design, the engineering design process, market research and needs assessment, and project management. And their being asked to practice new habits of mind and character traits—from reflection and a growth mindset to empathy, appreciation for diversity, integrity, and ethical reasoning.”

Quest for Success was initially created as part of the Louisiana Educator Voice Fellowship. In 2018, Quest for Success was piloted in over 50 Louisiana classrooms with more than 2,400 middle and high school students and subsequently revised with feedback from students, educators, school leaders, and industry representatives.

“The performance tasks in Quest for Success helped my students develop growth mindsets,” said Crystal Marshall, a middle school teacher in Bossier Parish who piloted the course. “I was able to clearly link the lessons to what students might experience in the real world of work—meeting deadlines, navigating difficult co-workers, having a sense of personal responsibility, and holding themselves to higher standards.”

This summer, 373 Louisiana teachers were trained to teach Quest for Success in their classrooms this school year. An additional 67 educators also participated in an all-day training course in Baton Rouge earlier this month.

By scaling this high-quality course statewide, the Department and America Achieves seek to ensure that all Louisiana graduates have a strong foundation for career and life success. In addition to becoming the premier career exploration course in Louisiana schools, Quest for Success is on a path to become a national model. A version of the course has been adapted for use across state contexts and is now available as a free, open education resource nationwide.  

#  #  #  #  #  #