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Thursday, June 13, 2013

ANNOUNCEMENT: Fort Bend ISD to focus on College and Career Readiness for Students

Fort Bend ISD to focus on College and Career Readiness for Students
FORT BEND ISD ― At the June 3 Board of Trustees Workshop, a framework for preparing Fort Bend ISD students for College and Career Readiness (CCR) was presented by members of a committee who have been working on the framework of a comprehensive plan for many months.  The committee is comprised of parents, students, business partners, higher education representatives and Fort Bend ISD (FBISD) staff members.

“Our students face an economic landscape quite unlike that experienced by their parents,” said Dr. Lupita Garcia, Director of College and Career Readiness.  “It is important for our educational system to continue to evolve and change in order to meet the needs of our students.  Our schools are indeed the economic engines of our community, and we must provide the resources and direction to prepare our students for college and career opportunities.”

College and Career Readiness encompasses academic, career, and technical knowledge and skills that enable students to:
  • enroll and succeed in credit-bearing, first-year courses at a post-secondary institution without the need for remediation;
  • earn a high-level industry certification;
  • gain entry-level employment in a high-skill, high-wage job; and/or
  • enter military service through the branch of the student’s choice.
Part of the District’s strategic plan is to address the achievement gap among student groups, increase student participation in advanced academics, and increase college and career readiness for all students.  The CCR comprehensive plan will address these goals by blending both the standard core academic disciplines and the Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses, giving students more choices in their educational pathways while providing a more holistic approach to their learning.

The framework for a comprehensive CCR plan includes goals for students, parents and the District.  After determining baseline data, measurable outcomes for performance targets will be set and professional development will be conducted for teachers.  CCR goals include ensuring all students test on or above grade level in math and reading (K-12), and ensuring students graduate with the Recommended High School Plan or Distinguished Achievement Plan at the college readiness level.
Some of the essential components of a successful CCR program include:
  • College and Career Readiness Culture and Mindset
  • PreK-12 Comprehensive Counseling and Guidance Program
  • 21st Century Skills Attainment
  • Advanced Academic Course (AAC) Offerings open to all students
  • CTE Opportunities and Rigorous Courses Leading to Industry Certifications
  • College and Career Resource Centers
  • Responsive Academic Support and Intervention
  • Teacher Support – Training in CTE and AAC Current Trends and Strategies
  • Innovative School Model Options
  • Parent Engagement that Leads to Full Knowledge of College and Career Readiness
The CCR plan will include six performance target areas:  Equity and Access; Completion and Continuation of Advanced Academics and CTE Courses; Achievement; Post High School Plans; Teacher Assignment and Support; and Counselor Support.  Forty performance measures will also be developed for these targets.

Additionally, eleven CCR Advisors will be hired so that each high school will have a person dedicated to assisting students and parents through the college admissions process, as well as working closely with the counseling departments to support their work in ensuring equitable educational access for college readiness and entry to high-level employment for all students.  The FBISD CCR Advisor model mirrors the one created by The Higher Education Coordinating Board, which established 10 Regional Special Advisors to assist colleges, universities and local school districts by providing information, assisting implementation efforts, sharing professional development opportunities and facilitating alignment efforts with public schools.