Missouri To Participate In New National Education Initiative

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COLUMBIA- Missouri is one of six states selected to participate in a new national education initiative for high school students, as announced by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Wednesday.

The program is called the Pathways to Prosperity Network. Its purpose is to encourage the development of more pathways to careers for recent high school graduates to have a successful future. The program hopes to encourage more high school students to graduate and to assist students in attaining another credential or a higher degree to be competitive in the job market.

Harvard University's Graduate School of Education concluded millions of students in the United States are pressured into a ‘one size fits all approach,' encouraging high school graduates to receive a bachelor's degree.

The research also predicted that only one-third of jobs created in the next few years will require a bachelor's degree or higher. The report concluded that the United States should place a greater emphasis on occupational instruction or special training.

According to recent national studies, as many as half of the population under 25 who have earned a college degree may be unemployed or underemployed. For those with no postsecondary education or no high school diploma, the unemployment situation is more serious.

The program is collaboration among the Pathways to Prosperity Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Jobs for the Future program, and five other states- Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Tennessee.

A committee of business and education leaders is established to guide Missouri's planning effort. The next steps in Missouri include stakeholder interviews and asset mapping to develop the best plan possible.

The program believes this initiative is a promising strategy to greatly increase the percentage of young adults who earn post-secondary degrese or credentials that prepares them to have a meaningful and a successful career. Visit the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's website for more information.