Kingston, TN – May 5, 2014 – A publication from the Career and Technical Education Center at the University of Hawaii states that “economically disadvantaged students (defined as those who qualify for free and reduced lunch) in secondary schools can benefit from exposure to employability skills built into the curriculum, and from seeing a direct connection between school subjects and how they link with occupational goals, earned income, and increased life options.” Taking the recommendation to heart, four Chicago area school districts recently purchased and are implementing the WIN Learning’s web-based Personalized Career Readiness System. Click to tweet:

Dolton School District 149, Pembroke School District 259, Prairie Hills School District 144, and the SPEED School District 802 are in various stages of implementing the award-winning WIN Learning system to help students develop the academic and foundational skills necessary to graduate from high school and then succeed in whatever path they choose, be it college, a trade school, the military or the workplace.

“Our job is to prepare students for the future. Post secondary education looks different for each learner. Further, many of our students have no idea what career options are available to them aside from minimum wage jobs,” said Gabrielle Herndon, director of Dolton School District’s 21st Century Learning Program. “We selected WIN Learning because it not only introduces students to hundreds of job categories, but it then provides detailed descriptions of what’s required to do that job, everything from courses to certifications and degrees. It then provides the content students need, all presented in ways directly related to career choices. It’s much better than saying ‘learn this algebraic formula. It shows them how they’ll use that formula, in a culinary career or construction job.”

The WIN Learning Personalized Career Readiness System encompasses four main modules:

• myStrategic Compass – offers a personalized career-planning tool for each learner based on skill, work and career interest, and then provides a framework for the education and path to succeed.

• College Readiness Courseware – For students looking to continue on to college, this courseware prepares learners with the necessary foundational skills in Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Geometry, Reading, Writing and English. Subjects include practice and application of concepts addressed by commonly accepted college placement exams.

• Career Readiness Courseware – Nine career-focused modules that prepare learners for career readiness certification. Topics include Reading for Information, Applied Mathematics, Locating Information, Listening, Observation, Applied Technology, and Business Writing, among others.

• Soft Skills – Professional attitudes, work habits and other key competencies are critical to success in college and the work place. Soft Skills teaches employability and social skills including conveying professionalism, communicating effectively, promoting teamwork and collaboration, thinking critically, and problem solving.

Serena Hewitt, a teacher in the STEM Academy at Dolton School District, added, “Our superintendent, Dr. Shelly Davis-Jones, is a true visionary and focused on developing soft skills with all Dolton students. She believes that while core subject knowledge may get you the interview, it’s the soft skills that will get you the job. We’re actively working with the students and honing these all-important skills on a daily basis. We require students to look neat and clean and be properly dressed; to have their school supplies and homework and be prepared to learn everyday; and to be respectful to teachers and others around them. The WIN program helps us support these efforts to teach them how to step up and carry themselves with confidence and the knowledge that they can be successful regardless of what path they select after high school.”

About WIN Learning
Since 1996, WIN has become the leading provider of career readiness solutions to help districts prepare pathways for students’ futures, whether they are college, trade school, military or workplace bound. To date, more than 10 million students worldwide have participated in the specialized career–driven courseware and education intervention initiatives as well as career-readiness certification programs. For more information, go to or call 888-717-9461.

About the Author:

Leslie Eicher