Major equity gaps persist in access to AP science learning

Despite students saying that STEM courses are their favorite subject areas and that they aspire to go to college, Black and Latino students and students from low-income backgrounds continue to be excluded from crucial learning opportunities available through AP STEM courses, according to a new report from Education Trust and Equity Opportunity Schools, Shut Out: Why Black and Latino Students are Under-Enrolled in AP STEM Courses.

This new research highlights that a positive and inviting school climate plays an important role in getting more Black and Latino students in advanced courses that would nurture their aspirations and interests and position them to thrive in college and future careers.

“Students who are ready and eager to take advanced placement courses at their schools shouldn’t be shut out because seats are not available or they don’t feel welcomed in these courses,” said Dr. Allison Socol, assistant director of P-12 policy at The Education Trust. “District and school leaders must lead efforts to build more welcoming and inclusive learning environments that ensure students who are interested in STEM professions are able to enroll and succeed in AP STEM courses.”…Read More

Hertz Celebrates Grads by Waiving Young Renter Fee

ESTERO, Fla., May 5, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — To celebrate Spring 2022 college graduates, today Hertz launched a new offer designed specifically to meet the needs of young renters. College graduates under 25 who become a Hertz Gold Plus Rewards® member will get the Young Renter Fee waived* when they rent by signing up at  hertz.com/grads.

Gold Plus Rewards members enjoy a faster pickup and drop-off experience. Free to join, benefits start from day one and include:

  • Choosing from a wide selection of cars from fuel-free EVs, luxury sedans and sports cars to SUVs, trucks, vans and more
  • Skipping the counter and going straight to your car at select locations
  • Earning points toward free rental days and upgrades
  • Adding an additional driver for free*
  • Dropping the keys and going at return

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to celebrate the class of 2022,” said Laura Smith, Hertz Executive Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Customer Experience. “Introducing younger customers to our brand is vital as we create a new Hertz and become a leader in the future of mobility and travel. This new loyalty offering for young renters, our industry-leading investment in EVs, and the upcoming digital enhancements we’re making to further enable a fast and seamless car rental experience are a few examples of how we’re appealing to Gen Z’s values, unique needs and preferences.”…Read More

VHS Learning Supports Students’ College and Career Readiness via Expanded Catalog and New “Exploring College & Careers” Infographic

Boston – April 14, 2022 – Giving students the chance to explore subjects beyond those in a standard core high school curriculum is a crucial step in readying them for college and careers. Students taking online high school courses through VHS Learning will start the 2022-2023 school year with many unique for-credit options, from Python Programming to Law, thanks to the nonprofit’s newly expanded course catalog. These new courses add to the more than 300 courses already available.

VHS Learning’s new courses for the 2022-2023 academic year include the following:

  • AP® Chinese Language and Culture
  • Business Law
  • Career Exploration and Readiness
  • Chinese 3
  • Civics and U.S. Government
  • Law and the U.S. Legal System
  • Python Programming
  • Spanish 1 Credit Recovery
  • Spanish 1 Summer
  • Studio Art
  • Veterinary Medicine

AP® Chinese Language and Culture runs 33 weeks, while the other new courses are semester-length and run for 15 weeks. These new courses enable students to discover subject areas that might not otherwise be available to them at a high school level.…Read More

Survey of High School Juniors and Seniors Reveals Low Levels of Financial Preparedness

Washington, D.C. – April 8, 2022 – EVERFI, Inc., a leading Impact-as-a-ServiceTM education innovator, today revealed the results of a student survey on the financial understanding and preparedness of thousands of high school juniors and seniors nationwide. The survey found that these students — nearing their transition to adulthood — report low levels of readiness to take on potential near-term financial tasks, from evaluating financial products to establishing and maintaining credit to understanding how to pay for college. 

As more than 1.1 million high school seniors are expected to commit to a college or university by May 1, only four in 10 students who responded to the EVERFI survey said that they felt “prepared” or “very prepared” to figure out the full costs of the colleges they were interested in attending. Further, while more than 2 million high school seniors completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) last year, less than half (46 percent) of students in the EVERFI survey said they felt prepared to fill it out, and a third of those same students (32 percent) felt that they could read and understand loan offers and repayment information they received. 

With college applications reaching record highs, and despite the steady increase in student debt, students reported being even less prepared to understand the financial implications of their loans. Only about a quarter of students (27 percent) reported being ready to estimate what their monthly payments might be after college. And about the same share of students (28 percent) said that they felt “prepared” or “very prepared” to establish a plan for how they will repay the student loans. …Read More

YouScience Releases Career Insights Report on Women, STEM, and the Talent Shortage

AMERICAN FORK, Utah, March 9, 2022 /PRNewswire/ —  YouScience, a leader in aptitude-based assessments, personalized career guidance, and industry-recognized certifications that support college and career success, today announced the release of a new national report,  Career Insights: Women, STEM, and the Talent Shortage. The insights are based on data gathered from the test results of more than 100,000 female high school juniors and seniors across the nation who completed a  YouScience Discovery assessment. The findings uncover a significant career exposure gap for women, as their aptitude scores for STEM-related occupations far outweighed their self-defined interest in them.

According to a 2021  ManpowerGroup survey, talent shortages in the U.S. have more than tripled in the last ten years, with 69% of employers struggling to fill positions, up from just 14% in 2010. Globally, estimates show that by 2030, the talent shortage could reach 85.2 million people, resulting in the loss of trillions of dollars in economic opportunity for companies.

YouScience garnered the insights by analyzing student’s self-defined interest in top careers versus their aptitude for success in those careers, including STEM and other high-paying opportunities. The data includes the top 50 most frequent career matches from a selection of 500.…Read More

5 steps to building a robust online CTE program

For more than 16 years, my goal has been to help students discover their passions and see their potential through career and technical education (CTE). From when I taught math and programming in a brick-and-mortar school, to creating and designing CTE courses, to teaching AP computer science and the foundations of programming at Florida Virtual School (FLVS), to now researching, developing, and maintaining the FLVS CTE program alongside my incredible colleagues, CTE has never been more important to me. 

You may be asking yourself, why are you so passionate about CTE? The short answer is that during my teaching career, I quickly learned that some students do not want to go to college. Rather than forcing them to do something that their skills sets, talents, and desires don’t align with, I encouraged them to explore their passions to see if they could turn it into a career later in life. All students deserve the opportunity to do what they love, and it’s our jobs, as educators, to help them get there. 

Additionally, according to the U.S. Department of Education, eight years after their expected graduation date, students who focused on career and technical education courses in high school had higher median annual earnings than students who did not. There are also 30 million jobs in the United States that do not require a bachelor’s degree that pay median earnings of $55,000 or more, further highlighting how CTE programs can set students up for success. …Read More

Why self-discovery increases college and career success

What do you want to be when you grow up? As we get older, the answer often changes from highly visible and glamorous endeavors, such as being an actor or a rockstar, to something more useful and meaningful to us personally.

Determining a great career path, however, isn’t always easy and is more often than not inhibited by a lack of exposure to career options and awareness of our own natural abilities. Yet, in order to secure the right educational pathway, students are asked to make a decision as early as high school and sometimes even middle school. 

Statistics show that over the course of a person’s lifetime, they will work an average of 90,000 hours. That’s a lot of time. Time that, if not mapped out properly, can be costly and less than satisfying. So how does a high school-aged student choose a career path at such a young age? What are the steps students need to take to pick a fulfilling profession? …Read More

Arizona Department of Education Names i-Ready® Assessment an Approved Universal Literacy and Dyslexia Screener

NORTH BILLERICA, Mass., January 27, 2022—The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) recently named Curriculum Associates’ i-Ready Assessment as an approved universal literacy and dyslexia screener for the 2022–2023 school year. With this approval, schools across the state can use the online Diagnostic and offline literacy assessment tasks to screen for risk factors associated with dyslexia. This dyslexia screening process is part of Arizona’s Move on When Reading policy, which is designed to provide students with evidence-based, effective reading instruction in order to position them for success as they progress through school, college, and career.

“As a longtime partner to the Arizona education community, Curriculum Associates developed dyslexia screener items specific to the needs of Arizona students as required by state law,” said Rob Waldron, CEO of Curriculum Associates. “This recent approval by the ADE reinforces the power and validity of our assessment in identifying potential risk factors for dyslexia, which is necessary so educators can provide the specialized supports students need to succeed.” 

According to the ADE, Arizona students in Grades K–3 will be given a universal literacy and dyslexia screener within the first 45 calendar days of the school year and will also be screened during the winter and spring benchmark periods. Each benchmark data set will then be submitted to ADE’s Move on When Reading team during specified dates throughout the school year.…Read More

National Alliance of Black School Educators Names Audrey Muhammad as Inaugural Recipient of the 2021 NABSE $10,000 Scholarship Award

NORTH BILLERICA, Mass., December 13, 2021—The National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE) recently named Audrey Muhammad, college success instructor at Durham Technical Community College in Durham, NC, as the recipient of the 2021 NABSE $10,000 Scholarship Award, which is sponsored by Curriculum Associates. This inaugural award, The Dr. Charles Mitchell, Jr. Leadership Scholarship, will help support Muhammad as she pursues an advanced degree in educational leadership at Wilmington University.

“We offer our congratulations to Ms. Muhammad on being the recipient of the inaugural award and wish her continued success in her educational endeavors,” said Dr. Fadhilika Atiba-Weza, executive director of NABSE. “NABSE is proud to present this scholarship in honor of Dr. Charles Mitchell, Jr., a founding member of our organization, whose recognition of the importance of leadership contributed to the formation of NABSE. In addition, we thank Curriculum Associates for its support and look forward to our continued partnership.”

Muhammad has been an educator for the past 28 years. Prior to her current role, she worked for Toledo Public Schools in Ohio and San Bernardino Unified School District and West Contra Costa Unified School District in California. During this time, she served as a high school English teacher, mentor teacher, and facilitator of various education workshops. She is also the author of numerous books, including How to Set Worthy Goals and Rhymes of the Times: Black Nursery Rhymes, and is the publisher of the inspirational Virtue Today Magazine.…Read More