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Connecticut's School-to-Career System

What is Connecticut's School-to-Career System?

School-to-Career is a comprehensive education system that provides all students the opportunity to connect learning in the classroom with the needs and demands of the workplace and/or higher education. Connecticut's School-to-Career system (also known as Connecticut Learns) shows students from elementary through post-secondary education how school-based academic knowledge applies to life outside the classroom and how it links to a variety of career paths. Students benefit from participation in a combination of school and work-based experiences, connected by a series of career exploration activities and assessments, which result in a more focused selection of course work based on potential career interests.

Student achievement is raised through participation in learning experiences that require the application of knowledge and skills to real-life situations. School-to-Career initiatives support collaboration between the business and education communities thus providing students the experience to make informed career decisions.

How is School-to-Career Structured?

Every School-to-Career system must contain three core elements:

  • School-Based Learning - Classroom instruction that integrates high academic standards with occupationally based skills incorporated in Connecticut's eight career clusters.
  • Work-Based Learning - Work experience which provides structured training and mentoring that occurs in the workplace.
  • Connecting Activities - Activities that link the classroom instruction with workplace experience, assisting students with choosing an appropriate curriculum.
What are Connecticut's Career Clusters?

Connecticut's School-to-Career system is organized around nine industry-identified career clusters. The nine career clusters are:

  • Arts and Media
  • Business and Finance
  • Construction: Technologies and Design
  • Environmental, Natural Resources and Agriculture
  • Government, Education and Human Services
  • Health and Biosciences
  • Retail, Tourism, Recreation and Entrepreneurship
  • Technologies: Manufacturing, Communications and Repair
  • Information Technologies

A student's work-based experience in any of these nine clusters expose them to all aspects of an industry, from labor, health and safety issues and principles of technology to planning, management and finance. Students also learn about elements unique to an industry and to the general day-to-day details of running an entire business. In addition, the general work expectations of promptness, commitment and persistence are reinforced.

What are the Benefits to Employers?

The benefits to employers participating in School-to-Career include: an investment in Connecticut's future; a key role in training the future workforce; strong community ties; and a positive impact on the morale and commitment of your employees through their interaction with students.

How can an Employer Get Involved as a Partner?

There are a variety of roles employers can play and opportunities they can provide as partners in the School-to-Career initiative. These include: participation in career days at schools, presentations to schools in the classroom, company tours for students and teachers, job shadowing experiences for students and teachers, internships for students and teachers, and workplace mentoring.

Who can you Call to Learn More About School-To-Career?

Julie Andrews at the Connecticut Department of Education at 860-713-6766.

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This workforce product was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration. (more)
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