Preparing Students for the 21st Century Workplace— A Case Study of an Exemplary Apprenticeship Program
The Leadership Network department is working closely with the AASA Department of Children’s Programs in an exciting new initiative exploring 21st-century career preparation and the power of youth apprenticeships. This program is supported by Booz Allen Hamilton and the U.S. Department of Labor. During the one year of this investigation, we will be producing a range of resources for educational leaders, including four case studies of exemplary youth apprenticeships and their implications for modern education; a toolkit for educational leaders to support their efforts to enhance or bring to their respective districts effective youth apprenticeship programs; and a synthesis of contemporary research literature related to the power and importance of apprenticeships as educational options for students.
The team recently completed a multi-day visit to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, where it visited Olympic High School and its Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Apprenticeship Program. Eleventh and twelfth graders there are working in paid apprenticeships with major manufacturing corporations throughout the region. Students, parents, and mentors interviewed during this visit were unanimous in confirming the benefits of the program, including engaging and authentic on-site teaching and learning, opportunities for financial compensation for students, and the chance for successful apprentices to exit the program with a two-year Associate’s Degree (fully paid for by their sponsoring organization).