Hawaii Business Magazine: Preparing Teens for Tomorrow
April 1, 2020
Look across Hawai‘i’s public high schools and you’ll see students teaching CPR to their teachers on Hawai‘i Island, training to become medical assistants on Oahu and interning with a clothing business on Molokai.
It’s not new for schools to incorporate such work-based learning activities or to partner with local businesses and nonprofits. What’s different today is the greater focus on preparing students for careers, says Alex Harris, VP of programs at the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation.
Employers are more heavily involved, he says, likely because of the state’s low unemployment rate and because most jobs today require some form of college or advanced certification. At the same time, high schools are moving away from old notions of vocational preparation for some students and academic preparation for others. Today, career-focused learning is increasingly emphasized for all students because it helps answer that eternal student question: “Why should I learn this stuff?”