Indiana

Preparing Indiana Students for the 21st Century Workplace

State Plan

Scope

This project continues from Year 6, when the Great Lakes Comprehensive Center (GLCC) supported the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) in three distinct areas: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) initiatives; the Indiana Career Explorer (ICE) pilot; and the Employability Skills Framework.

In Year 7, GLCC will provide content expertise, relationship brokering, coaching, and thought partnering to increase IDOE’s capacity for leading and collaborating with Indiana school districts’ STEM educators, institutions of higher education, philanthropic organizations, business and industry leaders, and stakeholders in implementing the Indiana STEM Council strategic plan. GLCC also will support IDOE in leading Indiana districts in adopting and implementing work-based learning and career navigation tools, including the ICE to be piloted in a cohort of 35 middle schools, and support IDOE in carrying out responsibilities as required by Senate Bill 297, Employability Skills Curriculum. The bill was passed in the 2018 legislative session and requires Indiana schools to include interdisciplinary employability skills standards in their curriculum beginning in the fall of 2019. Through these three strands of work, IDOE is seeking to increase number of students succeeding in STEM coursework; all Indiana middle school students receiving instruction in career exploration; and all Indiana K–12 students receiving instruction in employability skills.The ultimate goal is to have a sufficient number of graduates to fill the high-demand, high-wage jobs in the state.

Challenge

The statewide high school graduation rate in Indiana is high; however, too many Indiana students leave high school unprepared for their postsecondary choice—the workplace, certification programs, or higher education. Indiana high schools are not graduating enough students with the qualifications needed to fill, eventually, high-demand, high-wage jobs. The high-demand jobs across industries increasingly require certain employability skills—mastery of technology, problem solving, and communication skills; the ability to work as a team; and the ability to apply knowledge to new situations. This affects the state’s economy because there are not enough qualified workers to fill the increasing number of jobs in the state that require a STEM background. Indiana districts are challenged to integrate teaching these employability skills into instruction for all students to ensure that they are prepared to meet these workplace demands.

Milestones

Milestone 1. Revised STEM school certification process developed based on identified strengths and weaknesses. (1/31/2019)

Milestone 2. Professional learning opportunities for districts’ STEM educators to support the goals of the STEM strategic plan developed. (6/30/2019)

Milestone 3. Indiana Graduation Pathways professional learning modules and implementation toolkits for Indiana districts announced on the IDOE website. (6/30/2019)

Milestone 4. Work-based learning manual and career navigation resources for best practices posted on the IDOE website. (6/30/2019)

Milestone 5. Professional learning module to support the implementation of employability skills developed for districts. (7/31/2019)

Milestone 6. Professional learning modules for the implementation of employability skills, with special considerations for students with disabilities, English learners, and students with unique needs. (9/30/19)

Expected Capacity Building Outcomes

Primary: Improved knowledge and skills
Secondary: Improved organizational structures and processes

Expected Outcomes

  • IDOE has improved knowledge and skills to increase stakeholder awareness and commitment to the goals of the STEM strategic plan;
  • IDOE has improved organizational structures and processes to increase the quantity and quality of STEM education in the state;
  • Indiana districts have increased capacity to provide instruction on STEM, work-based learning, employability skills, and career navigation tools.

Expected Outputs

  • Revised STEM school certification process;
  • Professional learning opportunities for districts’ STEM educators;
  • Professional learning modules and implementation toolkits for Indiana districts;
  • Professional learning module to support the implementation of employability skills is developed for districts;
  • Professional learning modules for the implementation of employability skills, with special considerations for students with disabilities, English learners, and students with unique needs;
  • Work-based learning manual and resources for best practices.