One Rouge Community Check -In - Week 152
OneRouge started as a weekly call at the start of the Covid shut down just to share information. Over time, it has grown into a movement that addresses the Nine Drivers of Poverty. “Lack of educational attainment” is one of those drivers and it is the catalyst for our Education to Career Coalition. This Friday, we launch that coalition!
In honor of that coalition, we are going to talk about existing opportunities to provide existing youth pathways into careers. For instance, did you know there is a dual enrollment option for High School students right now? Did you know there is a program that supports High Schoolers get courses and training that align with industry needs? (Click here to see their overview of programs) There is also an internship program that gives seniors hands on experience.
Join us this Friday as we hear from featured speakers:
· Summer Dann - Director, Captial Area STEM Network Center
· Ben Necaise - Associate Superintendent of Workforce Development at East Baton Rouge Parish School System
· Martha Sealy - Executive Director, Career & Technical Education Center
Enlight, Unite, & Ignite!
Quick Links: Notes, Zoom Chat, Community Announcements
Martha Sealy: I am the Executive Director of the Career and Technical Education Center for East Baton Rouge Parish Schools. We service all the high schools in East Baton Rouge and the surrounding parishes, and we offer programs from medical to it, construction, crafts, automotive, and most all of our programs are dually enrolled with Baton Rouge Community College. Our biggest automotive program is so dual enrolled that is, is located on the BRCC campus in their automotive center, which is right in front of our building. And we have a new program that we're really excited about, which is pre-LPN students will start at C Tech. And go through the summer and when they graduate high school, they'll only have another year to go at BRCC and they will be LPNs, which is a big fast track program. Our programming with information technology is all dual enrolled with BRCC and now we have media arts, but we're working with BRCC on getting that. They don't have that. And we're also starting a drones program that they don't have yet that we hope to develop with them. It's a, it is the career of the future because everyone will need some kind of drone in their life. Whether to look at the shingles on your roof or to save you from an earthquake. These drones can get places people can't get into. Oh, that's, and it's illegal to fly without a license, you're a pilot. It's a, it's with the FAA. And it's an industry-based certification, but it hasn't reached post-secondary yet. There's not really a pathway, it's a transportation pathway. But the bat Rouge General has a staff member that is their drone pilot. He handles security flies over the parking lot. Very cool records things.
Benjamin Necaise: Superintendent of Workforce development with E B R. And I'm housed here at the same facility with Martha and do close work with her and her team. And our team also extends into J R T C programming, adult ed programming, the school level career tech education teams that support all of the school programming. So again, anything that deals with IBCs or industry-based credentials, dual enrollment students working towards. Year in college, post-secondary opportunities, this falls within us. And just to piggyback on Ctech also expanding a culinary program. We're renovating our kitchen, about a half million dollar renovation to make it a top of the line program. And then also media art. So we're now in housing a lot of. Arts and promotional materials. And just one last thing with that too is all students at our schools have the opportunity to come here so they can stay at their homeschool half a day and they come to ctech half the day. That way they still have their high school experience, they're still within their high school and do their core courses, but they come here to earn credentials or dual enrollment credits in a specific pathway. So we're excited about. We have now 425 kids who are scheduled for next year. So we are definitely, number wise going up. That's about our max right now. But I put the webpage and our chat box, so feel free to take a look. It's interactive. You can see all of our programming and how it works. Moving on to other E B R items. We have a 12th grade internship pilot taking place right now. We have a, just under 120 students who have are about completed or have already completed 155 hour internship where they earn a Carnegie unit. They also, in addition to that, are getting a equivalent of a $15 an hour stipend. And what we have seen is and the pilot launched very quickly. So we learned a lot about logistics and all of that. And we leaned on other programs around the country, like career-wise, Colorado and Youth Force, Noah, and learned from them. Once the program started, we have had a ton of positive feedback in our weekly surveys to businesses and to students about what they're learning and what they're doing. And the difference with our programs as we meant to make them intentional for students’ post-secondary aspirations. So while working a part-time job is helpful for soft skills, if you're at a grocery store or a fast food restaurant, if you could work within an industry area that you want to be, for example, IT or medical, That's an even more advantageous opportunity for kids. And so we're now extended to a summer program this year, so we're launching that. We have about 85 students in our summer program, and then we'll be doing the school year program and it we're still recruiting businesses through June for that. So we'll be doing a school year program as well. And then I know the dual enrollment piece. We can talk about what we're doing with that as well as we get into it. But I'll hand it over to summer and let her jump. Oh, I get the tough stuff.
Summer Dann: I'm the director of the Capital Area STEM Network Center. I've been in this role a little bit of a year and it's a new program through the Board of Regents, but I'm housed in the Cane Center at Louisiana State University, so I'm probably over everyone's region. I'm region two and it is East Baton Rouge Parish and then the sea surrounding Parish. There are nine eight other centers. We make up something called Louisiana or LA stem, and our entire goal is to promote STEM education in the workforce. And so dual enrollment is a critical piece of this. And the aspect that we're trying to tackle is staffing. So Ben probably knows, but let me describe a little bit of what dual enrollment is. So dual enrollment traditionally is post-secondary will send an instructor or. Usually an instructor to the high school to teach the college class to the high school students. The requirements for that through the Board of Regents and through accreditation is that those instructors have to have 18 hours in the content area. So if you're gonna be teaching English, you need to have 18 hours in that content area. If you're teaching math 18 hours. One of the easiest things to staff with dual enrollment are more of the gen eds, so the psychology, speech, sociology, art those courses are easier to staff. The critical areas are English and math. I just sat through the law stem advisory Committee where we had the representative from the Math Teachers Association come and tell us that 45% of the kids in the state of Louisiana do not have a certified math. Instructor period. Having post-secondary institutions that can come and support our high schools in these, in this critical area of math. And the reason that we're focusing on math first, we're piloting something where young people that are working on a master's in education you right now, they can choose like leadership or curriculum, administration technology. There isn't something for them to get that 18 hours in math. And so this summer, the pilot is to tr get those teachers. The ability to take the higher end math classes so that they can do the dual enrollment. So that's an exciting thing that's happening. We have a cohort of 15 that are starting this summer and we're hoping to grow that so that way, and this would be beneficial for all the regions. So we had a meeting with R P C B R C L S U Fran, you trying to see if we could get members of their organizations all together to work on this math curriculum, this 18 hours of math curriculum for. Teachers that wanna teach in the high school level. One of the other areas that's really exciting is that Dr. Newel brander facilitated with several parishes. A pilot that's gonna start this year, which would be post-secondary institutions, would have an online asynchronous class, meaning this class can meet anytime the kids can sign in. But the teacher would be facilitating the course, so all the kids would log in at their high school times into this asynchronous class, and the teacher would be helping the mentoring and the coaching around the topic. So that's for math. So that's, there's a whole coaching process and a training process for the teachers to be able to host this dual enrollment. So those are two things to. With the teachers, but really the most exciting thing that's happening, and it's going through the legislature, and Ben and Martha could probably talk a whole lot about the guidelines that are giving to L D O E and to the Board of Regents really stipulate when you can sign up for dual enrollment, when you can pay for dual enrollment when kids have to drop from the classes, and if the kids. Are put into a class, they're not doing well. If they miss the W date, then they they'll end up with a D or F on their transcript and that goes to college. So what's being pilot, what's piloted and what's being put out there in the legislature is to provide a way for kids to take the dual enrollment classes. They're not officially post-secondary students yet. They take the college material and at the end of the course, if they have an A, B, or C, then they can apply for that grade to be on their transcript. So it doesn't hurt the students it allows them to have access to this material. In a safe way that won't hurt their future. So this is something that's super exciting. Liz is asking, I don't know the bill number for that, but I can find out for you on that. But that's the reason is that s c a, which is the funding mechanisms for high schools to pay for post-secondary you have to have the classes. In there the students actually register and become a post-secondary student at the same time. Things have to be paid by a certain deadline. I think it's like August, October 10th or something. And then that's what, so we have to have a mechanism to change that funding model. And hopefully that goes through and. Get supported. So we're excited about new enrollment. It's opening up a whole lot of opportunities. I'm hoping that it helps address the, actually the math and English critical needs for our state so that we can get more kids into STEM careers. I think that was a lot. I think that was more than five minutes, but if I can definitely say yes, that the hold harmless kind of function of that bill that allows students to apply for that credit is critical for us. Again, we want to have. Access provided to all students for dual enrollment, AP courses, advanced coursework, but we also don't want them to get the negative consequences of a lower grade on a transcript and potentially starting college in in a digging out of a hole and trying to pull a GPA up. So that's critical for us. And one thing that we've done here is we've advanced increased our AP course offerings and dual enrollment course offerings over the last five, six years. Dramat. But there's pros and cons to AP courses and dual enrollment. Now, one of the things that we've been leveraging dual enrollment for is those intentional pathways that lead to a degree, or a certificate or a diploma. In the past, oftentimes students took AP or dual enrollment courses, almost all a la carte. Like I'll pick up a westerns here and an English credit there. But what we wanted to do is also give students a much more focused intentional pathway so that they're building towards that opportunity to get a degree diploma certificate or I B C.
Pepper Roussel: So my first question really is about the degree itself. Is this a an associate's degree or, because I think LPNs are a bachelor's, but you said that the students who are dual enrolled to have a, an extra year. Help me understand, like what is the dual, the enrollment part of the dual?
Benjamin Necaise: The way that it can be done is you'll see students that will dual enroll in courses that learn them in I B C. So it may only be a couple of courses. You can then go into things like a technical diploma. Technical degrees. Some of those require 15 credit hours, 30 credit hours, and then you get to the associates at 60 credit hours. So really it depends on when a student starts, if they want to progress all the way through to that final degree or an associate's degree and what program they're in. So it really depends on a lot of different options. Within the student's decision what they wanna pursue.
Pepper Roussel: When they start is the next question and that the, there's there was an article in the Advocate a couple years ago saying that they, that y'all were gonna. Start with or there was a high school that was going to model itself out of a, after high school in Lafayette. They were gonna be a freshman. I talked with the folks over in Lafayette. They say they only do sophomores. Yep. And then I was hearing that there had been a program that was. In Baton Rouge before that was just doing juniors and seniors. So when do they start?
Benjamin Necaise: Sure. Yeah. So the Pathways of Bright Futures basically requires or really presses students and parents to take one, at least one advanced course per year. So that could be an AP or a dual enrollment course, or it could be a. Course where they're earning an I b C in. So again, students have to do that once through each grade level, ninth through 12th grade. Many students will then choose a ninth grade, either do AP or dual enrollment. So depending on what they choose, if they want to go into a longer degree trajectory, like an associate's degree that requires 60 hours. They really need to start in ninth grade. They'll start the, what summer was saying, taking a lot of those core classes, your basic English, math, science, social studies type courses. And then as they matriculate to 11th, 12th grade, they get into the much more of their technical content. But again, there's a lot of different trajectories in ramps. Some students may only take 15 credit hours, 30 credit hours. It really depends on what program they decide. So we are starting in ninth grade again to start that process, but it goes back to even middle school. And we've started Career curriculum fourth through 12th grade this semester. That will then fully load in next year where students are having access two to four hours a month on career awareness activities where they're learning about jobs in our area. So rotating on our five pathways and the five career areas that BRAC has identified as high wage, high demand, and then students also. Five months where they explore their own careers based on their career assessment. So again, that is gonna help inform decision making with schools, parents and the district. Students will have a portfolio they carry with them. We'll be able to see what their personal interests are, what they're learning about, and then load them into those classes and opportunities as they inter late middle school and high school. Okay, so sticking with the the students for just another minute. The dual the actual classes that they're enrolled in on a college level. Are those transferable? Is a question in the chat, those credits, can they be sent to somewhere else if they choose to go outta state maybe for college it, it really depends on the sage trying to answer that.
Summer Dann: So each institution, a private institution or an out-of-state institution will determine. Looking at the coursework, whether that course would get credit. And a lot of times what I know of is they'll have the kids take the end, of course, test for that course. So say the student wanted the history credit, they would have them take the end of course, history class for that freshman class or whatever class it was. And if they pass it, then they'll say, yes, you can have the credit. That's typically how it works. But it's not a, it's not a g it's not looked at the same way as AP is, where if you have. 3, 4, 5, whatever they're requiring that they automatically give you the credit for. I did wanna add a little bit about the students for dual enrollment and what changed with covid. And Ben might be able to talk a little bit more about this, but previously students had to have a certain a c T score in math and English, or an overall score to be able to even take dual enrollment classes. They changed that up with adding in the course tests and leak testing and things of that. With Covid, because these students weren't allow they didn't have the opportunity to take a lot of these tests what happened was the Board of Regents allowed counsel. To say yes this person, this young person, is capable of doing dual enrollment. And the most recent Percentages that we saw that were given to us. And it's from, it's not from 2021. It's like from the covid year, the students actually did fairly well if their counselor recommended them for a course. So I think like the passing rate A, b, C was anywhere from 89 to 92%. And then with the counselor recommendation, it was around 80, 82. It wasn't much lower than actually having the test scores. So that's really That actually allows the schools to have more flexibility. Cuz a lot of kids aren't really great test takers, right? And so if a counselor says, yes, this young person is prepared and ready, let's try 'em out in a speech class or a psychology class or sociology class it gives the kids the opportunity to try. Yeah. So much. But the too, there are people that don't like that, but do you know if yeah, things are what they are and are doing okay. Yeah, I can't, we give them an option or an opportunity.
Benjamin Necaise: And it comes to monitoring too, is making sure you can't just have a student place in an ninth grade course that's advanced and expect them to be successful with no support or no monitoring. And it's really contingent upon the school and the team and the counselors making sure they monitor. And they help students along. And if there's an issue you might have to withdraw from a course, but at least that's an important piece. One of the things that's important is just making sure students had the opportunity to at least try it. I think back to myself, I never took an AP course in high school, cuz honestly, I looked at the students in those courses and thought, yeah, that's not me. And then winded up my first year teaching. I. Multiple AP courses. It's interesting. Just give students that opportunity to know, can I do this? And, but making sure you have the barriers and guards and supports around that. Also I did place our workforce development link in the chat. This goes, if you click here, we have a ton of resources and information about the defined careers platform. Bright Futures, dual enrollment. The pilot internship program and then next year's program. So feel free to look at that. And if any of you ever have questions feel free to reach out. All our contact information is there. We'll answer your questions or meet with you.
Pepper Roussel: Thank you. Shifting only briefly into a liberal arts area what, and I did see some of your answer in the chat, but for those of us who are not hanging out in the chat I put the link for it.
Summer Dann: It's under the STEM initiative, Louisiana STEM Initiative, so that you can actually see the courses. If you just scroll down, you'll see the digital median.
Pepper Roussel: There had been a movement a couple years ago. And I'm not an educator, so you'll have to forgive me for not knowing exactly when that not just stem, but steam. So putting arts back into the whole idea of preparing students for future, is there a po, is there a program, is there a pathway? Is there something that will support students who want to seek, maybe go into the arts or even to encourage them to do
Benjamin Necaise: yes. In fact, we students, one of the entire buckets or areas is liberal arts and management. So whether that ranges from culinary arts to business management or just truly if I wanna get an associate's degree in, in like theater, Those are opportunities that students have. So again you can go through and find those pathways based on students. A lot of those are the transfer degrees from B R C that we use. So again, those opportunities are definitely open and making sure students have a, a. That whole high school experience. One thing to note is many of these trajectories, if you want to get an industry based credential, don't require that you commit all of your high school experience to it. Many of them may only be one or two courses that you have to take. So right now we have a variety of students. We have students who are from Baton Rouge, high Liberty. All over the district or all of our high schools who are doing things like in taking all their electives at their homeschool, but coming here to get computer science certified, like for an industry based credentialing, computer science or manufacturing. So it's for all students there. These aren't separated programs where there's one group of kids going one way and another a different way. You can do both. And we offer an eight period day, so we offer more Carnegie credit opportunities. And that's what we've been pressing. You don't have to be college and career ready. You can be college or college or career ready. You can be college and career ready.
Pepper Roussel: Okay? So talk to me about that for just a second. Cause I, and I do have a question that's been burning my brain, but Long ago on a land far away, there used to be students who would go to school in the morning and they would work in the afternoons. Yep. And so you're saying that there is something very similar here where you can go to work, you can go to classes, can't, don't necessarily do both. How do you choose I, is it a matter of grades? Do you fall into it? Do you pick what?
Benjamin Necaise: Yeah, so right now we've re, we're recruiting our rising seniors to do the internship program. So again, they take a class at the end of a day, so either it's a fourth or eighth period class cuz we're on a rotating schedule and that allows 'em to leave school early and they can go work at that career area that they're tied to. So examples may be, you may have a student in biomedical science programs at Liberty High School who leaves early to go do some work with experiences with that at a hospital. Whereas you may also have students who are leaving their school because they've emergency medical responder, or they may have a medical assisting credential and then they're gonna go do an internship specific to that, or carpentry or whatever the case may. So we do wanna offer students those outside opportunities, not just to have that real world work experience, but also to start building their networks. Imagine being able to go work with an architecture company that then you plan to go into that area but you're working in high school there. And then when you enter college, you've got those connections and professional. Contacts that you can lean on and maybe even work part-time through college there as you go through your program.
Summer Dann: Manny put in there that make sure the kids can read and write and that is so true. So even though I'm more in the post-secondary, the going from high school to college or career space. I have worked in my career all the way pre-K and it is just crucial, critical that we have early, early learning experiences for kids, and I mean like young kids, get the literacy down and the numeracy down. Early because they get to high school and it is very challenging to ramp them up. Get them into dual enrollment class.
Benjamin Necaise: That's fair. And one of the things, and Summer can tell you from being here at Ctech as well, is oftentimes what we're seeing as students who are getting interested in programming, when they come here and apply it HandsOn, they excel with it. So I may not have really cared to take the Algebra one into course test in ninth grade. What's algebra gonna do for me? But when I come over here and I'm doing electrical programming or HVAC or carpentry, and I apply it, It clicks and I see it differently. So we see a lot of students here. We don't screen students for test scores and all that. We really look for aptitude. And more importantly just can they come to school every day? Are they willing to be in the program? And that's what we focus on. And one question in the chat mentioned counselors. One of the things we did several years back that, that was a huge lift for us, is we went to Alpha Counseling, which. Counselors in our schools are assigned all students between a and F letter, last names. Now the reason that's significant is in the past we had grade level counseling. So every year you moved, you got handed off to a new counselor who had to now learn context and not know who you are. Alpha counseling rotates counseling ninth through 12th grade. So that counselor in ninth grade follows with you through. 12th grade. And that's significant because it's a lot more touchpoints, a lot more time to understand family context, the aspirations of a student. And more importantly, with our mobility rate. When students move schools, if they move between schools each year and then come back to that school, they fall back in with the counselor they had before, not a brand new counselor in a grade level.
Summer Dann: There's a question about emotional social emotional components to dual enrollment. I can address that from the Ctech angle when I was there. In all of the CERT certification programs, and I'm gonna let Ben talk about the other parts that, that the district is doing. But in each one of the cert certification programs, for instance, in instrumentation and electrical, there are certain components. That are training the kids to be ready to go into the workforce. So they do things like talking about resumes and talking about safety so that you're not gonna be a danger to yourself. But they also talk about what is the environment that you're gonna go into because going into a technical environment I is different. It's There, there are risks involved and so they get them ready that way. That, and that's the emotional component, get ready because you're gonna be put into situations where it could be dangerous. You're gonna have to pay attention to the safety aspects. You're gonna have to be able to talk to people. They go through, like looking people in the eye and shaking your hands and being clear in your communication because all those things get really important when you're in, like in an industry or you're on the construction site or even in the medical field, like talking to people. So they do that. I know that E B R is moving towards having more social emotional kind of, The support structure. I think it was through an outside, through a nonprofit, but I'll let Ben move towards.
Benjamin Necaise: Yeah. And so one of the things that our schools have done as well is they've added a freshman seminar course in ninth grade and more ninth grade academies that kind of focus on the specific cohort that transition year is R is tough. You wanna make sure you have a lot of wraparound services. So in the freshman seminar class, one thing about that is if multiple kids are going through these cohorts, if they choose dual enrollment, then they're going through it together. So again, you have a whole course, you have a teacher who is facilitating that at the school level, but you also have an instructor if that teacher's not a hundred percent certified to be an adjunct professor. So again, you have a lot of support there. Again, we really tell parents to work with your counselors and determine what's the best option for you right now. Advanced placement kind of serves in that role of hold harmless where you can get a grade for high school and then if you pass the test, of course you may earn college credit through the test. Whereas dual enrollment again is that if you're gonna struggle and if you're gonna make a low. Potentially could go on your transcript if you don't withdraw. So again, those are all things that are done counseled with parents talk to, to really inform them of the choices they have. And again, if students come in ninth grade and it really needs even more support, then that's a different conversation and look at other courses as well.
Pepper Roussel: So early on we were talking that math instructors are at a premium but also. Nobody wants to take algebra. That's a paraphrase Anyway. Help me understand like what's, what sorts of levels jokes aside, what level of math are we having problems finding teachers for? Is it algebra? Is it geography? Geo? Excuse me. Geometry. Ha. It's been a long time since I took a math class. Is it advanced math? Is it trig? What, where is, where's the shortage?
Benjamin Necaise: It's across the board and I think the thing we're running into as well, every district struggles with this. One of the things to note is while well-intentioned, as we push advanced coursework further and further down the grade levels, it requires teachers to be more and more advanced certified. So as you start pushing geometry or algebra down into the middle schools, You have to have, instead of more of an elementary teacher teaching those courses, you almost need a high school teacher. But again, that's drawn from your high school pool. So again, it is a struggle. It's definitely something that, that we face. A lot of the professionals who can teach math at that level are already in a job market that's really employee friendly and that they can go find something making much more money than they can make as a teacher. But I would. That our career courses help us with that. Again, while our electrical teacher or our carpentry teacher is not a math teacher, I would argue and say that they may be doing more math instruction in those courses and more relevant math ins. Instruction than what you might get in an average classroom. So again, there, there's these kind of offsets that may not be traditional math students are learning it differently. The same with computer science programming and instruction and all of that as well. Programming instruction leads heavily on math, so they're getting different doses of that and practical ways to use it that are advantageous.
Pepper Roussel: Yes. Pam put it in the chat that the electrical engineering book is on a senior level, but also that we don't do reading after like middle school, elementary school. Is there any sort of way that while y'all are looking for math teachers that we can look for or maybe some folk who can help with Okay, the, then maybe we can look for folks who can help with reading and comprehension, which is super important no matter what you do for a living.
Benjamin Necaise: Yes. And that's one of the struggles in schools in general is as students matriculate forward if they're struggling as readers, if they're not identified and they're not placed in additional programming one, they have to stay at grade level, honestly, They need, still need that grade level instruction. So we can't just revert and say we're gonna go teach 'em at a third grade level. They still need the grade level instruction to continue to move forward, but they may need support classes to help them with the reading aspect. And it is one of the struggles as a former high school teacher, We had very little instruction or support on how to teach reading. That's, even our English teachers at the high school level don't necessarily have the instruction on how to teach reading. And so that is one of the struggles that we face.
Pepper Roussel: Shifting just a little bit there questions in the chat about English language learners and special needs students. How do they fit into the dual enrollment or into these opportunities?
Benjamin Necaise: Yeah, absolutely. At ctech, again, a lot of our students are TOPS University students. We have E S L, our English as a second language students, our e ESS students special service, our special needs students. It really depends. As long as they can qualify for the basic tenants of the program they definitely have access here. And that goes for all of our programming within our schools as well. Outside of courses that require as long as they can fit the safety pieces and all the other things that, that would be required, then we can accommodate that actually.
Summer Dann: I did wanna for how you Go ahead. Did the math thing like, oh, math. Nobody wants to take math because I really, and I'm gonna speak as somebody who, my favorite class was math. I know I was weird, but I ended up being an engineer, so I guess that's, Sort of that, but I think one of the issues is that kids don't really understand the beauty of math and what math is. And it is the language of science. It's the language of stem and it's a way to to take what you're seeing and put it into that language just like we do with English if you're, or a painting that you're drawing. So I think if people could really understand. What math does and how it helps you visualize the world and to get data from the world. It's a wonderful thing. And I think that's where carpentry and electrical and all of those trainings come in because they're actually relating. The math concepts to something that they can physically see. Yeah. And apply in the real world. So I feel like if more people, if we started doing stuff younger, like middle school, Hey, you can do all these things. And this is what math does, we won't have people going, oh, who hate, who likes to take math and geometry. Listen,
Pepper Roussel: I was down with math until geometry proofs. I don't even know if they still do proofs, but it made no sense to me. Why am I proving that two plus two is four? We've all accepted this as fact. Let us move on nonetheless. The, I would also say that it's not just for math. Yes, math is a language and I rather enjoyed it when I was in school in large part. But it's almost. Topic, right? Every subject is really dependent upon who is teaching, who's sharing that information, how passionate they are about it, how d, how tuned in they are to the subject and how they share that information. But we've got some other questions in the chat. Are so hard. Yeah. Yeah, there was one I was looking at How are we using college students or others to support some of this work? One of the things that we have used in the past through Dr. New Brander and the team is an extern program.
Benjamin Necaise: So we have students who are graduating or pursuing advanced degrees who will then come in and teach some of the courses at our high schools covering math or science courses, computer science or other specialty areas. And that definitely has been. Especially when you're looking at teacher shortages, that has been a great advantage for us. The only catch to that is usually we keep 'em for a year or two. So again, as, as much as it's helpful for the exact class at that time, you still have principals who are constantly on that, that, that edge of having to find the next person constantly trying to replace with a full-time teacher. Those have been helpful, but they're not long-term solutions. And we also have some tutoring programs, mentoring programs and other things as well.
Pepper Roussel: Do we have possibilities of more money? Cause that's another question in the chat as we're talking about what we're asking more educators to do and additional certifications. But are there correlating pay incentives for acquiring all these additional skills? There are things within our locus of control we can do, and that is to pay stips and compensate teachers when they get the credentials.
Benjamin Necaise: So we've been able to provide some pretty. Pretty robust stipends for teachers who are willing to go the extra mile to get some of the certifications. I know just like other districts, our district's looking at trying to figure out ways to adjust pay or add in percentages of raises. So again, that's being looked at this time. But definitely within our control are the stipends and making sure teachers are compensated well when they go the extra.
Summer Dann: What's really some of the things that I've seen happening is we do code.org training and we've trained several teachers and soon as they, they have that understanding of coding and they're math teachers, they're getting jobs. Outside of the district It. It's a recruiting problem too, trying to get more young people into teaching and in those skillsets.
Pam Wall: I've mentioned before that I spent six years running a federal grant at Associated Builders and Contractors out on Highland Road for the training program that operated from six to nine and we set up a lab and we called it the I don't know, the enrichment center, the purpose of the training center, basically having us there was, because there were many industrial construction workers. A lot from Assumption Parish that dropped out as soon as they were 16 and the next week they were making twice what the teacher was making. And so entities like ExxonMobil wanted to look at these very smart, mechanically inclined contracting workers, like maybe with I don't know the, one of the big firms, and they would like to hire them and train them to be a process operator, but they didn't have GEDs and they couldn't they didn't have a GED or a high school diploma. So the purpose of course, was academic in a way, but the grant was to try to pilot the research that showed if you teach. Workers, the skills they need, the basic skills they need in the context of their work. Then you have a much better employee. So we were tasked with teaching, with getting people ready to get A G E D and also though, to increase their math skills and their reading skills. So I was very lucky. God was good and I hired. Two people from L S U that worked in the department where if you're, if you come in as a freshman and you struggle, they help you be successful in college. And one thing they did is they went and sat in the classes that the students sat in and they made a note of what skills did that student have to be successful in that class. As far as note taking, yes, but reading and. So we did a literacy task analysis of each of the first year journeymen courses. That's how I know that the electric the book for the electricians is on a college senior level, 16 grades. So this is what we. That 1,615 times, and I can only remember that after this long because it was like, ah pipe fitters had to read a chart or a diagram. So where in the curriculum are students learning how to read charts and diagrams? Is it just in the context of you, you show it in a chemistry book or something and they're supposed to know how to do that or is. Actually part of the curriculum, how to read a chart or diagram because that is in the industrial construction terms, that is very prevalent in the training program. We learned that. So we had a whole lot of in of training materials on how to read a chart or a diagram, but also we learned that. Electricians pipe fitters. The one the guys we were working with mostly guys we were working with the math. The highest math that they were using at work was they used Algebra one, geometry. And the most frequently used math was A over B equals C over D, where you solve for an unknown, cross multiply and solve for the unknown. And yet, and this is why a lot of them dropped out. They still had to take advanced math and they still had to take Trigg because we require it of everybody no matter what you do. That was also the time, and you can tell me, those of you who know who are in that setting, I got calls all the time when I was at ABC because kids who didn't do well, boys who didn't do well, especially in the rural parishes, they just stuck 'em in weld. Now welding is, you can make a lot of money in welding, so I'm not putting down the welding. What I'm, what I was the most troubled about was the idea that if you're not really smart and you don't have all of these skills, be a welder.
Summer Dann: So it changed a little bit. Pam and Ben can talk about Jumpstart with the requirements of the math classes, that did change a little bit, but you're right. Career and tech education courses have been there's a bias against them. And there still is a bias against career and tech. Which is really interesting because when I was working in industry as an engineer, we would have people, if they were in instrumentation, they may not even had an associate's degree and they would be making more than some of the engineers because they were so good at fixing the instruments and understanding the whole process. So it's a, it's an interesting dynamic.
Benjamin Necaise: Yeah. And one of the things, and this is something that as whether school system, state society we've really missed, we missed the mark over the last few decades with the concept of college and the sense that we keep saying, go to go to college, and most people associate that with four year universities. And oftentimes when you think. First question people ask a student is, where are you going to college? Not what do you want to be, what are you gonna do? What are your aspirations? What are you good at? It's where and so one of the things we have to do a better job of, and we've really been getting much better at this with our counselors and our team and working with schools. Is the, is understanding the entire spectrum of post-secondary. A lot of parents and students just don't have the understanding that there are this whole from technical certificates to diplomas, to associate degrees to four university, there's this whole spectrum of opportunity. And it doesn't have to be static. It doesn't mean that if I go do this technical program, I can't go to LSU or Southern after I can do both. And so again, trying to get people to understand, there's a lot of different avenues. You don't necessarily need a four year degree to do well in an IT company. You may only need a certificate or you may only need an industry based credential. You may need an associate's degree. So again, reframing that as post-secondary opportunities is I. And making sure students understand that earlier. And I think some of the things we're laying the groundwork on now, the foundation of career awareness and making sure people understand all these different opportunities are out there and how they can reach 'em is important. And that's gonna slowly start turning this tide of this negative perception of. Post-secondary in the world of technical areas. Again, we have students who are leaving here who potentially make six figures within a year or two after they leave high school depending on the area they're in. Again, reframing that their opportunities, and again, that it's lifelong learning. So again, a student can go back to college, they can then go to a four year university if that's a choice. But they have a lot of opportunities. Many of our students here at CTECH are tops university students, which means they may go to four year universities after this, but they're also picking up a solid career pathway that they can explore or go in a different direction.
Pepper Roussel: Thank you so much Ben. I really appreciate that as our last word. It's a "yes ... and" it's not either. Thank y'all for being here today. I really appreciate all of our speakers, Martha, Ben, and Summer. We are going to be having this end. Similar conversations at our education to career.
Casey Phillips: Sure. Thank you so much and thank you to our speakers. I appreciate you all. And I think after 159 weeks, that was the first time I wasn't the first person logged onto Zoom, so I appreciate Pepper and the team for moving the conversation forward and sharing the space. As Pepper said, we are having to launch Suaree at the Ben Rouge Alliance students space. Sit down here on glorious Lafayette Street on a rainy Friday afternoon. Friday morning. But that's just the launch, right? The real work starts and gets down to it on May 16th at the Goodwood Library. Our generous host, Ms. Mary Stein's team at the library will be the home of our co