Career and College Readiness: Building 21st Century Competencies in Our Students through Regional Occupational Programs

Economic conditions require a workforce of lifelong learners. Regional Occupational Programs (ROP) provide career technical education that engage every student in high-quality, rigorous and relevant education to help students become career and college ready. the purpose of this mixed methods study was to gather both quantitative and qualitative data to explore the extent to which students perceived that 21st century skills were being taught in their educational programs and their experiences in learning the necessary skills to become career and college ready after taking an ROP class. This study’s key findings included that, as a result of their ROP classes, students believed that they (a) are knowledgeable about their college and/or career plans, (b) understand the necessity of learning critical thinking skills to succeed in the workforce and post-secondary education, (c) have learned to independently study to seek answers about their career choices, (d) have learned the necessary skills to get a job, and (e) are prepared to be successful in the workforce and college. They also believe that ROP classes need to be offered in the high school in order for students to become career and college ready.


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