A team of WASD K-12 staff has been working collaboratively since last fall to evaluate and plan for a comprehensive career development program for all students in the Williamsport School District.  The career program is being developed in recognition of the PA Career Education and Work Standards.  These state mandated standards were enacted by the State Department of Education in 2006 and were established to help students to understand themselves – their interests and strengths and how these relate to the selection of a meaningful career path.  The standards also assist young people to understand the world of work around them, how to obtain a job and keep it, and how to adjust to the changing demands in the new world of work.   In June, 2009, this career planning team attended the Governor’s Institute for the Career Education and Work Standards at the Pennsylvania College of Technology. 


    The world of work in the 21st century is constantly changing.  The hallmarks of success are much broader than they were in the past.  Today’s worker needs to be an innovative learner and problem-solver with the ability to adjust to the changes and demands of the job.  Schools today need to make sure that all young people have the capacity to be lifelong learners with the ability to reason, solve problems, and create new solutions.  Young people also need strong communication and interpersonal skills, as well as the ability to work collaboratively and effectively with others.  The PA Career standards incorporate all elements of these essential areas of career awareness, exploration, and retention.  Equally important, the standards will help young people to understand the relationship between educational achievement and career preparation.


    “Implementing the Career Education and Work standards is essential in showing students how the work they do in school is relevant to careers,” said Don C. Adams, assistant superintendent of the Williamsport Area School District. “Student engagement in learning soars when school work is connected to future employment opportunities.”


    Programs and activities such as the 8th grade business tours, Career Café at the elementary level, School Counts and Educator in the Workplace have taken place this school year and have been received positively by the students, faculty, and staff. These activities help students as well as faculty and staff to develop more self-awareness and awareness of the world of work.