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They say that generating the level of alternative funding now needed to strengthen and sustain the STC activities and programs in place will be very challenging. O 120 96 Limited personal time has made it difficult for some key stakeholders (especially teachers, employers, and students) to implement or participate in key STC-related activities.
For example, most teachers have very limited time to attend professional development events and meet with other teachers (especially across departments) to plan and develop integrated curriculum. This appears to be most problematic for academic teachers who feel tremendous pressure to prepare students for standardized tests. A number of LPs report that it is difficult to make the most valuable forms of WBL opportunities (e.
Some LPs state that college- bound students, who are busy fulfilling the rigorous academic requirements necessary for college admission, have very limited time to participate in elective classes and STC-related programs that would expose them to more intense STC experiences. Some admission essay editing services LPs noted that the same may be true for students in English Language Development (ELD) programs who often have to spend their elective time in remedial classes designed to strengthen their language skills. In addition, new graduation requirements, which reduce the time students may spend taking electives, may result in fewer opportunities for students to engage in STC activities.
Lack of Teacher Knowledge About How to Implement STC Curriculum Elements As mentioned in previous sections, while many teachers generally have positive attitudes about STC and some superficial knowledge about what STC is and how it can be valuable, it appears that they may still lack the concrete knowledge and skills needed to effectively plan and implement various STC-related activities and instructional practices, especially higher intensity activities and practices (e.
In addition, many high school teachers are not used to collaborating with other teachers, especially outside their program areas, due primarily to the compartmentalized structure (e. These factors may help explain why medium- and high-intensity STC activities are less widespread than more simple, easy-to-implement forms of career development activities. Cumbersome, Time-Consuminz Reporting Requirements Several non-case study LP directors complain that the reporting requirements related to STC are cumbersome, time consuming, and often confusing. Furthermore, too many data collection requirements were introduced late, making tedious backtracking necessary. The Future of STC in California In summary, the data suggest that a number of STC activities are likely to be sustained in some form within many of the LPs across the state. For example, it is likely that low-intensity career awareness activities that are relatively easy and cost-effective to implement (e. Groundhog Job Shadow Day) will continue to be offered in many schools. These activities have been adopted by many schools and school districts and do not necessarily depend on the continuing efforts of LPs. The future of more intense STC activities and programs is less certain.
The findings of this evaluation study suggest that several key conditions are necessary to support sustainability of STC in California. LPs should be aware of these key conditions as they continue to build upon their STC successes. These conditions necessary to STC sustainability represent a tall order for LPs to achieve. Nonetheless, different kinds of support are now available to help LPs attain STC sustainability. As mentioned previously, AB 1873 makes state funding available to help LPs build upon and expand STC activities and explore other sources of funding. Conclusions At the onset of this statewide evaluation study, four research questions of interest were posed.
What is the Status of STC Implementation in California? In essence, the findings of this study demonstrate that some elements of STC are taking hold within and across LPs in all regions of the state on a fairly widespread, if variable, basis.
It is also clear that the goals and principles of STC were not new to many LPs at the time that they first received STWOA funding. Eight of 13 case study LPs were established before California received STWOA funding in 1998. Similar to what is happening in other parts of the nation, education agencies are the driving force behind STC in California, with education agencies serving as the lead organizations for 12 of the 13 case study LPs.
Across the state, it appears that some key features of STC are being implemented more readily than others. For example, although the integration of academic and career-technical curriculum is considered a hallmark of STC, the statewide findings show that curriculum integration in California is sporadic outside of academies in many LPs. However, with respect to school-based learning activities, our findings show a strong focus on career awareness. Virtually every high school across the case study LPs now offers career awareness activities for students. And, substantial numbers of students reported having participated in career awareness activities by their senior year. Perhaps not surprisingly, the participation rates of California students in the more intensive types of career exploration and career-focused learning opportunities are much more limited. Moreover, some of these programs can accommodate only a small number of students. The picture for WBL activities is somewhat similar to school-based activities in that: 1) WBL is now available to students at many case study LP high schools, and 2) the less intensive WBL activities are more frequently offered and have more student participation compared to the more intensive WBL activities.