BENEFITING: Vital Link Education-business Consortium
ORGANIZER: Vital Link Education-business Consortium
EVENT DATE: Jul 11, 2017
Vital Link is the link between business and education to prepare students for the successful transition to a meaningful career. All students will graduate with an understanding of their career potential and through interactive programs expand their knowledge, resources, and tools necessary for them to create an education and career plan, allowing them to Explore, Discover and Connect to their future career.
Vital Link programs bring the world of work into the educational environment through Project-Based Learning and Career Exploration Programs. These unique and experiential programs:
• Include the Energy Invitational where students design and build fuel efficient vehicles; Rescue Robotics where students program robots and drones to find survivors in natural terrain; OC Maker Challenge where students develop products and build prototypes using 3D printing technology; Vex Robotics competition that serves as the entry point for computer programming and engineering; and the Digital Media Arts competition.
• Take students into the world of work and show them the potential career options in an interactive and dynamic way.
• Create opportunities for students to access business professionals as role models to enhance their career search process.
• Provide students and educators with the standards and expectations of business
• Connects students to leading‐edge technology and career opportunities in 21st Century industry sectors.
Vital Link serves High Schools, Middle Schools, Community Colleges and Universities, Regional Occupational Programs and Youth Service providers in Orange County, CA. Forty to sixty percent of our participants are low to moderate income, at risk or special education students.
There is national recognition of the importance of preparing students for 21st century careers. It is imperative that we find innovative ways to engage young people in their education and their future career. A poll of California 9th and 10th graders conducted by the James Irvine Foundation found that six in ten students didn’t particularly like school and weren’t motivated to succeed. But, of those students at risk of dropping out, more than 90% said they would be more motivated if their school offered classes relevant to their future careers.
• Students who make the connection between their education and their future career are less likely to drop out of school and more likely to transition to post-secondary education and fulfilling careers. The “Pathways to Prosperity” report shows that high school dropouts have: Lower employment level rates, lower earnings and an increased risk of falling into poverty. (Harvard Business School study)
• Schools are unable to meet the college and career planning needs of their student population. Current counselor to student ratio is 1,000 to 1 and will rise dramatically as recent budget cuts take effect. (Orange County Counselor surveys.)
• Students have a limited view of the career options available in a broad range of industries and how their individual skills, aptitudes and talents align with those careers. (Vital Link survey of participating students.)
Helping students focus on their education future and identify a career that will allow them to reach their potential and achieve economic self‐sufficiency is now more important than ever.
Vital Link supports Project-Based Learning experiences and in the spring the student work is demonstrated at the STEM & the Arts Showcase which is a three-day program held in April at the OC Fair & Event Center. Vital Link produces the Showcase to provide the teachers and their students with a platform to demonstrate their skills for industry representatives. These experiences help students build skills, gain confidence and make connections with potential employers.