Pathways to Prosperity

In February of 2011, the Harvard School of Education released the Pathways to Prosperity report, exploring the challenge of preparing young Americans for the 21st century.
San Francisco’s Pathway to Prosperity

In December 2010, SFSA conducted a preliminary gap analysis on an initiative to build a system of rigorous and relevant pathways to support all students graduating from SFUSD ready for college and careers. The analysis revealed numerous pockets of promising practices and significant underlying assets, and the need for a coherent system and implementation plan.

SFSA and SFUSD have now invested in the human capital to create a strong implementation plan that takes into account these key factors: the current high school graduation requirements,San Francisco’s workforce needs, the Common Core State Standards and the diverse academic background of our students in SFUSD.

Now, SFSA and SFUSD are setting out to expand student options for college and career readiness, throughout their high school experience.

A robust college and career preparedness program means many things for SFUSD. Primarily, students must meet their graduation requirements, which now mean having a full course load of rigorous courses. Then, those classes must be evaluated in terms of the workforce needs of a large variety of fields, to ensure that students are preparing themselves for the real work force of the future. When students become sophomores, juniors and seniors, it is critical to provide work-based learning opportunities, such as job shadows, extended job shadows and internships.

Post-secondary education encompasses many forms of education after high school including:

Certificate and credential programs
Two-year degrees from community or technical colleges
Rigorous apprenticeship programs
Four-year degrees from baccalaureate institutions

San Francisco will be requiring that all city funded construction projects, beginning in January 2013, will need 50% of their employees to be San Francisco residents. “Based on a 2009 survey of water and waste-water agencies and utilities in six Bay Area counties, employers are projected to need as many as 677 new and replacement workers in seven mission critical occupations over the next five years.” – BAYWORKS/Centers of Excellence. This is just in one sector of our public utilities. Our city literally needs hundreds of students to have the knowledge to run our city as baby boomers retire.

SFSA and SFUSD are working with local secondary and post-secondary institutions, businesses, organized labor and the Office of Economic and Workforce Development to form the curriculum and extended learning opportunities activities to make a robust college and career readiness program. What is clearly needed is an expansion of all partnerships. If you and your business are interested in offering internships or apprenticeships, it is time for you to become involved in the education of your future work force. If your business already offers internships and apprenticeships, encourage your fellow business and civic leaders to become involved, helping to develop your work force for tomorrow.