Central Kentucky educators from kindergarten through college will continue to push for career readiness initiatives in the New Year. There are 12 college and university presidents as well as school superintendents from 18 counties who are a part of the Bluegrass Higher Education Consortium.
Consortium Director Rob Rumpke says there needs to be a major transformation in the approach to career planning.
“We focus so much on testing in this state rather than on workforce readiness and college preparedness and career readiness,” said Rumpke.
A fall consortium summit produced a number of recommendations including increased parental involvement in career and college planning. Participants also saw a need for more ‘learning experiences’ through internships, mentorships, and job shadowing.
“Even our guidance counselor to student ratio are 425 to one. We’ve got to address those kinds of issues before we’re really able to keep some of our best and brightest students in the state,” added Rumpke.
To move Kentucky students to greater educational heights in the coming year, it will take more than adequate funding. In the upcoming legislative session Kentucky lawmakers are likely to hear a lot of calls for increased financial support for education at all levels. Rob Rumpke says their priority is not solely a matter of increased funding.
“We talk to the general assembly about what money we need from them or what money we need from D.C. to continue educating students, but we never talk about how do we advance this region and how do we advance the state and that’s why the higher education consortium was formed,” explained Rumpke.
Rumpke says Kentucky lawmakers will hear from representatives of the Bluegrass consortium in 2014. He’s not sure if legislative action will come on their proposals, but he admits it goes beyond a debate about funding.