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WPS shows commitment to future workforce with Graduation+

WPS shows commitment to future workforce with Graduation+

Students working with toolsThe Wichita Public Schools announced Graduation+, its commitment to the future workforce by having the majority of seniors graduate with a diploma and one or more Market Value Assets. Those options include industry-recognized credentials, work-based learning, dual-credit college classes and entrepreneurial experiences.

“We hope that by 2023, 70% of our students graduate with a diploma in one hand, and at least one of the market value assets in another,” said Kelly Bielefeld, Executive Director of College and Career Readiness.

The process begins in 7th grade, when students start their Individualized Plan of Study (IPOS) through the Xello program. The individual plans of study will help students understand what courses they should take based on their interests to prepare them for the career they want after graduation.

“We’re not asking them, ‘What do you want to be?’ but ‘What do you love to do?’” said Deputy Superintendent Gil Alvarez.

The Market Value Assets will also fit with a student’s IPOS, which may change as a student’s interests change. The MVAs are:

  • Industry-recognized credentials are mostly achieved through the CTE pathways offered by our schools. They are recognized by business and industry and offer students and advantage when they enter the workforce or continue their education.  Last year, more than 1,000 students received certificates, and WPS has set a goal to double that amount.
  • Work-based learning include internships, job shadowing and apprenticeships. WPS hired a Work-Based Learning Coordinator to expand the program.
  • Dual and Concurrent credit options allow students to earn college credit while in high school. Students can earn college credit for many courses including College Algebra, Calculus, U.S. History, English Comp 1 and 2, and biology. Student can also earn tuition-free college credit in CTE courses such as engineering, welding, electrical, EMT, computer applications and business law.
  • Entrepreneurial Experiences is where application of learning becomes real for students, including shops that are set up in our high schools, Market Day and self-directed projects based on a student’s IPOS.

The Board of Education heard a presentation on Monday, September 13, 2021 about Graduation+.

Click here to read the BOE presentation. Click here to watch the BOE presentation.

The Wichita Public Schools graduates around 3,000 students every year, making WPS the city’s biggest producer of workforce talent. Adding Market Value Asset options as part of the diploma program will give WPS students more opportunities to be successful in their path after high school, whether that is going into the workforce, or enrolling in a technical school or a 4-year college/university.