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“Studies have shown that by 2020, two out of three jobs will require some postsecondary education or training and that job-related skills can dramatically increase employment options for new graduates,” shares CEO of K12 Inc. Stuart J. Udell. Many of these jobs are in fields that do not necessarily require a college degree. With so many more students going to college, there is more competition than ever to get these jobs.

So how to get an edge over these students and prepare those that may not be college bound for the working world?

The answer lies in the Destinations Career Academy of Wisconsin, the first ever career and technical education-focused online high school in Wisconsin, and the first career readiness program of its kind to offer a Construction Apprenticeship Program for interested students that partner with industry leaders to guide and instruct students.

The curriculum itself is designed for students that will be going right into the workforce right after they receive their high school diploma. Students will be able to choose from core courses as well as a wide selection of Career Technical Education (CTE) courses in one of the four Career Clusters: Architecture and Construction; Business, Management, and Administration; Health Science; or Information Technology. Each course allows students to earn a combination of college credits, technical and specialty trade credentials, and workplace experience, all of which are vital to future success.

These courses are supplemented by preparation for the ACT National Career Readiness Certificate™ (NCRC®), and the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI®) exams. And Destinations Career Academy cares about their students beyond graduation as well, as they are granted a membership in a SkillsUSA® career and technical student organization (CTSO) chapter for networking purposes.

Obtaining these industry certifications opens many doors for these prospective employees, as it gives them an actual skillset that is beyond the traditional high school and collegiate education. Not only that, but if a student decides to pursue higher education, they will be doubly qualified- and have earned some college credits early.

The Construction Pathway is particularly unique, having been developed in conjunction with the International Union of Local Operating Engineers Local 139 and Fox Valley Technical College. This program is designed to give students real life experience by pre apprenticing them to successful operating engineers.

There is no doubt that these job skills will continue to be important to employers in the future, and with the CTE program’s history of engaging students and reducing dropout rates, the Destinations Career Academy of Wisconsin is only the beginning of expanding students’ skills and brightening their futures.

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