RCAS Strategic Plan Pt. 3

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RAPID CITY, S.D. -

Part 3 of the 5-part Rapid City Area School District's Strategic Plan is crucial to a student's future.

The College, Career and Life Readiness goal exposes students to college options, giving them possible career choices, and overall, preparing them for life after high school.

"We know from the national research that 65 percent of all jobs starting in 2020 through 2025 are going to require some sort of post secondary training," said Melissa Miller Kincart, director of strategic partnerships and college and career readiness. 

Secondary training can be any degree or credential beyond high school. According to the RCAS Superintendent, Dr. Lori Simon, the district plans to expose higher education options as early as elementary school.

"If we can start planting those seeds early, then kids begin getting in their mind that, 'You know what? I'm going to start thinking about what I want to do beyond high school,'" Simon said.

Project-based learning and guest speakers will help elementary students begin visualizing their goals for the future, while middle school students will begin exploring interests and engaging possible future opportunities.

Miller Kincart said, "College and career readiness really is about kind of aligning those interests with taking classes academically that will prepare you for those opportunities."

The district partnered with state colleges, universities and technical schools to help structure the readiness goal.

"Are placing kids in some internship or work-based learning opportunities?" Kincart continued. "Are we exposing them to dual credit where they're earning credit or certifications they can earn while they are in high school?"

Simon said the goal is to have all students ready with a plan before graduation.

"It is so critical when you look at the data nationally, and at the state level and regional level," she said. "You can see very clearly that the more education that you have beyond a high school diploma, that the amount of money you're going to be able to earn to support yourself and your family grows exponentially."

View all parts of the district's plan here.

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