MI Bright Future is the answer!
MI Bright Future is a dedicated group of K-12 education, higher education, workforce development, and employer partners who are working to bring a technology called Career Cruising Inspire (ccInspire) to southeast Michigan schools.
ccInspire is a software enhancement to Career Cruising, the technology schools in the region are already using to create Educational Development Plans, which are required by the Michigan Department of Education. ccInspire is a community-development platform that makes it easy for students and educators to learn about and connect with local employers and community mentors.
Through e-mentoring, message boards, and company profiles, ccInspire connects what’s happening in today’s classroom with current and projected needs among local employers.
MI Bright Future aims to:
high-demand careers and education pathways to high school students across the region.
thousands of regional employers in job shadowing, mentoring, company tours, and other strategies to help students learn first-hand about the most viable career options and education pathways
a policy platform that would help promote further career exploration in K-12 and college, supporting the discussion of educational attainment through a focus on job readiness, exposure, and awareness.
- Career Awareness: Youth gain more hands-on, practical knowledge and awareness of what it means to work and the types of jobs that may interest them.
- Education Relevance: Youth are more likely to participate in secondary and post-secondary learning experiences relevant to their career interests and goals.
- Persistence in Education: Because they see the relevance of education to their long-term career and economic goals, youth persistence in secondary and post-secondary learning improves.
- Employability: Young people develop critical work skills that will make them more valuable and productive employees that employers will want to hire.
- Pipeline Development: Employers are able to find the talent they need.
Connecting young people with work-based learning opportunities and mentoring gets them engaged in learning!
Report and Inventory on Canadian PINEs
A report exploring how the transition of recent high school and college graduates to work identified the use of ccInspire as a promising “early intervention” strategy that supports experiential career exploration and mentoring by:
- Providing students with career exploration experiences and mentorships with local employers
- Giving employers an opportunity to nurture talent from a young age
- Supporting a locally based approach to youth/employer engagement that prevents local “brain drain”, or young, educated people choosing to leave the state due to a perceived lack of job opportunities available locally
Futures for Kids (F4K),
a project in North Carolina that brought this technology to schools statewide, implemented ccInspire in 2005. The results were:
- The North Carolina Supreme Court system recognized Futures for Kids as an effective dropout prevention tool
- In 2006, Duke University’s Child and Family Policy Center completed an evaluation on the impact of Futures for Kids on students. When surveyed, 91% of students agreed, “F4K helped me realize I need to do well in school to get the kind of job I want,” and 86% of students confirmed that, “After using F4K, I feel more ready to make educational and career decisions.”
- In 2012, SAS EVAAS for K-12 documented the “F4K effect,” demonstrating that students using Futures for Kids performed better on their end-of-grade and end-of-course tests, especially in key STEM areas such as mathematics
- Students using the tool for longer have more positive outcomes; a correlation exists between continued usage and continued improvement