Scott: The IT Academy class at Centennial High School isn’t just about taking tests or writing papers. It’s about getting some real-world experience.
James Coursey: Big opportunities for students to interact with a dynamic real-world curriculum that puts them in charge of solving real problems that IT professionals face.”
Scott: People working professionally in information technology — like software engineers, or even in corporate TV production — mentor these students to get them ready to compete in a global economy.
Student: Just sitting in the classroom all day, it doesn’t really help but actually doing hands on learning, it makes me learn more.
Scott: The IT Academy takes learning beyond the classroom, allowing leaders in the workforce to show students success through internships and job shadowing.
The slowdown in the economy over the last few years has made it tough for young people to find jobs. The jobless rate is for 16 to 24 year olds is about 17%. That’s much higher than the rate for older workers.
Programs like the IT Academy are trying to prevent students from becoming part of that statistic.
Coursey: Many of our students, they really don’t have a direct connection to the world of career and success. It seems like a lofty dream.
If they get a first-hand representation from someone who messes with it every day, they’re more likely to keep that thought in their head and have the drive to keep going and to success because they see someone else can do it.
Scott: Nathan Hendrix has seen it work firsthand.
Nathan Hendrix: It’s a very neat moment ’cause you can see it in their eyes when something just clicks.
Scott: Scott Evans, Channel One News
- How is the Information Technology Academy in Oklahoma making school more relevant for its students?
- How are mentors used to support the students?
- Why is it important for the students to have outside-of-school experiences?