Advance CTE Fall Meeting Sponsor Blog: Diamond Sponsor, YouScience

This post is written by YouScience, a Diamond Level sponsor of the 2018 Advance CTE Fall Meeting.

YouScience is a revolutionary career guidance platform that is poised to change the way learners explore Career Technical Education (CTE) programs of study and plan for their futures.

CTE has changed quite a bit over the years. CTE programs offer great exposure to many postsecondary options, but there is often a missed opportunity to get learners into CTE programs – a problem that is perpetuated by current interest-based surveys. Results from interest-based surveys are limited by learners’ exposure, reinforce social bias, and don’t often recommend young women and minorities to explore high-wage, high-demand CTE career paths.  

A recent study found that while there was a significant disparity in reported interest between males and females for careers like construction, information technology and manufacturing, gender aptitude fits were comparable across all industries. That is, there are just as many young women with the natural talent, and potential to succeed in technical careers.

States that are becoming aware of this “exposure bias” limitation are shifting their focus and are having great success. Georgia, for example, is using its Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) dollars to identify non-traditional learners with the aptitude for underrepresented pathways by using an aptitude-based advisement tool called YouScience.

“It frustrated me in the past that all we did were interest inventories. As a career pathway educator, I really did not put a whole lot of stock in an interest-only survey or test.  You have to put the aptitude part in to understand students’ real, natural abilities,” said Tim Brown, Career Pathways Director Marietta City Schools. “And for some of these students, truly it’s been the first time that someone has told them that they’re good at doing something.”

Technology is changing at a rapid pace and so should career guidance. By using real measures of natural aptitudes, combined with interests, YouScience uniquely helps administrators guide learners into their best-fit programs, and gives learners hope, purpose and relevance. “Beyond simply preparing our students with the skills and training to be successful in high-demand careers, YouScience allows each school’s faculty to engage students in making proactive choices that will maximize the value of their education,” said Georgia Lt. Governor, Casey Cagle.

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