Indiana lawmakers talk graduation pathways


INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — This year’s high school freshmen now have more than one way to reach their graduation day thanks to Indiana’s graduation pathways law.

The law is designed to let students build their own path based on their aspirations post graduation.

State lawmakers met Thursday to talk about several key areas of graduation pathways.

Under the new graduation pathways law, students still have to earn a diploma, but they can customize their education based on their goals after graduation. They must show their employ-ability skills via school-approved work-based learning.

Stephanie Crandell, the director of student support services at the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation, explained there is a problem some Indiana high school counselors are facing after the law passed.

“With the new graduation pathways legislation, the workload has increased for school counselors,” explained Crandell. “The time it takes to create a graduation plan, a student schedule, hold parent meetings for approval are very time consuming.”

Crendell said Evansville Vanderburgh Schools has a Lilly Foundation Grant to help make things better for their school counselors.

The state is also putting millions of dollars towards career coaching grants statewide.

Eleven state grants have been given away so far, according to PJ McGrew.

McGrew serves as executive director of Governor Eric Holcomb’s Workforce Cabinet.

“The legislature was generous enough to give us a million dollars each year of the biennium to go forth and do those career coaching grants,” McGrew explained Thursday afternoon. “It was really designed around creating partnerships between K-12 schools, higher education institutions, employers and community-based organizations.”

Skillful, a nonprofit that helps people without college degrees get jobs, has three school counselors in their Indiana career coaching core.

“We know and we’ve seen that that interaction with a person makes a big difference in getting an individual connected to the right job,” explained Beth Cobert.

News 8’s David Williams wants to know what you think about the law and its affects on students and counselors. You can join the conversation right now on his Facebook and Twitter pages.

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