AMERICAN FORK, Utah, September 25, 2023
Educators at the Jordan School District, located in Salt Lake County, Utah are utilizing solutions from YouScience®, a Utah-based education and career technology company, to better prepare students for life post graduation, and to ensure Utah’s economy has the skilled workforce to maintain its economic trajectory.
Amid record student loan debt, a national talent shortage, and changing economic conditions, the Jordan School District is doubling down on efforts to provide students with postsecondary pathways and opportunities that elevates their learning for post high school success. Along with strengthening pathways to traditional 4-year colleges and universities, the school district is using YouScience to expand opportunities for students through Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, including pathways for 2-year technical colleges, trade schools, apprenticeship programs, and internships.
The district uses YouScience® Brightpath to help students discover their natural talents and interests, connect their aptitudes to best-fit postsecondary educational and career pathways, certify their skills through industry-recognized certifications, and get real-world training through work-based learning opportunities.
“YouScience is an integral part of what we do in the Jordan School District. The more we know about a student’s true aptitudes, the better prepared we are to create experiences that will open their minds to related industry and postsecondary opportunities,” said Jason Skidmore, CTE Director, Jordan School District. “We want to empower our students by giving them knowledge about how their natural talents will guide their future career options. We know that doing this helps students feel more confident in their future choices.”
Using Brightpath, Jordan School District educators and administrators are:
- Helping students discover their natural abilities and interests and align those with best-fit courses and postsecondary pathways
- Offering students a positive and tangible, asset-based approach to achieving their educational and career goals
- Empowering students with knowledge about themselves to improve engagement and participation in the classroom
- Closing the gap between education and industry by offering relevant internships, apprenticeships, and CTE program opportunities
Brightpath also gives educators the tools to connect what students are learning in the classroom to real-world applications. Educators—including teachers, counselors, and CTE directors—are using YouScience to:
- Leverage real-time data to map CTE and career-connected learning curricula with student aptitudes and interests
- Create personalized and intentional Plans for College and Career Readiness (PCCR) for each student
- Help meet state requirements for Social Emotional Learning (SEL) through self-reflection statements aligned with student aptitudes and interests
“The benefits of using YouScience in our CTE programs has really helped map out how and what we teach within our classes at our middle school,” said Lisa Panek, Teacher, Mountain Creek Middle School. “We started using YouScience and began seeing the benefits of what this program could do for us. We had the students take the assessments during the first week of school to help identify where their talents, interests, and skills were.”
“Our teachers believe in the power of hands-on experiences, mentorship, and real world application,” added Skidmore. “YouScience is a tool that helps us identify and close any gaps between education and industry.”
YouScience Co-Founder and CEO, Edson Barton, shared how helping Utah students boosts the state’s economy. “Unleashing student potential is at the heart of what we do. Utah students have the talent to fill in-demand jobs in our state. At YouScience, we’re ensuring our students, educators, and parents have the tools necessary to fully realize those talents through intentional educational and career choices. We’re making sure every student has the opportunity for a successful future—this bolsters our local talent pool and ensures we have individuals with the skills we need in our communities for years to come.”
YouScience is available to all Utah schools through funding provided by the Utah State Legislature via the Student Credential Account (SCA). Funding for the program started in 2019, and has been approved by the state legislature every year since. To date, over 120,000 Utah students have taken the YouScience® Aptitude & Career discovery assessment. Utah Senator, Derrin R. Owens, who represents District 27, noted the importance of ensuring Utah schools have access to YouScience, saying, “The best thing for our students right now is hope for the future and a roadmap. YouScience is a strengths finder—it shows young people, and their parents, what their natural strengths are, their aptitudes, and possible career areas where they would naturally have more success.”
“Students are more prepared for the future than they have been in the past because of tools like YouScience that help them choose more intentional courses, enroll in best-fit concurrent enrollment programs, and make informed postsecondary plans,” said Julie Scherzinger, CTE Consultant, Jordan School District. “We’re more prepared than we’ve ever been.”
About the Jordan School District
Jordan School District is located just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah with 69 schools, 58,000 students and approximately 9,000 employees. Jordan is the 4th largest school district in Utah and the 70th largest district in the nation.
YouScience® is the leading technology provider dedicated to solving the skills gap crisis for students and employers. Its end-to-end platform, YouScience® Brightpath, connects education with career applications designed to help students unlock their potential for future pathways. YouScience leverages proven research, artificial intelligence, and industry input to help individuals identify their natural talents, validate their skills and knowledge, and get matched with real-world educational and career pathways in high-demand occupations. YouScience is the preferred choice of individuals, parents, educators, and counselors to guide and support educational and career pathways, currently serving more than 7,000 educational institutions and nearly one million users.