South Carolina high school students face many challenges as they prepare for a world far different from that of their parents. With rapid advances in technology and global competition, jobs of the future will require greater levels of knowledge, advanced skills and more flexibility than ever before.
Eighty-five percent of today’s jobs require education or training after high school, but projections indicate that only 60 percent of South Carolina ninth graders will pursue advanced education or training. In addition, many employees lack the knowledge and skills needed for the advanced technical jobs required within the state.
*1998-1999 State Department of Education Special Survey **Source: D’Amico, C. Workforce 2020
For students to be successful in this global and highly technical economy, high schools must provide a curriculum that is challenging and relevant. They must also offer a sequence of rigorous courses that will both present a clear pathway to college study and the workforce, and adequately prepare students for life in the 21st century.
The Education and Economic Development Act (EEDA) of 2005 was designed to implement changes in the South Carolina educational system by developing a more focused curriculum organized around a career clusters system. Under this system, which has been named “Personal Pathways to Success,” schools must offer students educational and career choices as well as information about career and educational opportunities.
At the core of this legislation is the concept of individualized planning as the key to rewarding, productive futures for all students. Personal Pathways to Success, embraced by business, industry and community organizations, establishes a new framework for curriculum and career planning to aid students and their parents in this planning process. This framework provides students with strong academics and the flexibility to choose coursework and job training opportunities aligned with their individual goals and abilities.