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Episode 183 - Pat Keeney, "Helping to Create Education With A Purpose"

Pat is the Director of College and Career Planning is a career educator who has spent time in the classroom, consulting, launching a company, and with K12. Pat has also been a learning coach many years for his son, Patrick, and has seen the online experience from that perspective. Although he is presently a Product Manager, Pat served for almost 7 years as part of the K12 Product Development group where he was the lead instructional designer on many award-winning high school math and science courses, lead to conversion of 75 labs to virtual and video based labs, and helped in designing games like X-germz. Prior to his time with K12, Pat was a consultant at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, and founded an online education company. His early career consisted of 17 years of working in classrooms in Maryland and Pennsylvania, teaching high school mathematics and science and establishing Advanced Placement programs in 3 school districts. Pat is also a past firestarter and you can hear more on Episode 145


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Destinations Career Academy of Colorado (formerly Insight School of Colorado)

Idaho Technical Career Academy (formerly Idaho College and Career Readiness Academy)

Recommended Resource: Research about the workforce - Pathways to Prosperity produced by Harvard

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Quotes: "What is outstanding CTE education look like? How can we implement that in all of our schools? Thereby really disrupt the thinking in education that this isn't something that's an extra add-on, it's not something that you do at the Vo-Tech (which is kind of dirty word from the last decade really) but it's something that is part of everybody's education. It helps make everybody feel relevant, they love it, they practice with things, they work with things, etc." "For jobs that were talking about that are "middle jobs" and how they caught up to wages and in some cases surpassed wages, to jobs that have a four year college degree. The second part of that is more insidious and that is, that (collectively) students are carrying over $1 billion in debt after graduating college, but there the challenges is that many of the students aren't finding jobs or they're not finding jobs that are in high-paying fields." "Our commitment [k12] is to high-quality CTE programs. We are not interested, for instance, in building CTE programs that are just some courses strung together in a course catalog, where we might get state funding. That is no different for the student then just taking other electives and so certainly that hands-on component is an important important part of it." "I couldn't be more thankful to be involved in education with where it's at right now. Education is not easy and certainly it's controversial, it involves all of our students. I think we're at the beginning of several decades of improvements that technology will help to make possible but also that really good dedicated teachers, administrators, and thought leaders in this area will make possible. I think career education is just the first area where we're going to make huge strides and enormous improvements in the quality of the educational experience for students. Think about some of things that we talked about: individualized education, so students not feeling like a number; students finding relevance in what they're doing; students even being excited (about education). Then when they walk across the stage to get their diploma, they walk across the stage with so much more, and that is the opportunity to have earned credentials, to have earned college credits, etc." "I think there is a lot of negativity in the national conversation about education. There certainly are problems that need to be solved, but I think the last hour we've been able to talk about something that's happening in this country that is positive. It's not smoking mirrors, it's if you provide students with something that they're interested in and purposeful, they're gonna eat it up. I think we just have to get better at that."

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