Scott Kerwien: Driving Engagement and Individualizing Pathways for a Rapidly Evolving Labor Market

Redefining Ready is a SchooLinks hosted podcast community exploring innovative topics, ideas, strategies, and philosophies in the evolving world of college and career readiness. Our featured guests are leaders in their fields who constantly seek to learn from others, collaborate, and apply their own experiences to truly distill best practices in the world of college and career readiness.

Scott Kerwien, Director of College and Career Readiness at Spokane Public Schools joins us to discuss his district’s adjustment to distance learning in the era of COVID 19, driving student engagement in the CCR process, and how educators have a responsibility to expose every student to a litany of options when it comes to post-secondary pathways. In this episode we discuss the importance of truly understanding the local and national labor market to educate students about different pathways toward a living wage and career satisfaction. Scott brings up an ironic paradigm that today’s counselors must break through: counselors (most of whom have four year degrees) are preparing, exposing, and leading students toward a workforce where the four year degree is not always the “best” option — and sometimes it may even be detrimental from an ROI perspective. Never before has it been more important to guide students toward discovering their own passions and interests and helping them backwards plan their post-secondary pathway by aligning their personality with targeted career goals. Listen for more!

About Scott Kerwien

Scott Kerwien is currently the Director of Technology and Information and the Director of College and Career Readiness for Spokane Public Schools. For nine years prior to his current role he was a high school counselor in the Central Valley School District and Medical Lake School District. He is a Spokane native who graduated from Mead High School and Whitworth University before venturing off for his Masters in School Counseling from George Fox University outside of Portland, OR. Scott is passionate about pursuing equity within college and career readiness by finding and utilizing resources to eliminate barriers for all students to access post-secondary credentials to work in careers that offer a living wage.

College and Career Readiness at Spokane Public Schools

At Spokane Public Schools, they understand the importance of individualizing the college and career readiness process for each student. The district lives out what they call the SPS Promise: Future Readiness — that students embarking on their post-secondary journey will be prepared to follow any pathway they desire some of which may include: military careers; 2-year technical and trade schools; or 4-year colleges and universities. Key to the SPS Promise involves programs such as AVID, CTE, and CCR counseling working together to meet students where they’re at and target student exposure to post-secondary options based on an in-depth understanding of individual student desires and interests. Spokane Public Schools is a SchooLinks partner district, and the platform plays an instrumental role in driving student engagement and allowing all 90 + counselors to individualize their counseling for all students in their caseload.

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