Collaborative Action Networks

College and Career Readiness Collaborative Action Network Launches

The Spartanburg Academic Movement met another major milestone recently as it launched its second Collaborative Action Network (“CAN”).  The Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce has partnered with SAM to convene the College and Career Readiness CAN.

The College and Career Readiness CAN is fast at work, having already convened twice since launching in June of this year.  One of the group’s first tasks was to create a team mandate – a collective statement to guide the work of the group: 

The College and Career Readiness CAN will enable Spartanburg County students to achieve their college and career readiness potential by setting targets, identifying drivers or influencing factors to reach these targets, engaging community partners to impact the drivers, and tracking the attainment of the targets. 

The College and Career Readiness CAN is co-facilitated by SAM’s Director of Collaborative Action Networks Beth Thompson and Mark Fendley with BMW Manufacturing.  Members of the CAN are:

David Berry – Johnson Development Self Storage Division
Gloria Close – Citizen Scholars
Cheryl Cox – Spartanburg Community College
Rachel Dattilo – Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System
Ty Dawkins – Chapman High School
Andy Flynt – Spartanburg County Public Libraries
David Griffin – Michelin
Crystal Irby – Urban League of the Upstate
Ann McIntyre – Dorman High School
Susan Myers – Spartanburg County Public Libraries
Cherie Pressley – Upstate Regional Education Center
Allen Smith – Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce
Donette Stewart – USC Upstate
Tabitha Talley – Spartanburg School District 2

This CAN is focused on improving ACT WorkKeys and Post-Secondary Enrollment outcomes for students in Spartanburg County.  Following the Six Sigma continuous improvement process, the group will identify potential factors that contribute to strong or weak performance on the state’s career readiness assessment (ACT WorkKeys) and whether or not students pursue postsecondary studies after graduating high school.

The most recent data for Spartanburg County (2015) reveals that 71.8% (Applied Mathematics) 82.3% (Locating Information) and 87.8% (Reading for Information) of high school juniors scored at a level four or greater on the ACT WorkKeys assessments.  A score of level four or greater means that students are prepared to match the skill level of 67% or more of the jobs profiled around the country.  

The percentage of students graduating high school and enrolling in some form of postsecondary education has been steadily increasing county-wide since 2011.  Of the students that graduated high school in 2014, 78.1% enrolled in either a technical certificate program, two or four-year institution, or the armed forces.  

A particular focus of this CAN will be setting goals to reduce disparities that exist in college/career readiness for students in poverty and within minority subgroups.

As the group analyzes the current data landscape, opportunities to improve outcomes for students will be developed with the help and support of local nonprofit organizations and other groups eager to work collectively and collaboratively.