Louisville’s Doss High School is trying to improve student skills in career-readiness by introducing a work ethic certificate popular in some other Kentucky counties.
The state education department gives points for schools that prepare students for college and career. But just because a student has passed certain tests or earned certifications, it doesn’t mean they’ve learned the social skills that employers often say young people lack.
In Doss High, 26.6 percent of graduates entered the workforce after graduation, according 2011-2012 school year data.
That’s more than double the rate for all Jefferson County public school graduates, which is at 9.7 percent.
Doss is now offering students a work ethic certificate that Principal Ken Moeller says should help prepare students with skills they’ll need in real-world jobs, while partnering the school with businesses that guarantees experience.
Doss is partnering with the Riverport Business Association, which will guarantee a job interview to students who earn a certificate, Moeller says.
“They’re guaranteed an interview. Not a job, but an interview,” he says.
The program should also demonstrate what parts of the state’s accountability system businesses value, he says.
“What’s their level of comfort. Does a person have to have a 3.5 GPA for them to believe they can work for them. Or GPA, maybe that doesn’t matter. Or is it the ACT scores that matters?” Moeller says.
The work ethic certificate is available in other school districts like Hardin County, where the percentage of graduates entering the workforce is also above the state’s 22 percent.