Rutherford County Schools
YouScience, a technology company offering aptitude-based career guidance tools to align education with workforce demands, has rolled out a new program called YouScience Snapshot geared toward helping seventh and eighth-grade students think more practically about how their natural abilities, or aptitudes, “fit” in the modern workforce.
“We have long recognized the importance of helping young people maximize their talents and compete for in-demand careers,” said YouScience CEO and co-founder Philip Hardin.
“As the high school version of our career guidance program has rapidly gained popularity nationwide, a growing number of educators, school leaders, and policymakers have asked for a tool that could be useful for middle school students. With Snapshot, we’re excited to help a younger audience of students think more proactively about their future career opportunities.”
More than 10,000 students across the country have already utilized Snapshot, which includes five psychometrically-valid, “game-like” aptitude assessments and an interest-based survey to capture real measures of natural abilities.
Students are then matched to their best-fit career cluster, based on how their aptitudes and interests align with the Association for Career & Technical Education’s 16 nationally-recognized career clusters.
Like the high school YouScience platform, SnapShot helps uncover a larger pool of students with an aptitude for in-demand careers. In a sample of approximately 3,000 middle school students from Rutherford County Schools in Tennessee, data showed only 9% of female students demonstrated a high interest-fit for STEM-related careers (such as Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering, and Computer programming).
However, Snapshot confirmed over 64% of those female students have the aptitude for those high-demand STEM careers.
“Middle school students have to make early choices about courses of study that set their educational pathway for high school. If they base these critical decisions only on familiar or ‘known’ career choices, they inadvertently close the door on a wealth of potential career opportunities that align with their own natural talents and abilities,” said Barbara Powers, Middle Level Coordinator for Rutherford County Schools.
“It is eye-opening to observe a wide range of students discover a whole new world of career opportunities that they would have never considered before taking Snapshot. Better-informed decisions about their futures and careers are taking place due to the experience of Snapshot with our students.”
Snapshot by YouScience also offers a series of analytics and academic advising tools that school administrators, counselors, and teachers can use to help their students choose the appropriate high school curriculum and CTE Pathways.
“YouScience has been available to all public high school students in Georgia for nearly two years, and the program has brought tremendous benefit to students, teachers, and parents. But we also recognized that our middle schools could benefit from a similar tool,” said Georgia’s Director of Counseling and Career and Technical Education Barbara Wall.
“By exposing students to careers and encouraging them to think more deliberately about their education choices earlier, while simultaneously arming our faculty with meaningful insights about students’ individual strengths and abilities, we can lay the foundation for a better-prepared workforce and a stronger future economy.”
To learn more about Snapshot, visit www.youscience.com.