DCSD graduates primed to find success in the workplace

Data from the state’s 2019 school district report cards indicate that most Darlington County School District (DCSD) graduates are prepared to find success in the workplace.

Many Darlington County School District diploma earners completed a state-approved, work-based learning experience with businesses in the region. Austin Sturkie (right), a student at Hartsville High School and the Darlington County Institute of Technology, is completing an internship at Gibson’s Wheel Alignment and Tire of Hartsville. Photo courtesy Darlington County School District.

According to DCSD’s report card issued by the S.C. Department of Education, 75.7 percent of 2018-19 graduates met the state’s overall criteria to be deemed career-ready. The state average was 72.5 percent.

DCSD Superintendent Tim Newman attributed the success to an intensive districtwide focus on career readiness.

“We certainly concentrate on our academics, but we also place great importance on helping students in every way possible,” he said. “That includes work-based learning experiences and professional certifications. We want our students to be able to transition directly into the workforce after high school if they so choose.”

In DCSD, 21.4 percent of graduates completed Career and Technical Education with certification. That figure is double the state average of 10.9 percent.

More than 8 percent of DCSD diploma earners completed a state-approved work-based learning experience compared to the state average of 5.3 percent.

DCSD’s diploma earners met the state average on the standard career readiness assessment by earning a platinum, gold or silver certificate at a rate of 66.8 percent.

According to the State Accountability Manual, a student can be designated as career ready by achieving one of several options: Earning a Career and Technical Education Completer with an Industry Credential, scoring a 31 or higher on the ASVAB, achieving a designation of “Silver” or higher on the WIN assessment, or by completing a work-based learning experience.

Since March, 65 DCSD students participated in Internship Signing Day ceremonies to work as interns for local businesses.

Currently, the district has 31 business partners working closely with the Key to Career program to provide paid, work-based opportunities. Student interns from DCSD earned nearly $100,000 in wages since March.

Businesses interested in partnering with DCSD’s Key to Career program can contact Quinetta Buterbaugh, DCSD’s business engagement coordinator, at 843-398-3520.

Author: Stephan Drew

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