House Bill 1002 – Rethinking Students’ Employability Opportunities
In the recent House Bill 1002 (passed in May 2023), legislators have prioritized new student standards, emphasizing career readiness and awareness to build employability skills among high school graduates.
This House Enrolled Act will designate and approve a course sequence, career course, apprenticeship, or program of study for grants under the CSA (Career Scholarship Account) program. Under this act, it will require public high schools to hold at least one career fair during regular school hours each school year. It also requires “certain school corporations” to include career awareness instruction beginning July 1, 2024. More guidance is coming regarding the standards for this career awareness course and various grant funds for the career coaching and career scholarship account programs.
The act is a huge step forward in supporting students’ preparation for life after high school, but how exactly do these new standards support educators and counselors in Indiana? Here’s an overview of what we know so far…
Students Are Encouraged to Explore the Four E’s
This act will support educators in providing tailored support for students based on their interests and skills. In previous years, college was considered the best post-secondary option for all students. However, this House Enrolled Act focuses more on the student’s long-term career path.
Between the Four E’s presented to incoming high school graduates—Enlist, Employ, Enroll, Entrepreneurship—many want to break the stigma in selecting the alternatives to enrolling in a college or university. We view this act as a progressive way to involve the community, key stakeholders, and local industry partners in supporting students instead of just leaving the school with the full responsibility of helping students build their future plans. Plus, the more the community is involved, the more connections students have access to for employment or partnerships down the line.
How Can Educators Adapt to the New Requirements?
Teachers can support students by being more intentional about playing a role in a student’s postsecondary planning. Incorporate intentional conversations, exposure, and exploration activities into the curriculum and culture of the school. Instructional Assistants also play an important role in supporting students with academics and postsecondary planning—especially those students with special needs. It is truly a community effort to support students and help them find their passion and purpose.
How Can Counselors Adapt to the New Standards?
This legislation will ensure that career fairs are held during school hours and address equity and access. Many schools already host a career fair on campus or bus students to an alternate location for a community career fair, but House Bill 1002 ensures that every student can attend.
The guidance for career discovery meetings suggests the responsibility is on the student to complete this requirement and document their 30-minute meetings with approved colleges, intermediaries, employers, and labor organizations. However, school counselors will likely be tasked with educating students on this requirement, providing opportunities, and helping students track their progress. Although no official audit will be done for the school, high school counselors are still feeling the pressure.
Additionally, school counselors will be tasked with learning the diploma requirements and will help students ensure they are on track for graduation.
At Keep Indiana Learning, we understand the pressure school counselors and educators face when changes are made to the curriculum or graduation requirements. That’s why we work around the clock to provide them with the supportive resources they need to foster student success.
Supportive Resources from Keep Indiana Learning
Our School Counseling Professional Learning Specialist, Samantha Vidal is available to support school counselors, school teams, or district teams.
Some proactive steps we can help you with include:
- Planning career fairs on campus
- Vertical alignment for K-12
- Auditing current CCR programming
- Developing lesson plans and other programming
- Assisting in a data dive related to academic and postsecondary plans/success
- Creating a K-12 CCR Scope and Sequence
For your reference, the IDOE created a guiding document that is very helpful in navigating these changes. More details on this act can be found here. Keep Indiana Learning will continue to monitor this topic and provide support to school counselors and other educators who will be affected by these changes.