Podcast: Jean Eddy on Starting Early with Career Education

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“Today’s economy demands that students graduate from high school, earn some type of degree or credential, and develop knowledge and skills they can use in a job. But far too many young people drop out of high school, fail to enroll in a higher education program, or are unable to complete their credentials.”

That’s the problem American Student Assistance (ASA, @ASA_Impact) is attacking with guidance resources and advocacy initiatives. 

After taking over as CEO three years ago Jean Eddy expanded the mission to middle schools and committed to helping students know themselves, know their options, and make informed choices.

Eddy appreciates the many ways that college experiences can be valuable but recognizes that many Americans are concerned by the cost and looking for a better return on investment. 

Chief Strategy Officer and mother of two middle school students Annabel Cellini (@annabelcellini) joins Eddy on the podcast and sees the need to educate for skills more than specific jobs–because many won’t exist when students graduate. She points to resilience, teamwork, and persuasive communication as some of the key employability attributes.   

Cellini also appreciates that many young people will not just ‘get jobs’ in the traditional sense–they will choose not to work in offices for large corporations, they will choose meaningful work that they can do on their own terms. 

ASA provides digital programming designed to help 13 to 18 years olds explore career and learning options after high school. Planning services include in-person counseling in Boston area schools, libraries, and community organizations. They advocate for policies that help students pursue postsecondary education and they develop partnerships with local and national groups that deliver innovative services. 

Jean Eddy will be keynoting the LearnLaunch Across Boundaries Conference (#LearnLaunch2020) on January 30-31 in Boston. It’s the best regional convening on innovations in learning by the best regional ecosystem leader in the country. Hope to see you there.

Key Takeaways:
[1:26] Jean speaks about her university education and why she decided to study what she studied.
[2:41] Why Jean decided to work in higher education.
[4:35] Annabel speaks about her university education and what drew her to her major.
[6:46] Jean tells the origin story of ASA.
[8:50] Why early guidance about college is more important than ever.
[10:22] Why does Jean believe that America has fallen out of love with higher ed?
[12:02] Annabel speaks about how she thinks about the changing nature of work and the drivers she sees that have the most significant implications for education.
[16:06] Annabel highlights some of the important key skills that are becoming more important in this innovation economy.
[17:44] As a parent of middle school, what advice does Annabel have for other parents? What kinds of activities, in particular, are most productive for middle school students?
[20:37] In 2018, Jean expanded the mission at ASA to start in middle school. She elaborates on why that change occurred and the kinds of services that they now offer for middle school students.
[25:17] Tom gives a shoutout to their friends at Cajon Valley!
[26:26] Anabel explains what ASA is currently doing to expand its work in advocacy and policy.
[28:38] Jean speaks about why ASA supports Learn Launch and what she’s excited about in regards to the work that they do.
[30:15] As Jean looks one to two years down the road at ASA, what are her hopes for the future of the organization? And where would she like to see them make an additional impact?
[31:47] Annabel speaks about some of the things she’s excited about on ASA’s roadmap.
[33:03] Where to go to learn more about ASA!
[33:29] Tom thanks Annabel and Jean for joining the Getting Smart Podcast!

Mentioned in This Episode:
American Student Assistance (ASA)
Jean Eddy
Annabel Cellini
World Economic Forum
LearnLaunch
Cajon Valley Union School District

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