Employment and Training Institute .

School to Work Curriculum Models

Preparing for Occupations in Demand

The Employment and Training Institute prepares technical assistance studies on job opportunities and training priorities for new labor force entrants based on findings from its annual job openings surveys of employers in the Milwaukee Region. These reports have been used by the U.S. Department of Labor (for the planned Milwaukee Job Corps center) and Milwaukee Area Technical College to develop new training programs to meet changing needs of local employers.

photo of MATC graduate Follow-Up Research on Employment and Earnings

The Employment and Training Institute conducted employment and earnings follow-up studies of graduates of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and MATC by department and by sending MPS high school to determine the employment and earnings of graduates by degree and program area. Findings reports by MPS high school were reviewed by school counselors and teachers. Summaries of the research are posted online.

Models of School-to-Work Curriculum for High School and Middle School

The Employment and Training Institute collaborated with teachers and students at Milwaukee Public Schools and Milwaukee Area Technical College to produce a series of booklets on school-to-work career planning, utilizing labor market information collected from the ETI annual job vacancies surveys of employers in the four-county area. Two of the three booklets were printed by MATC students in the associate degree printing program. The materials were distributed to classes throughout MPS middle and high schools, and ETI staff trained MPS counselors in use of the curriculum materials and labor market resources.

photo of auto mechanic student

School District Planning - Education for Employment

In the 1980s the Employment and Training Institute assisted then-state superintendent Herbert Grover in implementing "Education for Employment," a statewide initiative to help schools focus instruction on the preparation of students for the workforce, not just to take jobs but also to make jobs.

  • The ETI worked with Moraine Park Technical College (then Moraine Park Technical Institute, MPTI) and 18 school districts to identify common learning objectives and measurable competencies to serve as the basis for "two plus two" articulation agreements allowing high school students to earn up to 2 years of technical college credits for high school coursework.

Based on the work with MPTI, local districts, and Cooperative Service Educational Agency CESA #6, the ETI was commissioned by the Department of Public Instruction to prepare Planning Guides for all 72 Wisconsin counties to aid local educators in designing, revising and establishing educational programs based on current labor market information. (A number of the areas of analysis have subsequently been incorporated into state Department of Workforce Development annual publications.) A sample publication is shown below.

Developing Competency-Based Education Curriculum

The Employment and Training Institute assisted the Department of Public Instruction and the Division of Corrections in working with teachers at Wisconsin's two juvenile corrections schools (Ethan Allen and Lincoln Hills) to revise their curricula to better meet their student needs. Vocational education teachers developed competency-based curriculum based on prior practices, tours of top technical college programs, and review of Job Corp course materials.

  • The ETI staff prepared curriculum (and competency-based tests) in the areas of Job Skills, Reading, Writing, Math, Health, Government and Law, Consumer Economics, Interpersonal Relationships, and Community Resources, based on the University of Texas Adult Performance Level (APL) Project.

The impetus for the curriculum changes came in large part from research showing few Ethan Allen and Lincoln Hills students reenrolling in school after release and even fewer graduating.

  • Educational Follow-Up Study of Juveniles Released from Ethan Allen and Lincoln Hills Schools, 1982.
    (Of 759 youth released in 1979, only 24, or 3%, completed a traditional high school program. For many youth corrections schools provided their first successful high school educational experience: 48% of all 15, 16, and 17 year old youth arrived at Ethan Allen and Lincoln Hills with no high school credits. At Ethan Allen, 40% of entering youth had reading levels below 6th grade. Within 3 years, 19% of the youth released in 1979 were incarcerated as adults in Wisconsin prisons.)
The ETI Job Skills curriculum developed for the corrections schools was also adopted by the Wisconsin Governor's Employment and Training Office (GETO) as the model program for Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) programs throughout the state.


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Employment & Training Institute
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Updated September 2009