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December 18, 2017 10:05 PM

Experience Meets Education In New Program

Currently there are about the same number of people looking for jobs as there are jobs open in the state.  That seems like a perfect fit, except the people looking for work don't have the skills to do what's available.

On Monday, the state and local school systems announced a new plan to help keep people on the education path while getting real world experience.

South Dakota Partnership for Student Success, or SDPaSS -- is the newest program aiming to connect jobs to the people who need them.

The partnerships between Dakota State University, the Sioux Falls School District, Southeast Tech and the state Department of Labor will allow students to get job experience while still in school.

"It's like a freeway. I can get on here and get off there and get back on here and get back off there. So there really are a number of real opportunities for kids," said Sioux Falls Superintendent Brian Maher. 

Right now, 80-90 percent of kids in South Dakota graduate from high school. 70 percent of those go on to secondary education. Only 60 percent of those complete a degree or certificate

This new program will give students a new way of learning.

"The traditional model of learn, learn, learn, learn get a credential and then go to work isn't as effective as learn, apply it and work. Learn, apply it and work," said South Dakota Governor, Dennis Daugaard. 

"Some people are very good at classroom learning. But some people actually need to learn by doing. We call it experiential learning," said Jose-Marie Griffiths, President of Dakota State University. 

SDPaSS doesn't have any number goals set right now, but they do have a vision for the future.

"More students being able to get jobs, earning well. Employers able to fill positions and expand their businesses, that's going to be good for South Dakota," said Griffiths. 

By doing a targeted education, the program also hopes to reduce the cost of education for students in the state.




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  • Education
  • SD
  • Sioux Falls
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