Greater Clark County Schools has officially been named a Ford Next Generation Learning (NGL) community! The prestigious honor follows creation of the Academies of Greater Clark which are now part of the nationwide Ford NGL network supported by Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company. Ford NGL is transforming public high schools into career themed academies to better prepare students for college and professional success in today’s competitive global economy.
Districts in the Ford NGL network have been shown to increase student achievement and engagement at both the high school and postsecondary levels. Ford NGL helps develop more robust ties between local educators and employers, generating a stronger talent-development pipeline for local high-demand sectors and overall community prosperity.
Students attending the Academies of Greater Clark will learn academics through the lens of a potential career, such as engineering, healthcare, technology or marketing. They can participate in internships, job shadows, and career exploration activities, connecting their studies to success in the real-life workplace and improving academic performance and readiness for college and careers.
“Becoming a member of the Ford NGL network is a prestigious accomplishment resulting from a tremendous commitment on behalf of our staff and business partners to improve student achievement and post-secondary acceptance,” said Greater Clark Superintendent Andrew Melin. “Greater Clark’s involvement with Ford NGL will benefit our students and our community for years to come.”
Ford NGL is nationally recognized for its unique approach to learning that better prepares high school students for career success. Through the Ford NGL process, districts and their communities become partners and align their resources to improve student outcomes and support the country’s workforce and economic development needs. To be designated a Ford NGL community, 80 regional educators, community leaders and business representatives developed a three-year master plan to increase the number of students learning in career academies, while reaching out to Southern Indiana through affiliations with senior business, education and civic leaders.
One Southern Indiana, the chamber of commerce and economic development organization for Clark and Floyd counties, is acting as the Community Convening Organization and will serve as a neutral organization that will advocate for the shared community vision and shared accountability, provide viable and visible leadership within the community, support successful inter-agency collaboration and focus on business development.
“One Southern Indiana is proud to be a partner in this transformative Ford Next Generation Learning program. Regional growth will succeed only if we address our growing need for people to fill the needs of our employers, now and in the future,” said Wendy Dant Chesser, president and CEO of 1si, the chamber of commerce and lead economic development organization for Southern Indiana. “1si has agreed to be the Community Convening Organization for the transition to Ford NGL academies and we will continue to partner with all regional school systems, including Greater Clark County Schools, to ensure we are acting as a region to address labor shortages.”
Ford NGL communities have demonstrated success through higher graduation rates, lower dropout rates, increased academic achievement, and industry certifications earned in high school.
“Ford NGL research has proven that community ownership and accountability is just as important to educating our children as good study habits and hard work,” said Cheryl Carrier, executive director, Ford Next Generation Learning. “The Ford NGL partnership gives students and teachers a competitive edge that not only improves their chances for future success, but will benefit the community as a whole for years to come.”
In 2016, Ford Motor Company Fund invested $18 million in innovative education initiatives and scholarships around the world that strengthen communities and improve people’s lives.