Chris Minnich is Executive Director of the Council of Chief State School Officers. After visiting Wyoming, his report on what’s been accomplished is downright impressive.Chris did a blog about his trip. Here are some paraphrased highlights:

A few weeks ago, I visited schools across Wyoming. In Rock Springs, I met Tristan, a high school senior. He wants to study medicine after high school. He has a comprehensive understanding of all the medical jobs. Tristan has had the unique opportunity to job shadow medical professionals in the local emergency room, getting first-hand insights into what type of education he will need. He told me that he was going on to college, and that his shadowing will help him make choices.

We saw places like the Carbon County Higher Education Center in Rawlins, an extension of Western Wyoming Community College, where high school students, themselves, were central to their own planning. And we toured houses their students had built from their foundations. These beautiful homes were sold for profit to benefit the construction pathway. 

While in Sweetwater County, we visited a classroom at the Black Butte Alternative High School, where each student has an opportunity to participate in any of ten online and in-person courses teachers had designed. The students appreciated being able to learn at their own pace, with a strong facilitator rather than traditional instructor.

Several years ago in Natrona County, there was a decision to prepare the future workforce of Greater Casper by pooling local resources to fund the state-of-the-art learning facility, Pathways Innovation Center. Internships in local workplaces have challenges. Pathways invites pros to bring skills to their place, and many happily do.

Two years ago The Council of Chief State School Officers launched a mission to ensure all states prepare all students. Now, among states like Nevada, Kentucky, and Louisiana, Wyoming is transforming that mission.