NATIONAL—America Achieves is pleased to announce the release of Quest for Success, an innovative career exploration course designed to help ensure students know about and are prepared for careers of the future. Any educator, school, or school system in the world can now access this high-quality curriculum completely free-of-charge at www.americaachievesednetworks.org/quest-for-success

What it takes to be civically engaged and meaningfully employed—to contribute to one’s community and access rewarding, upwardly mobile jobs—is rapidly changing. Advances in technology and globalization are leading to new jobs, ways of working, and employer demands—not only for improved academic and technical skills, but also cross-sector competencies like communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. But many of the fast-growing, high-opportunity careers and the paths to them remain a mystery to students, families, and even teachers. 

Quest for Success was therefore designed to help all students explore a variety of industry sectors, new and in-demand careers, and related pathways; develop the cross-sector knowledge, skills, character, and dispositions needed to be successful in these and other careers; and learn about themselves to successfully plan for and navigate high school and postsecondary education and the world of work to achieve career and life success. 

“Quest for Success is about helping all students imagine and begin to plan new futures for themselves—in careers they may have not known about, never saw themselves in, didn’t think they could achieve, or that are still emerging,” said Heidi Ramírez, Executive Director of the Educator Networks at America Achieves.

Throughout the course’s eight units, students progress from knowing themselves, to leading responsibly, to planning for their futures. A variety of industry-aligned, project-based learning tasks engage students in solving authentic problems and developing new knowledge and skills; tasks range from personal vision boards and values statements to food trucks, websites, and community service projects. 

“The performance tasks in Quest for Success helped my students develop growth mindsets,” said Crystal Marshall, a middle school teacher who piloted the course. “I was able to clearly link the lessons to what students might experience in the real world of work—meeting deadlines, navigating difficult co-workers, having a sense of personal responsibility, and holding themselves to higher standards.” 

Quest for Success was originally created and piloted by America Achieves in collaboration with educators, through a partnership with the Louisiana Department of Education. It was developed with input from employers and industry partners, and a variety of national experts, including the National Civil Rights Museum and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. In 2018, Quest for Success was piloted in over 50 Louisiana classrooms with more than 2,400 students and subsequently revised. 

Quest for Success has been revised for national use and is already being adapted for implementation in schools and districts across the country this school year. The full curriculum is available on America Achieves Educator Networks’ website (https://www.americaachievesednetworks.org/quest-for-success).

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America Achieves helps people from every background access educational pathways resulting in rewarding careers and economic mobility. Learn more at americaachieves.org.