CareerCLUE (Community Learning, Understanding and Experience) is a credit-bearing, stipended summer program for rising 10th graders in Community Schools.
The program is a collaboration between the NYC Department of Education and the Center for Youth Employment (CYE). The partners have designed CareerCLUE as a foundational career development experience for young teens, supporting their acculturation to the world of work through service learning projects while strengthening academics and facilitating self-assessment and consideration of career paths.
With the support of the Guardian Life Insurance Company and through the Here to Here Initiative of the James and Judith K. Dimon Foundation, the program hosted 120 students from three high schools during a pilot in summer 2016. Throughout the five-week program, students engaged in real-world project-based learning about green career pathways through guest speakers, site visits and project work. Students performed an energy audit on their school, made recommendations for improvements to their school’s recycling program, and shadowed contractors performing energy audits in City-owned buildings. Students also worked in community gardens and built solar composts, benefiting their communities. Students gained more than just knowledge: They earned an elective environmental science credit for the course, and a $500 stipend if they met attendance and academic requirements. Perhaps of most long-term value, CareerCLUE students researched and presented on career options within the green economy, providing them with a vision of available career options.
The curriculum was implemented by Solar One (S1), a NYC-based non-profit environmental education organization. Solar One’s Green Design Lab is an award-winning K-12 environmental education program and curriculum. Developed in partnership with the NYC Department of Education (DOE), it is the only curricular blueprint of its kind that utilizes the school building as both a laboratory for learning and a tool for environmental change.
Plans are underway to expand CareerCLUE in the summer of 2017.