The Dubuque Community School District is pleased to announce the launch of VERTEX, a career and college readiness initiative that represents the district’s strategic and intentional work to help students discover where their interests and future possibilities intersect – all with the goal of helping them reach the highest point of their individual journey to success.
This program creates a new umbrella that unites various offerings across the district while also boosting the workforce pipeline with well-prepared, enthusiastic leaders of tomorrow. It also provides students with meaningful workplace awareness, exploration and hands-on work experiences as they prepare to make informed decisions about their future.
“As a school district, it is among our most important responsibilities to help students see the possibilities that exist for them after graduation and prepare them with the tools necessary to achieve their desired success,” said Stan Rheingans, superintendent of the Dubuque Community School District. “VERTEX represents the district’s strategic work to provide a comprehensive career and college readiness program for students.”
VERTEX is designed around a core principle that career and college readiness is about more than just one experience. In the Dubuque Community Schools, the process begins in middle school and continues through high school while providing experiences that get progressively deeper over time, moving through three key areas of awareness, exploration and application.
View the VERTEX Initiative webpage
“Regardless of their skills or interests, we are committed to helping students connect their classroom learning to potential post-high school options,” said David Moeller, the educational support leader in the district coordinating the VERTEX effort. “This includes everything from exploration activities, assistance in course selection and hands-on learning, both in the district and through meaningful experiences available in partnership with area businesses.”
Recognizing that the diverse workforce of tomorrow is sitting in area classrooms today, a key component of VERTEX also aims to provide hands-on experiences for students in partnership with a host of area organizations and businesses. Throughout the development of the initiative, an advisory group including Greater Dubuque Development Corporation, Northeast Iowa Community College, Dubuque Area Labor-Management Council and the City of Dubuque provided valuable community context to the program’s development and continues to support outreach to area businesses.
“Quality career education is vital for Greater Dubuque area employers to ensure a pipeline of talent into the future,” said Anna Roling, director of workforce solutions for Greater Dubuque Development Corporation. “Greater Dubuque Development is pleased to support the Vertex Initiative by supporting area businesses in connecting with students for job shadows, career information, internships and work opportunities.”
Moving forward, VERTEX will lead to enhanced experiences for students, including job shadowing, mentorship programs, service learning and internship/work experience programs. These experiences will be supported by strong academic opportunities across the curriculum, including everything from career technical education and Advancement Placement courses to concurrent enrollment courses at area higher education institutions, that will help prepare students for life after high school.
VERTEX will also support and more deeply align a variety of current programs that connect students with employers in real-world work experiences including: Work-Based Learning Program, School-to-Work Program, Summit Program, Transition Alliance Program (TAP), Housing Education and Rehabilitation Training (HEART) Program, and Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates (iJAG).
“The launch of VERTEX is really a beginning,” said Rheingans. “The real power of this initiative will be in its ability to more deeply engage students uncovering all that’s possible for them while connecting them to the tremendous outside-the-classroom experiences, and potentially their future employer, that exist right here in Dubuque.”
Businesses or organizations requesting more information about how to be part of Vertex Initiative Programs can contact David Moeller, instructional support leader, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 563/552-3082.