The Ford PAS program, an interdisciplinary high school program developed by Ford Motor Company Fund in collaboration with EDC, is the anchor of two new initiatives designed to help prepare students for careers in fields such as business, engineering, math, science, and technology. In Ohio, Ford PAS will be adopted statewide, and elsewhere, several Historically Black Colleges and Universities will provide the program for local high school students.
“We applaud Ford’s commitment to seeing that this quality program gets out there, gets used, and gets the support it needs to grow and be adapted locally to succeed,” says Ilene Kantrov, director of EDC’s Center for Educational Resources and Outreach (ERO).
The Ohio Department of Education, with support from Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of the automaker, will implement the Ford PAS program statewide. With the grant, Ohio becomes the first Ford PAS state affiliate in the nation.
“This partnership with Ford is a keystone for Ohio,” says Susan Tave Zelman, Ohio’s state superintendent of public instruction. “Partnerships between business and education are a necessity to ensure that students are ready to compete in the 2lst century global economy.”
Ohio will use the Ford PAS curriculum as the core of its career and technical programs in manufacturing and other career areas, which currently enroll 23 percent of the state’s high school students. Starting this fall, 15 Ohio schools will pilot the Ford PAS curriculum as the initial phase of the manufacturing technologies career field.
“Ford PAS brings together academic and technical skills to create activities that engage young people, have meaning for them, and help them invent a new future for themselves,” says Vivian Guilfoy, EDC senior vice president and director of EDC’s Education, Employment, and Community Programs (EEC).
The statewide implementation will be complemented by a resource center based at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio. A joint effort by the Ohio Department of Education, Ford Motor Company Fund, and the college, the resource center will provide professional development, curriculum, implementation assistance, and a specially designed Web site for Ohio teachers on the Ford PAS program. EDC, in collaboration with a Ford PAS advisory committee and Ford Motor Company Fund, has developed the professional development curriculum for a two-week institute for pilot school teachers on Ford PAS Courses 1 and 2, to be held July 31–August 11, and EDC staff and Sinclair Community College faculty will lead the institute together.
“This resource center will allow the Ohio Department of Education to build teacher capacity through professional development and a state network for sharing best practices,” said Steven Lee Johnson, President, Sinclair Community College.
Partnership with Historically Black Colleges
Ford Motor Company Fund continues its partnership with Historically Black Colleges and Universities to help prepare African American students in careers in fields such as business, engineering, math, science and technology.
Each of the colleges will receive a small grant to support implementation of Ford PAS in one or more local high schools or approved alternative settings. These grants follow a successful pilot program last year in which seven colleges participated.
“Looking through the lens of business, students who participate in the program are exposed to business concepts and career opportunities that they would not otherwise be exposed to in traditional high school,” says Sandra E. Ulsh, president of Ford Motor Company Fund.
Ford PAS was developed jointly by Ford Motor Company Fund and EDC’s Center for Educational Resources and Outreach (ERO) and Education, Employment, and Community Programs (EEC). The program consists of five semester-long courses that link classroom learning with the challenges students will face in post-secondary education and the workplace of the future. It integrates academically rigorous, standards-based content with realistic applications in areas such as design and product development, information systems, environmental sustainability, global economics, business planning, and marketing.
Originally published on July 31, 2006