NEPRIS: Leveraging Technology to Increase Work-Based Learning Opportunities

We all know that providing pathway students with work-based learning opportunities is extremely important. We’ve made it a key priority in the OC Pathways year 2 workplan! If you add up the number of Orange county students in pathways at the secondary and post-secondary level, we have over 21,000 individuals who need support in acquiring a work based learning experience. This is a major challenge but we’re pursuing innovative strategies to ensure that we fulfill this critical obligation to pathway students in Orange County. One exciting initiative under way is the large scale adoption of a virtual mentoring and field trip platform called Nepris. Nepris is a cloud-based social platform that helps teachers find, match and connect with industry professionals around the world to bring real world relevance to classrooms.
This past spring, Orange Unified School District, under the leadership of Kathy Boyd, piloted Nepris and it was a home run! Students and teachers loved it. Using OC Pathways funds we have purchased site licenses for all pathway educators in our secondary and post-secondary programs. Plans for educator training are underway; details will be announced soon.
The success of Nepris of course hinges on our collective ability to identify industry professionals who are willing to serve as virtual mentors or to facilitate virtual field trips. Consequently, we need everyone to start identifying potential industry collaborators. Congratulations and thanks to Amy Kaufman who is leading the effort to make Nepris an important tool in our work-based learning toolkit and Omar Shepard from OCDE who has enthusiastically agreed to coordinate our launch efforts!

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