Higher Education for Disengagers: New Zealand’s Tertiary High School

The Conference Board of Canada, 20 pages, March 16, 2016
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New Zealand’s Tertiary High School helps at-risk students remain in secondary school, pursue post-secondary education, and transition to employment. It is an innovative response to a problem Canada shares.

Document Highlights

New Zealand’s Tertiary High School is an innovative response to the problem of youth disengaging from, and dropping out of, high school, and thereby failing to move on to careers or post-secondary education.

The Tertiary High School has several unique and defining elements.

First, it specifically targets at-risk youth who struggle to succeed in traditional secondary schooling. Second, it integrates the final years of secondary education with the first years of post-secondary education at no cost to the student, providing a seamless pathway between the two. Third, the programming offers significant one-on-one support that develops the entire person and allows students to learn at an individual pace. Fourth, the curriculum integrates academic and vocational learning to keep the learnings rooted in the real world, relevant, and career-focused. The curriculum aims to keep students engaged and motivated.

Canada, which shares with New Zealand this problem of disengaged youth, must take note.

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