As graduation season comes to a close, students across the country are heading into summer break, summer school, or the workforce. In taking a collective sigh of relief, let’s not forget the 2021-2022 school year was the first full year back in the classroom, after years of remote learning, for many students. It was a year of adjustment and transition for students and teachers alike, which has underscored the importance of the business community supporting public education entities. Reflecting on these adjustments, challenges, and the impact of the business community on schooling is imperative in understanding how public schools can best leverage partnerships to consistently improve year after year.
Educational institutions are highly important to our team at QED National, and not just because of the specialized IT consulting services we provide to both public and private education entities. The firm’s President, Colleen Molter, regularly provides leadership, ideas and advice which directly impact specialized public high schools across New York City:
“Education is paramount to the success of our youth, our communities and our future. As someone who works alongside public high schools, both professionally and personally, I deeply appreciate business leaders who support and give back to educators in their communities.” -Colleen Molter, President of QED National and co-chair of NYC Department of Education’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) IT Commission
The Importance of Community Support
Consulting firm and partner of QED National, EAB (formerly Education Advisory Board), recently surveyed 141 superintendents from 32 states to learn about the experiences, needs, and insights of their peers. The survey, 2022 Voice of the Superintendent Survey, shared key learnings including:
“Rebuilding community confidence in public schools will require partnerships with regional business and community leaders. . . Preparing today’s learners for post-secondary success in tomorrow’s economy will require breaking down silos between K-12, higher education, and employers to build pathways to possibility for all students. Today’s challenges are too large for any district to tackle alone.”
There are many ways business organizations can help meet the needs of academic leaders, teachers and students in their community. This includes mentorship of students and teachers, offering internships and externships, providing professional workshops and strategic networking, and donation of useful goods and resources that can benefit classrooms, etc. The first and perhaps most important step is cultivating strong relationships with leaders of these educational institutions to understand the needs and challenges they face and how private industry and community members can assist and alleviate these challenges.
Share Your Unique Expertise
As an IT consulting firm with expertise in Education, QED National’s team is comprised of technologists, so we often look at through the lens of how technology can best support the needs and overall missions of organization. And after months and months of remote learning, it is clear that technology continues to play an ever-growing role in our kids’ education. Students engage with teachers, lessons, grades assignments and more on multiple devices and endpoints. However, adding technology to the classroom can also lead to teacher stress and needs for training or additional help. THE Journal recently surveyed the most effective strategies administrators are using to boost teacher morale. Researchers surveyed more than 550 K-12 principals across the United States, and found that 58 percent of respondents agreed that “using the right technology in the classroom can limit teacher stress.”
The phrase “the right technology” stands out, and certainly presents an opportunity for the private sector to help. If you are tech-savvy, consider volunteering in classrooms or at the district level to help train and support teachers who are learning new technologies… while teaching them to your kids.
How Can You Give-back?
We all can find a way to support our local schools. The QED National team is very proud of our leader, Colleen Molter, who has found her way to give back to her community. Colleen serves as co-chair of NYC Department of Education’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) IT Commission. Along with her co-chair Bruno Surpris, Customer Engineer at Google, they lead the mission to guide the curriculum for CTE high schools in New York City.
The organization serves 135 schools for more than 60,000 students offering nearly 300 CTE programs of study. Programs range from Web & App Design to Software Engineering to Cisco Networking Academies. While Colleen and Bruno lead the commission, they are joined and supported by leaders from nearly 30 businesses that represent a wide range of businesses with varied size and scope.
Even if not backed by a private business, there are significant opportunities for things such as mentorships. Many of us have had success due to one or more mentors who helped us along our learning journey, and it’s no surprise the impact of mentors continues to be paramount to student success.
Business leaders have the opportunity to enhance the in-classroom experience by partnering with teachers to serve as mentors to students across all grade levels. Their expertise and knowledge can help students learn about career opportunities, understand life skills that lead to employment, and equally important, develop character and confidence. Giving your time and talents can benefit the students of today and the employees of tomorrow.
QED National’s History with Educational Institutions
QED National provides specialized IT consulting services to both public and private educational institutions. These institutions rely on QED National’s demonstrated experience and expertise to deliver the consulting services necessary for their specific needs. Our talented team has decades of experience supporting the technology needs of both K-12 and Higher Education customers, and has developed longstanding relationships with these organizations as a result.
QED National consultants have long supported the business operations and technological initiatives of educational institutions. Both K-12 educational institutions and public/private university systems require reliable IT solutions to streamline educational processes and assist administrators, educators and students alike in performing critical tasks – as a private business, QED National is committed to continue providing solutions which enable our partners in Education to succeed. Whether it’s professional services or strengthening the communal relationship between private industry and school systems, a comprehensive approach is necessary to ensure the overall success of our students, teachers, and educational institutions.