Preparing Today’s Students for Tomorrow’s Jobs in Metropolitan America

On May 25-26, 2011, Penn’s Graduate School of Education is holding a conference "Preparing Today’s Students for Tomorrow’s Jobs in Metropolitan America: The Policy, Practice, and Research  Issues."  

The guiding question for the event is: What are the most effective institutional and public policy strategies for ensuring that high school students, college students, and adult learners – especially those in our nation’s urban areas - have the knowledge and skills that are required for jobs and careers of tomorrow?

Confirmed featured speakers include: 

  • Eduardo Ochoa (Assistant Secretary of the U. S. Department of Education)
  • Governor Edward Rendell
  • Lori Shorr (Chief Education Officer to Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter)
  • Charles Kolb (Committee for Economic Development, Washington, DC)
  • Claudia Neuhauser (University of Minnesota)
  • Bethany Krom (Mayo Clinic)
  • Harry Holzer (Georgetown University) 

The conference also includes panels organized around three sets of subquestions. 

  1. How do we define ‘success’ with regard to the role of education in preparing students for employment? Should we define success by more than degree attainment and earnings? How should learning be conceptualized in school-to-work discussions? What skills do employers require and how well are educational providers meeting these needs? What is the ‘right’ type of curricular preparation at secondary and postsecondary level?
  2. How well do particular educational sectors prepare students for college and careers? Is preparation for colleges the same as preparation for careers? What are the most effective institutional practices and strategies (at all/any level) for preparing students for career success? 
  3. What is the role of public policy in improving the connections between education and work? What is the role of other stakeholders in promoting school-to-work transitions (e.g., accreditors, businesses, schools)? What are the most effective federal and state policies for encouraging educational preparation for work? Is it best to focus on increasing degree attainment through education policy or increasing job preparation through employment policy?  

This conference is sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania Pre-Doctoral Training Program in Interdisciplinary Methods for Field-based Research in Education, with funding from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences and in collaboration with Penn’s Graduate School of education and Penn’s Institute for Urban Research.

This conference is being organized by the leadership team of Laura Perna, Professor of Education, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania and Susan Wachter, Professor of Financial Management, Real Estate and Finance, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

To register for the conference, please click here.


May 25 & 26, 2011
Houston Hall, 3417 Spruce Street
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA

For more information, contact Laura Kitson.