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The Partnership for 21st Century Learning, a national association that promotes the skills, knowledge, and expertise students need to compete in today’s global economy, contends that in order for students to compete in a global workforce, they must learn the four essential skills for success:

  1. Critical Thinking
  2. Problem Solving
  3. Communication
  4. Collaboration

Administrators today realize that the traditional brick-and-mortar, chalk-and-talk, learning method cannot adequately prepare students to succeed after high school. Forward-thinking educators know that students need to be armed with a sound foundation in core academics, specialized subjects, and proficiency skills in technology and the four critical skills outlined above.

To prepare students with 21st-century skills, schools and districts are implementing technology-based learning and online curricula to help students prepare for higher education, the work force, and to thrive as global citizens.

"Eighty-four percent of employers say K–12 schools are not doing a good job of preparing students for the workplace," says Susan Patrick, president of the International Association for K–12 Online Learning. "Research shows that online learning provides an increasingly valuable tool for 21st-century content, collaborative, interactive, networked course designs and self-directed learning skills."

Administrators and teachers understand that online education helps students learn both independently and collaboratively, and fosters mastery of the latest technology tools and applications needed to succeed in higher education and the work force.

In addition, schools and districts can now offer students a deeper and wider course catalog that includes world languages, STEM courses, Honors and AP® curriculum, and a wide variety of electives—all designed to prepare (and motivate!) students to succeed in the 21st century.

For more information on expanding course options, search the Online Course Finder.