Region 13 Mobile Labs
Expanding student access to academic and workplace skills by providing additional opportunities to earn college credits and industry certifications
By providing a portable classroom outfitted with the equipment needed to teach the skills necessary for Texans to maintain a competitive edge in a global economy, Region 13 will serve as the hub for multiple districts within the area.
The Mobile Lab in Action
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Texas employers are unable to fill available healthcare positions with qualified workers. The healthcare occupation is projected to grow by 18% from 2016 to 2026, which is much faster than the average for all other occupations. Growth due to an aging population in Texas is leading to a greater demand for healthcare services. Our students need opportunities to connect their K-12 and post-secondary learning to marketable healthcare skills.
Our first Mobile Lab is outfitted with current industry-approved medical equipment and is designed for students to pursue their interests in the health science pathway. Using the curriculum and materials provided in the lab, students have the option to earn different healthcare industry certifications, such as Medical Assisting and Phlebotomy, in conjunction with dual credit options. Students who wish to pursue additional certifications or licenses would be prepared to enroll in postsecondary education programs to further their education.
The Mobile Lab can also be used with younger students as an opportunity for career-exploration as they decide which career pathway they would like to pursue.
Mobile Labs will be designed to be interchangeable to further add to the possible courses and certification credits available to districts. Students could be entering a lab to work on competency-based instruction around health careers in one semester, and following some minor changes at the Region 13 hub, the Mobile Lab could return in the second semester outfitted and ready to build skills such as computer coding, welding, etc.
The portable design will allow Mobile Labs to move from district to district so that schools are not limited to the certification or career pathways that their budget can cover. A curriculum developed in partnership with higher education institutions and business experts can be delivered by Region 13 staff to cut back on district staffing costs. Students will be exposed to courses that focus on accelerated degree completions in high-demand fields while earning industry-approved credentials as part of their career and technology coursework.
Mobile Labs will be a collaboration between public education, higher education, the Texas Workforce Commission, and regional businesses to identify areas of employment need and to develop instructional delivery that builds skills in students across Central Texas.
Opportunities for college credit and career skill attainment should not be limited by a student’s place of residence. Mobile Labs build an incentive for students in rural communities to participate in coursework that has the end goal of providing skills that can launch a career. The goal is to provide high-quality experiences for all students across central Texas.
WHY MOBILE LABS?
The Mobile Lab project will facilitate collaboration between employers, institutes of higher education, and public school districts to identify desirable skills and develop models of certification and degree attainment in high-demand areas.
Need to assist students to enter the workforce more quickly with marketable skills
Improve access to rigorous dual credit courses targeted to workforce shortages
Offer expanded opportunities for certification, internships, and career pathways
Guide students to develop career goals and provide coursework progression that address the needs of the Texas labor market
Changing needs of the workforce…
Need for flexibility and quality in Mobile Lab design. Mobile Labs should incentivize students to participate, provide skills that address industry need, provide career and salary potential for students, and be cost-effective and efficient for districts.
Push toward the goals of 60X30TX (build a skilled workforce with 60% of Texans aged 25-34 holding a certificate or degree by 2030) by aligning K-12 and higher education programs that build workforce skills and promote the advancement of economic expansion and job creation based on regional need.
Design skill-based curriculum that meets educational and industry levels of rigor
Supplement locally funded resources in emerging pathways not yet considered
Addresses potential certification tracks earlier – providing adequate time for preparation
Identifies local areas in need of additional instruction and boosts the schools college, career, and military readiness (CCMR) rating on the state accountability system
What can our local districts expect? Will other career pathways be addressed? Check out the next steps for the mobile lab deployment.
Mobile Lab Deployment
Deploy the Mobile Lab to districts and offer industry-based certifications, extended field trips, lab space for institutes of higher education, and space for youth to explore during summer camps. Gather feedback and data on content, experience, and logistical needs.
Continue to track workforce data to address the changing needs of the labor market. Begin the process of securing a second Mobile Lab based on workforce data trends and area employment needs.
Though we’re already linked with some great organizations, we’re continually looking to increase the project’s impact. Visualize where you can best contribute and see those that have joined forces.
Sponsorship of a Mobile Lab
Contribution of funding for Mobile Lab content and/or assisting school districts with the cost of the Mobile Labs services.
Collaboration on design and build of a future Mobile Lab
Content knowledge for competency-based curriculum development
Train teachers on needed hard and soft skill development
Recruit districts and students to participate
Whether you’d like to contribute to the project or book the Mobile Lab for instruction, we’d love to hear from you. Feel free to complete the form below or contact us.
Associate Director, 21st Century Schools
Program Manager; Mobile Labs