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Tennessee's Industry 4.0 Diploma Distinction Bill Passes

Article provided by the Southeast Tennessee Local Workforce Development Board.

Tennessee legislators have passed an amendment to Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 49, relative to tech­nical education. Recognizing that school curriculums and learning spaces must evolve to keep up with the rap­idly changing needs of industry, the amendment seeks to ensure that Tennessee students are prepared to en­ter the workforce. The state board of education is required to develop an Industry 4.0 diploma for students who wish to pursue career pathways in high-need, high-skill industries and requires each public high school to notify freshman and sophomore students of the opportunity to pursue the Industry 4.0 diploma.

Students who are interested in receiving the Industry 4.0 Diploma must:

  • Notify their school counselor or principal prior to sophomore year of their interest

  • Provide signed documentation from parent or legal guardian

  • Register with the American Job Center or other career counseling or community partner approved by the student's school

  • Enroll in work-based learning or dual enrollment courses for the student's junior year, and

  • Successfully complete all coursework required for graduation

Graduation requirements must allow the student to earn at least one science credit and one math credit through approved course substitutions which include dual enrollment and work-based learning aligned to the student's career path. Students are also re­quired to earn nine credits of dual enrollment or work-based learning experiences that apply the students knowledge and skills.

Students will meet with a career coach who has been approved by the students school at least monthly at the beginning of junior year. Career coaches are required to assist students with developing the personal attributes required for success in the workforce, which includes time management, networking, communication, teamwork, creative thinking and conflict resolution. Career coach­es will also help students apply for dual enrollment grants or other financial aid available to them, identify the best combination of dual enrollment, work-based learning, and internship opportunities, and prepare for standardized assessments such as the ACT.

Local Education Agencies (LEAs) may use local funding to provide the students with transportation to and from a Tennessee Col­lege of Applied Technology (TCAT), work-based learning location, or career and technical education center.

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