Real World Learning

The Shawnee Mission School District (SMSD) is providing Real World Learning opportunities for students as outlined in the district’s Strategic Plan. Real World Learning opportunities prepare students for college and careers. 

SMSD along with more than 30 school districts in our region have partnered with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to better prepare students for learning and work. Real World Learning thrives when the community and schools collaborate to provide immersive experiences for students while building a pipeline for future talent.

The Real World Learning goal is by 2030 every student will graduate with a diploma and
one Market Value Asset.

Market Value Assets - MVAs
At the core of Real World Learning are Market Value Assets (MVAs). MVAs are identified as specific work opportunities or accreditations that contribute to student success in work and learning beyond graduation. They are defined in four categories here.

1. Work Experiences
     Internships and Client-Connected Projects

2. Industry-Recognized Credentials (IRCs)

3. Entrepreneurial Experiences

4. Dual-College Credit

Each high school has a Real World Learning counselor to help students earn their MVAs and explore different career paths.
Jim Dusek at SM East
Britt Sherer at SM North
Erica Jablonski at SM Northwest
Traci Johnson at SM South
Tommie Davis at SM West

Business Partners
A critical component of Real World Learning are partnerships with businesses and industries. Entry-level opportunities for employers include being a mentor or coach to an individual student or a guest speaker to a class of students. There are a wide variety of courses under each Career and Technical Education (CTE) pathway where business or industry representatives may connect with students to share business or industry knowledge and opportunities. To explore options for business partners, please contact Laura Harsch, Business to Education Program Officer.

CTE Pathways include: