KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Knox County Schools, the Knox Education Foundation and Ford Next Generation Learning are coming together to reimagine the high school student experience.

Ford Next Generation Learning works with school districts and local communities to transform secondary schools and improve regional workforce development systems. Schools that implement the Ford NGL model combine college prep programs with career and technical education through the establishment of interest and career-themed academies.

Students in participating schools choose a career pathway focus. Student courses and experiences are then framed to support the development of knowledge and in-demand skills that will support them in being successful post-graduation as they continue their education and training or enter the workforce.

During the first five months of 2021, Ford NGL conducted virtual visits with Knox County teachers, students, families, district leaders, and business and community leaders. Some of the ideas being explored in Knox County include student internships, job shadowing and guest speakers from career fields speaking in schools.

“As we worked with Ford NGL earlier this year, it was very helpful to understand the existing strengths of our district and to recognize our community’s strong commitment to students,” said Superintendent Bob Thomas. “At the same time, their analysis identified further ways that KCS can help students achieve academic success in college, or help connect them to career opportunities.”

Ford NGL is under the Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company. Metro Nashville Public Schools is also partnered with Ford NGL.