- Gov. Ron DeSantis allocated more than $6 million to a group of Florida universities to launch the Career Pathways for Public Service Initiative
- The initiative plans to prepare high school students for professions in public service or local government
- Students will engage in classes dealing with professional communication, public leadership, and governance
- Participants will also be granted opportunities to take apprenticeships with local and state agencies
Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday allocated $6.5 million to a series of Florida universities to launch the Career Pathways for Public Service Initiative.
The initiative will enable students to prepare for jobs relating to local governance and public service beginning in the ninth grade while taking courses that teach the effectiveness of government and the principles of our state and country.
The effort is a component of DeSantis’ broader Civic Literacy Excellence Initiative, which aims to create civics curricula and aid in adopting Florida’s updated civics and government requirements in K–12 public schools.
“It was great to award $6.5 million to create civics academies through three of our nation-leading state colleges,” said DeSantis. “This first-of-its-kind program will teach our future leaders foundational American values as they prepare for careers in public service.”
The Lou Frey Institute will collaborate with Polk State College, Broward College, and Florida State College in Jacksonville to create the new curriculum. At least three regional civic pathway collaborations will be created and put into place with the help of the funding, which will be administered by the aforementioned universities.
Over 1,000 students are expected to enroll by the 2023–2024 school year.
“A strong civics education is a necessity for those entering civil service,” said Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr. “By providing a pathway for students to pursue careers in the public sector, Florida is ensuring a smarter, more efficient state and local government for years to come.”
The civics career academies are planned for a launch in August of 2023. Courses include such topics as public service leadership, communications, and experiential learning. Students can also engage in apprenticeship opportunities with local and state agencies.
“The Career Pathways for Public Service Initiative aligns with the Lou Frey Institute’s development of a civic assessment currently being administered by institutions across Florida,” said The Lou Frey Institute Director Stephen Masyada. “We are excited to expand that work by creating a secondary civic curriculum and accompanied teacher training which will ensure students graduate high school with the knowledge and skills to succeed in both the public sector and in advanced public service career preparation. The value of lifelong civic learning, connecting civic education and engagement to professional development and careers, is critical for advancing civil society.”