GradLeaders & Dublin City Schools Thinking Beyond Traditional High School with Work-Based Learning Initiative

DUBLIN, OH -  On Aug. 15, Dublin City Schools will open their new Emerald Campus, a career exploration academy focusing on empowering their high school students to take ownership of their learning and future, just down the road from their new technology partner GradLeaders, a campus recruitment and career services technology leader with 30+ years of experience connecting students and employers. Emerald Campus will house a variety of programs focused on college and career readiness including biomedical research, business, engineering, information technology, and teaching. Together, they’ll help students prepare for their future careers while acquiring technical, academic and employability skills through their experiences in a real work environment.

This partnership will help take Work-Based Learning to the next level and solve for some real challenges with high school outcomes and the future of today’s workforce. Throughout the nation, many high schools face challenges related to student outcomes. A recent report from The Education Trust found that 47 percent, or almost half, of American high school graduates complete neither a college, nor career-ready course of study.

Kristy Venne, the director of the Emerald Campus is confident that the program will give Dublin City Schools students the practical work experiences they need to be prepared as they continue down their educational pathway or begin their career.  

“We’ve created this program to prepare students with transferable skills and knowledge to guide their education in the right direction of a career field where jobs exist and where they’re passionate,” says Venne. “Emerald Campus will facilitate non-traditional learning in a flexible environment with an experiential, hands-on approach, and GradLeaders’ software will help bring this all to life.”

Emerald Campus will leverage GradLeaders Career Center, a robust and mobile Work-Based Learning technology solution, to prepare students for the workforce by connecting them with local employers for internship positions. The platform will help manage experiential learning projects by automating the collection of feedback from students and employers throughout the experience. Students will also have access to GradLeaders’ proprietary LAUNCH program, a step-by-step virtual program with to-do’s timelines, tips and tools to help students launch their career. Dublin City Schools and the local businesses participating in this Work-Based Learning program will also benefit by utilizing a single, streamlined system for student preparation through experience reporting. This partnership also sets a precedent for how other communities can maximize student career exploration programs and better prepare their students for the next phase of their lives.

GradLeaders CEO Jack Gainer is excited to revolutionize the way Work-Based Learning programs operate.

“There’s a big opportunity here to use technology to assist students, high school administrators and employers with their experienced-based learning initiatives. Our software can save countless hours of manual work while connecting students to employers. We’re also looking forward to better serving the students in our community. As a long-time resident of Dublin, it’s important to me to ensure the students in our local schools are prepared for the workforce, and the employers here are playing an active role in career readiness,” says Gainer.

The public is invited to join us for a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house on Aug. 10 from 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at 5175 Emerald Parkway.


About Emerald Campus

At the Emerald Campus, our focus will be to empower students to take ownership of their learning and future. We will offer a variety of innovative and unique educational options to meet the individual interests and needs of students beyond the traditional classroom through our Career Exploration Academies. In addition to the academies listed below, many other academies will be developed as we go forward.


About GradLeaders

GradLeaders is the result of a merger between two student recruitment and career services technology providers, MBA Focus and CSO Research. Combined over the last 30+ years, we have helped connect over 26,500,000 students from more than 1,000 career centers to their dream jobs at more than 100,000 companies around the world. Our exclusive school partnerships, extensive campus recruiting network, and industry-leading software solutions, make us the #1 choice of schools seeking to increase employment outcomes and companies seeking right-fit student talent to join their team.


Ryan Pratt

Ryan Pratt is the Vice President of Marketing and Research at GradLeaders. During his 10+ years at GradLeaders, he's provided best practices and data insights to career centers and campus recruiters to help them simplify processes so they can spend more time doing what they love about their job.

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