What Are Career Pathways?
In Utah our challenge is to provide opportunities for every student to succeed in the 21st century workplace. Providing these opportunities requires that programs keep pace with a rapidly changing business and economic environment. Our high school students must have a strong academic education; obtain Career and Technical Education skills, and be prepared in transition to some post-secondary education.
The High School to College and Career Pathways initiative helps match education and workplace needs through partnerships with post-secondary institutions, the school districts, business, and industry. Pathways identify and group courses within Career and Technical Education (CTE) areas of study that offer students depth of knowledge and skill, linked with specific post-secondary programs culminating in degrees or certificates.
The United States is experiencing a profound economic shift as the global economy continues to expand. Workers are needed who possess knowledge and skill and post-secondary educational credentials (though not necessarily a bachelor’s degree), technical skills, the ability to learn rapidly, and an entrepreneurial approach to work and career management. i
Across the nation, policymakers are increasingly concerned that the current educational training systems are neither meeting the workforce needs of business, nor preparing individuals to earn family-sustaining wages. With few exceptions, the nation’s education and training systems operate in relative isolation from broader economic development efforts, largely because state policies governing adult and post-secondary education workforce and economic development, and social and human services are designed an implemented with few meaningful connections. ii
An approach that is gaining momentum in several states is a system of aligned education and training programs called “career pathways.” Here in Utah, the partnership between public education and higher education with the career pathways project is bridging this gap. We have an opportunity to take this initiative statewide involving public education, higher education, workforce services, and economic development.
i. Davis Jenkins. Career Pathways: Aligning Public Resources to Support Individual and Regional Economic Advancement in the Knowledge Economy. (New York: Workforce Strategy Center, 2006).
ii. The Progress of Education Reform 2007: Economic and Workforce Development. Volume 8, No 2, August 2007.
What Are the Goals of Pathways?
The goals are to:
- Maximize opportunities for students.
- Increase student awareness of careers and education and training.
- Strengthen the planning process using a Student Education Occupation Plan (SEOP).
- Ease student transitions between secondary and post-secondary education through:
Skill assessment recognition.
Regional and state planning.
- Align training with employer needs.
- Provide strong academic skills and real-world problem solving skills.
What Are the Anticipated Outcomes by Participating in Pathways?
The anticipated outcomes include:
- Increased academic and skill achievement at secondary and post-secondary levels.
- Decreased need for remediation at the post-secondary level.
- Increased enrollment and persistence in post-secondary education.
- Increased attainment of post-secondary degrees, certificates, or other recognized credentials.
- Increased rate of entry into employment or further education.
- Savings of time and money for students.
How Many Pathways Are Developed for Students to Utilize?
In Utah, there are over 60 Pathways within eight Areas of Study.
What Are the Benefits of Career Pathways?
Students use Pathways to investigate a wide range of career choices. Pathways make it easier for students to understand the relevance of required courses and select elective courses more wisely.
Parents learn what academic and technical courses their children need for college and a variety of career fields. Pathways and the high standards that go with them reassure parents that their children will be fully prepared for college and the workplace.
School counselors use Career Pathways to help students explore options for the future. Current information on the academic, technical, and college requirements for a wide range of careers will be readily available.
Teachers use Pathways to promote programs, increase student participation, and encourage students to persist in training beyond high school.
Schools use Pathways to organize to meet the demands of post-secondary education and the expectations of employers.
Employers partner with schools to contribute to the development of high academic standards that help students prepare for work and help workers keep their skills up to date. Employers gain workers who are prepared to learn new skills, adjust to technological change, and advance their careers
What Is Concurrent Enrollment?
- Concurrent enrollment courses are typically college courses taught on high school campuses.
- Concurrent enrollment credit courses are fully transferable to public colleges and universities in Utah and are generally transferable to other colleges and universities throughout the United States.
- Students who participate in concurrent enrollment are more likely to enter and persist in post-secondary education programs.
- Concurrent enrollment saves both time and money,promoting efficiency of learning (reduced repetition in grades 11-14), enhancing admission to and retention in college, and increasing the likelihood of timely graduation from college.
What Are Articulation Agreements?
- Articulation agreements promote the conversation between high schools and post-secondary schools in order to identify common curricular objectives.
- Articulation agreements allow high school elective coursework to be accepted for credit within a specific college major at a specific institution.
- Enrolling in high school courses that have been defined by articulation agreements, gives students a head start on completing a post-secondary program of study.
Regional Articulation Agreements
View regional articulation agreements by clicking the region on the map below.