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career pathways

The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins IV) calls for states to offer programs of study (POS), which local educational agencies and postsecondary
institutions may adopt as an option for students participating in career and technical education (CTE). Each local recipient of Perkins IV funds must offer at least one
POS that, at a minimum:
• Incorporates and aligns secondary and postsecondary education elements;
• Includes academic and CTE content in a coordinated, non-duplicative progression of courses;
• Offers the opportunity, where appropriate, for secondary students to acquire postsecondary credits; and
• Leads to an industry-recognized credential or certificate at the postsecondary level, or an associate or baccalaureate degree.

The intent of this guidance is to clarify and offer suggested criteria for states to consider as they identify and certify whether a local POS provider is ready and has sufficient capacity
for full POS implementation. Implementation of the intentional POS structure that incorporates the statutory requirements will be confronted with a need to develop
a number of supporting elements. These supporting elements will aid and support POS implementation by addressing the system elements that comprise a fully developed
program of study. A self-assessment of these supporting elements makes up the content contained in this POS readiness and capacity review guide. Each of the elements are addressed individually, but work in concert with each other to help support full implementation of a program of study.

2010
MPR Associates, Inc.
MPR Associates, Inc.

The Virginia Career Pathways Initiative has taken hold in the Commonwealth. The initiative has shown results with respect to putting the framework in place to meet the changing needs of the Commonwealth's businesses and residents.

The process for developing a career pathways system in Virginia offers a window into an effective set of strategies for pursuing statewide and regional workforce development policies and practices that work. By using a career pathways framework, the Commonwealth has begun a systemic and ambitious process of alignment at the state level, and is rolling out that alignment to regions across the state.

Taking Root: The Virginia Career Pathways System provides a national context for Virginia's efforts, documents the Commonwealth's work, and suggests how Virginia's successes and lessons learned may be applied to other states.

2012
Melissa Goldberg and Julian Alssid
Workforce Strategy Center

The Adult College Completion Toolkit was developed by the Department of Education’s Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE). OVAE developed the Toolkit to help policymakers at the state and local level implement practical evidence-based solutions that increase the number of graduates who earn high-quality degrees and certificates required to compete for good jobs in the 21st century global economy. College completion is a shared responsibility; this Toolkit also provides resources for adult education administrators, teachers, and students.

The Adult College Completion Tool Kit is designed to connect state administrators and local practitioners to the strategies, resources, and technical assistance tools resulting from the Department’s work. States can use this information to identify and implement state adult education leadership priorities, supported by federal Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) funds, which encourage and support adult learners transitioning to college.

The tool kit focuses on three areas:

  • Access: Academic preparation, financial resources, and other support students need to enroll in postsecondary education programs.
  • Quality: Evidence-based practices used by programs to ensure their services prepare students adequately for postsecondary education.
  • Completion: Administrative policies and programmatic approaches to encourage student persistence in postsecondary education programs.
2012
Michelle Tolbert, MPR Associates, Inc.,
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education

Minnesota FastTRAC (Training, Resources, and Credentialing) seeks to make Minnesota more competitive by meeting the common skills needs of businesses and individuals.

FastTRAC’s innovative approach helps educationally underprepared adults succeed in well-paying careers by integrating basic skills education and career-specific training in fields where new skills are in high demand. By focusing on high-demand fields, FastTRAC meets the needs of business while ensuring that students find well-paying jobs with room for advancement.

2012
Minnesota FastTRAC Initiative

This letter highlights the joint commitment of the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Labor to promote the use of career pathways approaches as a promising strategy to help adults acquire marketable skills and industry-recognized credentials through better alignment of education, training and employment, and human and social services among public agencies and with employers. The Departments encourage states to align state resources to support integrated service delivery across Federal and state funding streams and to ensure that interested partners and agencies – whether focused on education, workforce development or human and social services – are aware of this joint commitment for improved collaboration and coordination across programs and funding sources.

2012
U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Labor

This notice from DOLETA announces the availability of technical assistance resources for states, local areas, and tribal entities developing Career Pathway systems. As part of the Department of Labor’s focus on increasing credential attainment and improving access to training opportunities for disadvantaged populations, the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) launched the Career Pathways Initiative in June 2010. This initiative offered 11 grantees (nine states and two tribal entities) training, peer to peer learning and the latest research and best practices to help create well articulated and sustainable career pathway systems. The initiative also produced a diverse collection of resources and materials for the broader workforce investment system to use in creating successful career pathways initiatives.

2012
Jane Oates
US Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration

To highlight the growing importance of business engagement in education, the National Career Pathways Network (NCPN) and the Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW), an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have released a joint publication titled Thriving in Challenging Times: Connecting Education to Economic Development Through Career Pathways.

The publication’s title reflects an increasing awareness among American employers and business leaders of the critical role they must play in supporting successful education models in their local communities, particularly in challenging economic times.

Thriving in Challenging Times profiles 17 local and two statewide career pathways programs from across the U.S. by documenting the challenges, strategies, results, and business engagement each partnership has experienced.  Featured industry sectors range from aerospace to healthcare to nuclear energy with business involvement ranging from small businesses to multinational corporations.  Each program includes three essential elements for ensuring students are prepared for college and careers –secondary, postsecondary, and business/industry engagement components.

2009
Institute for a Competitive Workforce and National Career Pathways Network

The purpose of this Credential Resource Guide is to provide information on the types of credentials available to workforce program participants and explain how they can acquire and leverage these credentials to build lasting careers. This resource guide is organized into five sections.

  • Section 1 - Defining Credentials
  • Section 2 - Understanding Credentials 
  • Section 3 - Tools for Identifying Credentials
  • Section 4 - Acquiring and Leveraging Credentials 
  • Section 5 - Current Models of Industry-Recognized Stackable Credentials
2011
U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, the Competency Model Clearinghouse provides validated industry competency models and tools to build a custom model and career ladder/lattice for your industry.

Industry competency models promote an understanding of the skill sets and competencies that are essential to educate and train a globally competitive workforce.

2012
U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration

The Career Pathways Toolkit: Six Key Elements for Success was developed as part of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration’s Career Pathways Initiative to help guide state and local leaders in building and sustaining career pathway systems. This Toolkit offers a clear and user-friendly road map for administrators, service providers, practitioners, and policy makers seeking to develop career pathway systems at local, regional, and/or state levels. It details the Six Key Elements Framework, highlights promising practices, and provides tools designed to support visioning and strategic planning.

2011
Social Policy Research Associates
Developed on behalf of the U.S. Department of Labor by Social Policy Research Associates