Welcome to the National Career Pathways Network (NCPN), a project of

NCPN is dedicated to strengthening the education-to-careers pipeline through professional development in Career Pathways, Adult Career Pathways, career and technical education (CTE), and workforce development.

presenter at conference

NCPN’s activities serve secondary, postsecondary, adult, and correctional education; workforce and economic development; and workforce investment boards, community-based organizations, and employers.

conference attendees

Through conferences, workshops, and publications, NCPN facilitates the exchange of promising practices and innovations and assists educators and their partners in planning, implementing, evaluating, and improving Career Pathways.

man attending conference session

NCPN connects people and resources, provides leadership and professional development, and facilitates the discovery of solutions through partnering at local, state, and national levels.

Pathway Perspectives

The online journal of the National Career Pathways Network

Pathways Perspectives is a platform for secondary and postsecondary educators, adult educators, college and career navigators, workforce development professionals, and employers whose work aligns with career pathways, career and technical education, STEM education, and related fields.

Recent Items from NCPN and Our Affiliates ...


NCPN Connections 33-2
Youth Apprenticeship Collaboration Helps to Shape Future Northeast Wisconsin Workforce

Mike Snowberry, Director of Learning Services, Luxemburg-Casco School District, Luxemburg, Wisconsin

In September 2022, Forward Analytics, the research arm of the Wisconsin Counties Association, indicated that without more people moving to Wisconsin the state’s working-age population is projected to shrink by approximately 130,000 people within the next eight years. Wisconsin tends to lose more college graduates than it retains. The Washington Post found that Wisconsin loses slightly more than 20 percent of its college graduates on average when it analyzed “brain drain” by state in September 2022. At least 106,000 people, age 26 or younger, have left the state over the past decade, according to the Forward Analytics report. One way to attempt to reverse these troubling statistics is to develop a robust Youth Apprenticeship program.

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J ATE, Vol 2-1 (Summer 2023)
Building a Well-Equipped Skilled Technical Workforce by Adopting the Framework for a Cross-Disciplinary STEM Core

Ann-Claire Anderson, Mark Whitney, Center for Occupational Research and Development; Deborah Hecht, Center for Advanced Study in Education at CUNY Graduate Center

STEM technicians and technician education programs face a world in which advancements driven by artificial intelligence, machine learning, and myriad other emerging and converging technologies are transforming existing industries and creating new ones at an unprecedented pace. Today’s technicians are immersed in diverse platforms and interrelated systems that once belonged to single industry sectors. While demand for positions involving tasks that can be automated is declining, new occupations are emerging. Rapid technological change means that technician jobs are converting to what some call “hybrid jobs” and “superjobs,” requiring “skills which are in demand across multiple emerging professions.” The skilled technical workforce, sitting at the center of this disruption, needs a broad, cross-disciplinary skill set to enable them “to navigate a dynamic landscape of accelerating change: job losses, job changes, and job creation.” With these challenges in mind, how—and what—do we teach new technicians?

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Preparing Technicians for the Future of Work
Episode 43: Unlocking Potential Through Technology

Podcast Guest: Amy Kardel, Senior Vice President, Strategic Workforce Relationships at CompTIA (Oct 2022)

As an IT professional with an entrepreneurial spirit, Amy brings her vast international experience in both large and small tech companies to share her insight into the Tech workforce. What skills does a technician coming into the workforce need to have to be employable and successful? Hear her ideas about lifelong learning and reskilling as the development arc technicians need for a continuous trajectory of a thriving career in tech. Learn how Career Pathways, apprenticeships, and certifications are providing strategic inroads for students as well as a valuable pipeline of talent for industry.

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Preparing Technicians for the Future of Work
A Framework for a Cross-Disciplinary STEM Core

Produced by Preparing Technicians for the Future of Work (an NSF ATE project of CORD, the parent organization of NCPN), the Framework for a Cross-Disciplinary STEM Core makes recommendations for incorporating knowledge and skills in advanced digital literacy, data knowledge and analysis, and business knowledge and processes into associate degree technician preparation programs. The Framework represents a paradigm shift for institutions that provide technician education. Technician educators must be empowered to integrate multiple disciplines into existing programs and develop new programs that support emerging disciplines and occupations.

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Preparing Technicians for the Future of Work
Adopting the Framework for a Cross-Disciplinary STEM Core: A Toolkit for Action

Designed to assist in the process of adopting the same project’s Framework for a Cross-Disciplinary STEM Core, this toolkit suggests six steps for adoption and provides checklists for self-assessment and links to resources designed to assist in the adoption process. Using the toolkit, educators and employers can prioritize STEM Core skill sets and identify where those skills are taught within existing program curriculum and instructional gaps where new cross-disciplinary skill sets could be easily integrated.

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May 10, 2022
Breaking Down Silos to Build In-Demand Pathways

Michelle Van Noy, Director, Education and Employment Research Center, School of Management and Labor Relations, Rutgers; Lee Lambert, Chancellor, Pima Community College; Sarah Janes, Associate Vice Chancellor, Continuing and Professional Development, San Jacinto College

Noted Rutgers researcher Dr. Michelle Van Noy is joined by community college leaders Lee Lambert, Chancellor of Pima Community College, and Sarah Janes, Associate Vice Chancellor, Continuing and Professional Development at San Jacinto College, for an insightful look at breaking down the silos between noncredit and credit programs. Panelists discuss how they developed in-demand pathways that intentionally align noncredit and credit programs. This holistic approach offers accessible pathways for all learners that lead to market-valued credentials and degree completion.

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