Pathway Perspectives

Pathway Perspectives

The online journal of the National Career Pathways Network

Mapping Your Students’ Career Pathway Opportunities

Debbie Davidson, Technical Assistance Director, CORD

Debbie DavidsonEach year new job titles and occupations emerge, and many students are faced with choosing a career they hope will provide advancement opportunities despite the uncertain landscape of the future workplace. Career pathway maps are planning tools that can help learners of all ages understand the opportunities available to them to learn and earn and realize success in the career paths of their choice. A “complete” career pathway map identifies entry and exit points aligned to credential attainment and advancing levels of employment and helps convey that a seamless pathway of stackable credentials is not only possible but critical to success in today’s labor market.

Employer Strategies for Managing Successful Employer Councils

Ann Beheler and Mark Dempsey, National Convergence Technology Center, Collin College

Ann Beheler Mark Dempsey Everyone can agree that two major goals for all technical programs are to help students complete certificates and degrees that will make them highly employable and to engage with local employers in a way that inspires ongoing support and involvement. Many institutions rely on traditional business advisory councils, which often feature annual meetings in which faculty present courses they want to teach and the employers smile and provide a rubber stamp approval. Even business advisory councils that are more substantive meet only twice a year and talk about industry needs through winding conversations and debates that provide limited actionable results. But there is a process that creates deeper connections between educators and employers and provides more useful feedback on workforce needs in an efficient manner. That process—developed by the National Convergence Technology Center (funded by a National Science Foundation grant) at Collin College—is called the Business and Industry Leadership Team (BILT) model.

Making the Case for a Cross-Disciplinary STEM Core

Hope Cotner, President and CEO, CORD

The nature of work is evolving right before our eyes. Technology advancements are transforming existing industries and creating new ones at an unprecedented pace. The World Economic Forum predicts significant disruption in the jobs landscape over the next four years. As many as 85 million current job roles may be displaced while more than 97 million new roles could emerge. Many of those roles will be enhanced by technologies that can collaborate with humans to enrich lives and workplaces in what the National Science Foundation (NSF) describes as the “future of work at the human-technology frontier.” Our challenge as educators is ensuring future technicians acquire the expanding skill sets necessary for success in a rapidly changing environment.

Apprenticeships in Career Pathways

Jennifer Jirous-Rapp, PhD, Vice President, Pathways & Partnerships, CORD

Career pathways and registered apprenticeships (RA) have become familiar concepts in workforce and education. Known as strategies that aim to help workers acquire the skills and credentials they need to succeed in our fast-paced evolving labor market, both models offer learners the opportunity to earn industry-recognized credentials, increase their employability skills, and advance in their chosen fields. By connecting these models, educators can create and make accessible more opportunities for all learners to advance in their education and careers, while meeting the needs of employers and the economy.

Preparing for Emerging Skills

Mike Lesiecki, Senior Consultant, CORD

Mike LesieckiThe skills landscape is always evolving and changes quickly. How does, how can, an educator keep pace? The workplace of the future will require technicians who are able to navigate complex workplace environments in which existing jobs are constantly evolving and new jobs are being created. This article focuses on emerging technical skills associated with Industry 4.0. What is Industry 4.0?

Early College Pathway for Students in the Academic Middle

Kathy L. Funston, EdD, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Pathways, Perkins Career & Technical Education Director, ISD 191 Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District

Kathy FundstonThere are a lot of different options for students to pursue after high school, ranging from starting a career to pursuing a degree. The new Associate of Arts Pathway at Burnsville High School (BHS) lets students get a head start on what comes next in a way that no other district is doing, by earning an associate degree without ever leaving the building. The Associate of Arts (AA) Pathway offers juniors and seniors the opportunity to graduate with both a high school diploma and an associate degree. An alternative to the postsecondary enrollment option (PSEO), which brings students onto college campuses, the new pathway will formalize and build upon the hundreds of college credits currently offered in the school.

Empowering Rural Education: How Artificial Intelligence Transforms Teaching and Administration

Rachael McClain, PhD, Chief of Staff, Collegiate Edu-Nation

Rachael McClainIn the ever-evolving landscape of education, the term “artificial intelligence” (AI) has become increasingly prevalent. AI, in its simplest form, refers to computer systems that can perform tasks typically requiring human intelligence. In this article, we will explore how AI can benefit rural classrooms, its practical applications, and recommendations for educators to embrace this technology responsibly.