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Career Pathways Modules

Designing a Career Pathways System: A Framework for State Education Agencies

A career pathways system is a coordinated system of programs and services supporting students in the transition from school to the workforce, and it can be one part of a comprehensive system to support students’ college and career readiness. The College and Career Readiness and Success (CCRS) Center’s resource Designing a Career Pathways System: A Framework for State Education Agencies is a four-chapter module intended to help state education agency staff design, implement, and evaluate a career pathways system. Each chapter includes a facilitator’s guide, slide presentation, and activity handouts. The four chapters include:

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1. Engaging Key Stakeholders and Defining Goals

Identify key stakeholders, define roles and responsibilities of stakeholders in designing a state career pathway system, and determine the goals of the career pathways system.

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2. Mapping Policies, Programs, and Industries

Map and assess existing career readiness policies and programs, identify growing occupations in the state or region, and prioritize industries and occupations that will be the focus of the career pathways system.

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3. Designing a Framework

Prioritize labor market data, understand the knowledge, skills, and competencies students should acquire for specific industries and interpret career pathways system data to develop a career pathways system framework.  

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4. Implementation and Continuous Improvement 

Create a process for refining the career pathways system over time, by identifying outcome measures, collecting data on the measures, and analyzing the data to continuously improve and sustain the career pathways system.