New Pathways to Careers and College: Examples, Evidence, and Prospects

To prepare all students for success in both postsecondary education and the workforce, the high school reform debate is increasingly focused on the role of career and technical education (CTE). Programs that merge CTE, rigorous academic coursework, and career exploration opportunities, while creating clear pathways through high school, college, and beyond, are gaining momentum. This report describes some of the most prominent of these “pathways” models, identifies localities where the approach has gained the most traction, discusses the underlying principles that characterize the most promising programs, and briefly presents the evidence of their potential to make a difference. The report concludes with a set of recommendations for future investment to strengthen and scale such programs.

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