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Career Pathway Quality and Rigor
The New Skills for Youth states addressed career pathway quality and rigor by developing statewide pathway models and policies and ensuring equitable access to pathway components that enhance students’ college and career readiness.
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Aligned State Models with Quality Framework
At least five states created model pathways ensuring the consistency and rigor of local pathway development and aligning pathways with the state’s vision. The models incorporated components of high-quality career pathways outlined in the New Skills for Youth grant guidelines.
Advanced Shared and Unique Pathway Priorities
Most states prioritized work-based learning, industry-recognized credentials, and equitable access in their pathways work. By design, states started the initiative at different levels of pathways development, so some states incorporated their own additional priorities, such as career counseling and teacher recruitment and retention.
Promoted High-Quality Local Pathways
States leveraged accountability, funding, and program approval systems to encourage and incentivize the adoption of high-quality local pathways. These strategies included establishing pathway certifications and endorsements and limiting career and technical education funding to programs meeting high-quality pathway criteria, such as alignment with high-skill, high-demand fields.
New Skills for Youth seeks to increase student access to and engagement in high-quality career pathways reflecting the following characteristics:
1.Focus on training in high-skill, high-demand industry sectors
2.Span secondary and postsecondary levels
3.Offer focused career guidance and advisement systems
4.Blend rigorous core academic and career-technical instruction
5.Include high-quality work-based learning experiences
6.Culminate in postsecondary or industry credentials with labor market value
Source: New Skills for Youth Grant Guidelines