Three different stages of career pathways implementation are explored in this report, which documents strategies, challenges, and lessons learned from five states, with the goal of serving as a resource for other states that are interested in utilizing a career pathways framework.

“Supported by the Working Poor Families Project, as well as the City of Seattle Office of Economic Development, this report examines the role the state can play in instituting the career pathways framework, which can be a key strategy for linking low-income, low-skilled adults to education and training that leads to family supporting jobs.  

Creating a statewide plan for career pathways is not an easy feat and requires time and patience, particularly in developing a broad base of support. This report encapsulates the journeys taken by Arkansas, Kentucky, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin in establishing career pathways. It begins with an exploration of the vision and framework guiding career pathways in each state and then details who is being served (both students and employers), the support services available to aid with persistence and completion of pathways programs, and the outcomes being measured and achieved.

Next, state strategies for building support for career pathways among a variety of stakeholders and funding sources are described. This section also includes a look at creating momentum among colleges across the state to adopt a career pathways framework and is followed by an account of the challenges the states experienced in promoting this approach. Finally, the report concludes with a series of recommendations derived from the lessons learned from the states examined." (Abstractor:Author)

Full Publication Title: Charting a Path: An Exploration of the Statewide Career Pathway Efforts in Arkansas, Kentucky, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin


Major Findings & Recommendations

"STRATEGIES TO DEVELOP AND ADVANCE CAREER PATHWAYS" "Identify a lead agency, individual, or coalition that has oversight of the career pathways work. The state lead will be charged with multiple tasks such as providing technical assistance, developing partnerships, securing funding, creating a legislative agenda, tracking and reporting outcomes, and engaging employers." "Develop a career pathways communications strategy that can be used by all stakeholders in promoting the value of the framework. Emphasis on the student experience, business responsiveness, and the universality of career pathways in bringing multiple partners to the table are examples of elements to highlight when developing a career pathways message." "Provide technical assistance to support colleges with integrating the framework." "Identify early faculty adopters who can help drive changes related to curriculum development and ease the resistance to changing how instruction is delivered, particularly when modifying curriculum to be taught in shorter, contextualized “chunks” that build on one another." "Develop a Career Pathways Coordinator or equivalent position within the colleges who can execute the statewide vision for career pathways and serve as a “boundary spanner” who works to align the multiple missions of the college – workforce or professional/technical education, basic skills and academic transfer." "Explore private funding opportunities that can serve as seed money for pathways work that can be leveraged to gain state or federal funds." "Consider operating a pilot with a few colleges to test the model. Pilots can demonstrate results and help bring other important stakeholders and funders into the pathways work" (p. 40). (Abstractor: Author)