Explores the Miami-Dade County Public Schools career pathways strategy through site visits at three schools, and provides policy considerations for communities implementing or improving career pathways to help students succeed in the workforce and better meet employer needs.

“In order to help federal policymakers and national education leaders better understand how to develop a career pathways system, [American Youth Policy Forum] AYPF staff and a group of national leaders visited Miami-Dade County Public Schools, renowned for its commitment to providing students with multiple pathways to success. Their career pathway efforts center around programs of study which build students’ competencies in core academic and career areas and provide the opportunity to earn postsecondary and workforce credentials. This work relies on strong partnerships between Miami-Dade County Public Schools, higher education institutions, business leaders, and community organizations….

Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) is the fifth largest school district in the nation with over 350,000 students….Of the total student population, 106,000 attend schools with career and technical education (CTE) programs, including 56 National Academy Foundation (NAF) Academies and 246 Career and Professional Education (CAPE) Academies.

Career pathways in Miami fall into seven major industry categories and are based on employer demands as indicated by the One Community, One Goal initiative of the Beacon Council, the economic development organization in Miami-Dade County. Students in career academies do particularly well: 98% of students in NAF academies graduate, and 93% indicate that they plan to attend college. M-DCPS programs also help students earn certifications in over 100 occupational areas, many of which are linked with college credit” (p.1).

“The district partners closely on career pathways with two local public universities: Miami Dade College (MDC) and Florida International University (FIU). These colleges provide the vast majority of dual enrollment offerings in the district through articulation agreements with M-DCPS, and they each promote career pathways….In addition…[local workforce agencies and other organizations] provide additional career pathways support by facilitating student-employer connections….Collectively, these efforts have paved the way for strong and vibrant career pathways, which were on display at three M-DCPS schools [the authors] visited” (p.1-2): Miami Lakes Educational Center and Technical College, Hialeah Gardens High School, and George T. Baker Aviation Technical College.

(Abstractor: Author and Website Staff).