A career pathway is a combination of rigorous, high-quality education, training, and other services that focus on alignment between education and industry need, secondary and postsecondary credential attainment, entry and advancement in specific occupations or occupational clusters, acceleration of educational and career advancement, and career focused counseling services.
Effective career and technical education depends on active employer engagement built on trusted relationships between educators and employers. CORD projects and resources support processes that engage employers in co-leadership of career-fucused education programs.
The Future of Work
The Future of Work is already here. Rapidly accelerating advancements in technology require cross-disciplinary workers who are equipped to function within diverse platforms and systems that formerly belonged to single industry sectors but have become increasingly interrelated. The workplace of the future will require technicians who are able to navigate complex workplace environments in which existing jobs are constantly evolving and new jobs are being created.
The approach by community and technical colleges of embedding “stackable” certificates aligned to industry certifications within associate degrees has emerged in recent years as a practical way of helping students progress along the education continuum while earning credentials with labor market value. By organizing programs into a series of credentials that build on each other, colleges can offer incremental milestones on the path to associate degree completion.
Individuals require many skills to be college and career ready, including academic knowledge, technical expertise, and a set of general, cross-cutting abilities called “employability skills.” These include skills such as interpersonal skills and teamwork, communications, integrity and professionalism, problem solving and decision making, initiative and dependability, information processing, adaptability and lifelong learning, and entrepreneurship.
Contextual teaching makes learning meaningful and relevant by connecting concepts taught to life outside the classroom. It integrates students’ skills, interests, experiences, and cultures into what and how they learn and are assessed. Contextual teaching helps students to understand not only the “what” of their learning but the “why.”