National Context for Career Pathways and the Alliance for Quality
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Minnesota Governor's Workforce Development Council Quarterly Meeting February 7, 2013 PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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National Context for Career Pathways and the Alliance for Quality Career Pathways Vickie Choitz, CLASP. Minnesota Governor's Workforce Development Council Quarterly Meeting February 7, 2013. CLASP: Policy Solutions that Work for Low-Income People.

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Minnesota Governor's Workforce Development Council Quarterly Meeting February 7, 2013

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Minnesota governor s workforce development council quarterly meeting february 7 2013

National Context for Career Pathways and the Alliance for Quality Career PathwaysVickie Choitz, CLASP

Minnesota Governor's Workforce Development Council

Quarterly Meeting

February 7, 2013


Clasp policy solutions that work for low income people

CLASP: Policy Solutions that Work for Low-Income People

  • CLASP develops and advocates for policies that improve the lives of low-income people.

  • Our Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success, launched in 2010, advocates for policies, investments, and political will that help increase the number of income adults and out-of-school youth who earn postsecondary credentials.

  • CLASP managed the Shifting Gears initiative and provided technical assistance to the six partner states. Shifting Gears supported state-level inter-agency teams to build pathways to postsecondary credentials for low-skilled adults in the Midwest.


Career pathways a brief historical perspective

Career Pathways: A Brief Historical Perspective

  • Rooted in longstanding approaches (apprenticeships, career ladders) and expanded over time to include low-skilled adults and out-of-school youth.

  • Backed by early signs of success through welfare-to-work evaluations of programs that combined basic skills instruction with occupational training.

  • Increased awareness though major reports on career pathways in community colleges and sectors by the Workforce Strategy Center, Aspen Institute.


Recent federal support for career pathways

Recent Federal Support for Career Pathways

  • Grants

    • Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HHS, 2010)

    • Workforce Innovation Fund and TAACCCT (round II) grants (DOL, summer/fall 2012)

    • Advancing Career and Technical Education in State and Local Career Pathway Systems initiative (ED, fall 2012)

  • Guidance and TA

    • Federal Career Pathways Institute (DOL, ED, and HHS, 2010-2011)

    • Joint letter of commitment to promote use of career pathways (DOL, ED, and HHS, April 2012)

  • Evaluation

    • ISIS evaluation of career pathway programs (HHS, launched in late 2007; 10 year initiative)

  • Looking forward

    • Spring 2013: WIF “Pay for Success” model

    • Rounds III and IV of TAACCCT (if survive budget negotiations)

    • Will we see another $8b Community College to Career Fund in the President’s FY14 budget?

    • Pathways Back to Work fund?

    • All indications are that the federal government will continue to support and promote career pathways


State and other support of career pathways

State and Other Support of Career Pathways

  • ~11 have explored or adopted career pathways for educationally underprepared adults and youth: AR, CA, KY, IL, MA, OH, OR, PA, VA, WA and WI

  • ~13 have explored or adopted career pathway bridges: IL, IN, KY, KS, LA, MD, MN, NC, OH, OR, VA, WA, and WI

  • Several states have explored or adopted career pathways for high school-to-college

  • Major national initiatives including:

    • Ford Bridges to Opportunity

    • NGA Pathways to Advancement

    • Breaking Through

    • Shifting Gears

    • Accelerating Opportunity


Minnesota governor s workforce development council quarterly meeting february 7 2013

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The alliance for quality career pathways

The Alliance for Quality Career Pathways

  • The goal of AQCP is to identify a framework that defines high-quality career pathway systems and programs, including:

    • Quality criteria and indicators

    • Shared set of performance metrics for measuring and managing their success.

  • 10 Alliance States: Arkansas, California, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

  • National Advisory Group of ~15 national organizations.

  • CLASP is the lead and facilitator.


The alliance for quality career pathways cont

The Alliance for Quality Career Pathways (cont.)

  • The final product of AQCP will be a customizable framework and self-assessment tool that can be used to:

    • Enhance quality of existing career pathway efforts;

    • Fast track and improve new career pathway efforts; and

    • Inform evaluation(s) of career pathway efforts.

  • A beta framework will be launched in Spring 2013; Final work will be completed in 2014 after Alliance states have tested the appropriateness and usefulness of the quality criteria, indicators, and metrics.


Two parts of the alliance framework

Two parts of the Alliance framework


Conceptual model

Conceptual Model


Local regional career pathway system

Local/Regional Career Pathway System

Definition: A partnership among local and/or regional agencies, organizations, institutions, and employers/industry that has adopted an integrative and transformative career pathway approach. The system is comprised of key structural elements that make up the career pathways, and the partnership adopts a set of guiding principles.

Well-articulated sequence of education and training offerings

Multiple entry points

Multiple exit points

Supportive services and navigation assistance

Adopt and articulate a shared vision: partners adopt a shared vision of the career pathway system as well as a governance structure that clearly delineates each partner’s roles and responsibilities;

Demonstrate leadership and commitment to institutionalizing career pathways: partners demonstrate collaborative leadership and commitment to building, sustaining, and scaling up career pathways so that this approach becomes the way they do business on a regular basis;

Ensure career pathways are demand-driven, focus on sectors/occupations, and deeply engage employers: the career pathway system is responsive to specific and dynamic regional labor market contexts and significantly engages multiple employers within a sector or occupational areas in an interactive and on-going working relationship(sector strategies);

Align policies, measures, and funding: partners align related policies and performance/accountability measures and funding – including through use of braided funding;

Use and promote data and continuous improvement strategies: partners are data-driven and focus on continuously improving efforts by measuring participants’ interim and ultimate outcomes as well as process measures; and

Support professional development: Partners support robust and ongoing professional development for career pathways practitioners and administrators.

Structural Elements/

Career Pathways

Guiding Principles


Minnesota governor s workforce development council quarterly meeting february 7 2013

Local Career Pathway Programs

Definition: Career pathway programs are the “building blocks” of local/regional systems. They are discrete segments of career pathways that:

  • Blend a set of interventions in a specific industry sector or occupation that area; and

  • Are aligned in a longer-term pathway leading to marketable, stackable, and “creditable” credential(s).

    An extensive program can be a full career pathway; whereas shorter programs can be linked to form a full career pathway system. Career pathway programs include the following core interventions:

  • Learner-centered approaches to instruction and occupational training including contextualization, dual enrollment, acceleration, and PLA.

  • Appropriate and meaningful assessment of participant skills and needs (including accessibility needs for participants with disabilities).

  • Supportive services, including academic supports (e.g., tutoring and advising); non-academic supports (e.g., child care, transportation, and financial assistance); career exploration; and navigation assistance through the career pathways program and, ideally, into retained employment.

  • Quality work experiences, including job placement assistance, and, ideally, quality sector-occupation-specific pre-employment work experiences such as internshipsand apprenticeships.


  • State career pathway systems

    State Career Pathway Systems

    Definition: A partnership of state-level agencies, organizations, and employers/industry that provides leadership and a supportive policy environment for local/regional career pathway systems and programs and promotes quality, scale, and sustainability of career pathways. The system and its partners follow the following guiding principles:

    Adopt and articulate a shared vision: partners adopt a shared vision of the career pathway system as well as a governance structure that clearly delineates each partner’s roles and responsibilities;

    Demonstrate leadership and commitment to institutionalizing career pathways: partners and key stakeholders (i.e., governors, legislators) demonstrate collaborative leadership and commitment to building, sustaining, and scaling up career pathways so that this approach becomes the way they do business on a regular basis;

    Ensure career pathways are demand-driven, focus on sectors/occupations, and deeply engage employers: ensure that local/regional career pathways are responsive to specific and dynamic regional labor market contexts and significantly engage multiple employers within a sector or occupational areas in an interactive and on-going working relationship(sector strategies);

    Align policies, measures, and funding: partners develop statewide policies that specific ally support career pathways and align related policies and performance/accountability measures and funding – both horizontally across agencies and vertically within each agency among state, regional, and local levels of government;

    Use and promote data and continuous improvement strategies: partners are data-driven and focus on continuously improving efforts by measuring participants’ interim and ultimate outcomes as well as process measures; and

    Support professional development: Partners support robust and ongoing professional development for career pathways practitioners and administrators – both at the local/regional level and for state-level staff.

    Guiding Principles


    Illustrative examples of criteria and quality indicators

    Illustrative Examples of Criteria and Quality Indicators

    The final framework will include criteria and quality indicators of high-quality career pathways systems for each of the core elements and overarching principles of career pathway systems. Examples of each (for illustrative purposes only) are shown below.

    • Structural Element: Supportive services, including academic supports (e.g., tutoring and advising); non-academic supports (e.g., child care, transportation, and financial assistance); career exploration; and navigation assistance through the career pathways program and, ideally, into retained employment.

    • Criterion: Program staff and/or Instructors work with students to identify career goals.

    • Quality Indicator: Students have identified a career goal.

    • Criterion: Program staff and/or Instructors work with students to identify potential personal and financial barriers to persistence and success.

    • Quality Indicator: Students have resolved potential barriers to persistence and success

    • Criterion: Programs have adopted a clear referral method and procedures for referring students to supportive services.

    • Quality Indicator: Program staff is knowledgeable about existing referral policies and use them to ensure students are referred to appropriate supportive services.

    • Criterion: There is a systemic and transparent method by which students are referred to and can access supportive services within an institution or through partners, such as community-based organizations.

    • Quality Indicator: Students have used necessary supportive services to ensure persistence in the program.


    Thank you

    Thank you!

    Contact Us:

    Vickie Choitz, Project [email protected]

    Visit our Website:

    www.clasp.org/careerpathways

    Sign up to receive a bi-annual newsletter regarding the progress on the Alliance and other relevant career pathways news.


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