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Career Pathways for All Students. PreK-14. Compiled by Sue Updegraff Keystone AEA. Information from Iowa Career Pathways Iowa School-to-Work Iowa Tech Prep Iowa Department of Education. Why Career Pathways?. Societal Demands Prepare all students for both further education and for work

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compiled by sue updegraff keystone aea
Compiled by Sue UpdegraffKeystone AEA

Information from

  • Iowa Career Pathways
  • Iowa School-to-Work
  • Iowa Tech Prep
  • Iowa Department of Education
why career pathways
Why Career Pathways?
  • Societal Demands
    • Prepare all students for both further education and for work
    • Prepare all students for life’s roles: citizen, worker, family member
  • Lifelong Learning
  • Organizer for Restructuring of Education
    • Academic standards
    • Employability standards
    • Technical standards
what is a career pathway
What is a Career Pathway?
  • Concept originated with Iowa Tech Prep
  • April 1997 Definition

Career pathways are clusters of specific occupations or careers grouped together because they share similar interests, strengths, and skills.

Source: Career Pathways Resource Guide (Iowa Department of Education)

April 1997

a new definition may 1999
A New Definition, May 1999
  • A Career Pathway is a PreK-12+ structure for organizing instructional content designed around broad career areas. Progression in a career pathway is both vertical and horizontal and provides the basis for lifelong learning. A Pathway prepares a student for further education and/or employment.
components for career pathway framework
Components for Career Pathway Framework
  • Integration of Career Education Standards and Benchmarks (Employability Standards and National Career Development Guidelines) into the PreK-12+ curriculum for all students.
  • Integration of academic and technical instruction and school-based and work-based experiences.
components for career pathway framework1
Components for Career Pathway Framework
  • Articulation among elementary, middle, secondary schools, and post-secondary institutions.
  • Preparation of the student for future employment in a broad occupational cluster and/or industry sector and/or continued education.
components for career pathway framework2
Components for Career Pathway Framework
  • Inclusion of career education opportunities for all students, in depth exploration of careers of interest to the student, and the understanding of the relevance of academic content in the workplace.
  • Inclusion of specific occupational preparation which may link two years of secondary education with a two year or four year educational institution or an apprenticeship program.
six career pathways
Agriscience/Natural Resources

Arts and Communications

Business/Information Management/Marketing

Engineering/Industrial/Technological Sciences

Family and Human Services

Health Services

Six Career Pathways

Endorsed in spring of 1996 by Iowa School-to-Work and the Iowa Association of Business and Industry.

broadening of career pathways to a system wide approach
Broadening of Career Pathways to a System-wide Approach
  • From 2+2 to PreK-14+
  • Merged Area Systems View
    • Community Colleges
    • AEAs
    • Communities
    • Counties
results of systems approach
Results of Systems-Approach
  • Increased options for all students
  • Connected series of educational experiences leading to goals
  • Broad areas of study that are flexible, overlapping in nature, fluid
  • Mixture of academic, employability, career education, and technical education
How do Career Pathways fit into the Iowa Comprehensive School Improvement Plans developed by each district?
csip components
CSIP Components

Community Involvement

Data Collection, Analysis, and Goal Setting

Standards and Benchmarks

Determination and Implementation of Actions to meet the Needs (Action Planning)

State Indicators

Assessment of Student Progress

Evaluation of CSIP

Annual Progress Report

comprehensive school improvement plan
Comprehensive School Improvement Plan


  • To address all aspects of teaching and learning
  • To ensure a continuous improvement process
  • To create integrated organizations with shared visions and shared goals
  • To improve educational outcomes for all students
comprehensive school improvement plan1
Comprehensive School Improvement Plan


  • To provide for local decision-making
  • To increase the learning, achievement, and performance of all students
  • To incorporate the consolidation of federal and state planning, goals setting, and reporting requirements.
data collection analysis and goal setting
Data Collection, Analysis and Goal Setting
  • Systems Approach
  • Why data is important • What data needs to be collected
  • How to use and analyze the data • How to communicate the data results
  • How to use the data to inform decisions
categories for organization of the data collection process
Categories for organization of the data collection process
  • Demographics
  • Perceptions
  • Student Learning
  • School Processes/Programs
student learning
Student Learning
  • Overall student achievement
  • Number of graduates with a career plan
  • Student application of academic content
  • Drop-out rate
  • Post-secondary education rate
  • Employment/earnings
  • Business/Industry satisfaction
  • Student satisfaction
  • Parent satisfaction
school processes
School Processes
  • Where are employability skills addressed in the curriculum?
  • Where is career development addressed in the curriculum?
  • Integrated curricula results
framework of standards benchmarks
Framework of Standards & Benchmarks

Student Learning Goals






the career pathways framework breaks out the standards and benchmarks as follows
The Career Pathways Framework breaks out the standards and benchmarks as follows:

PreK-14 Iowa Career Pathways Framework

  • Academic Knowledge & Skills (K-14)
  • Employability Knowledge & Skills (K-14)
  • Career Area Knowledge and Skills (K-14)
  • Technical Cluster Knowledge & Skills (9-12)
  • Career & Technical Knowledge & Skills (11-14)

The Iowa Department of Education Technical Assistance manual (p. 43) states that the action planning phase: Identifies the most powerful innovations:

    • to address student needs
    • to improve educator’s skills, attitudes, understanding, and performances.
  • Implementation
      • Curriculum Restructuring
      • Professional Development
      • Learning Environment
curriculum restructuring
Curriculum Restructuring

Student Learning Goals Standards Benchmarks Assessment

Integrated, Articulated Curricula


Integration Continuum

        • Restructured Curriculum
  • Career Pathway
  • Tech Prep Academy or School-within-a-School
  • Course Sequence Career Maps
  • Applied Academics Integration of Standards
  • Thematic Units
  • Incorporation Areas
  • Curriculum Integration Program Integration

Program and Curriculum Integration

professional development
Professional Development

To implement the curriculum restructuring, staff & community will need some learning opportunities:

  • Understanding the New Culture
  • Change Process
  • Collaboration
  • Partnership
  • Teacher Internships
  • Reaching ALL Students
  • Assessment
  • Alternative Scheduling
professional development1
Applied Learning

Contextual Learning

Learning Styles

Multiple Intelligences

Work-based Learning

Service Learning

Team Teaching

Career Development

Individual Learning Plan

Career Maps

Advisor/Advisee Program

Project-based Learning

Professional Development

Learning Environment and Delivery Methods


Link to: Student Learning Goals




career development
A Goal for Most Iowa Districts

Preparing our students for decision-making about their life goals

Question: Is a Career Development, PreK-14+, system built into action planning? What could it look like?

Career Development
data collection assists with
Data Collection Assists With...
  • Improvement of Instruction
  • Development of Curriculum
  • Evaluation of Programs
  • Student Feedback
  • Reaching All Students
  • Career Pathways is a school improvement initiative
  • Career Pathways fits into the Iowa process for the comprehensive school improvement plan.
  • Career Pathways can help address the advancement of student learning.
  • Career Pathways can help address the major educational needs of a community and school district.