What you’ll find in The Power and Promise of Pathways
The Power and Promise of Pathways will help you discover all the essential knowledge that will empower you to lead a Pathways initiative in your school, your college, and your community. Chapter by chapter, we will review the essential components of a Pathways System, using straightforward, clear, and action-oriented terminology. Here is what you can expect:
Part I. Why Pathways Matter
Chapter 1: Discovering Pathways
Chapter One draws attention to the major shifts in global economics and the American workplace, with a discussion of technology trends that have upended the American dream, and fostered much of the sense of unease and discontent that mark modern American life. This chapter also provides an introductory overview to the components of the Pathways System.
Chapter 2: The Urgency of Pathways
In this chapter, we make the case for pathways, and give you the details you need to share with others. You will learn about both the visible evidence of the need for a pathways model: employer difficulty in filling critical skilled jobs, the low attainment of postsecondary degrees among young Americans, and the preponderance of young adults who are under-skilled or over-credentialed. We also examine the underlying root causes – too little career-mindedness and career development, too few employer-school connections, course-based high schools that offer little relevance to the present or the future, a vague university-for-all culture in schools and society, and low-engagement classrooms.
Chapter 3: The Power of Pathways-What the Research Says
This chapter is meant for the friendly skeptics. You’ll consider the pathways model, but only if there is credible evidence that this approach will work. We share the most pertinent findings for a wealth of rigorous research.
Chapter 4: Pathway Essentials
In this chapter, we’ll share all the key definitions of Pathway Programs and the Pathways System Framework, and also review the most commonly asked questions about Pathways.
Chapter 5: Career and Life Readiness
Chapter Five addresses the big question – is education about teaching coursework or is it really about preparing individuals to succeed in life. Of course I believe it’s about people – preparing them for success in college (postsecondary education and training), careers and life. This chapter provides a holistic definition about what that means, and provides guidance for how pathway partners can create a shared definition of Career and Life Readiness and work together to develop it in their learners and workers.
Part II. How to Design a Pathway Program and Pathways System
In Part 2, we go from building foundation knowledge to a very practical hands-on, let’s-get-to-work approach.
Chapter 6. Designing the Pathway Program
Chapter Six provides an in-depth explanation of the 12 elements of a high quality Pathway Program, and a detailed walk-through about how a school, career technology center, or college can go about developing a new program or study or modernizing its existing programs accordingly.
Chapter 7. Designing the Pathways System
This chapter expands beyond a focus on an individual Pathway Program to looking at all the components of a Pathways System – cross-sector partnerships, career development, a portfolio of Pathway Programs; dynamic teaching and learning; and employer and community engagement. Each section of the chapter describes a component, provides questions for reflection, and provides action steps to take action on the component.
Chapter 8. Exploring and Planning for Careers
This chapter provides an explanation of the key elements of a robust career development system, and the key strategies that can be utilized across the K-12 and adult education spectrum.
Chapter 9: Leading Through Change
Leadership is a critical factor in any organizational change, especially in creating a Pathways System. Chapter Nine explores proven concepts of personal leadership, like Daniel Goleman’s work on emotional intelligence, John Kotter’s 8 steps for leading change, and Chip and Dan Heath’s review of change initiatives in “Switch.” In the concluding section of the chapter, I present an integrated change leadership action plan tailored specifically for the Pathways System change process.
Chapter 10. Communicating the Power and Promise of Pathways
Brand strategy expert Pam Daly guest authors this chapter based on her experience with prominent education programs, like the Academies of Nashville initiative. Pam helped leaders in Nashville develop a brand and communications strategy for the nationally recognized high school improvement initiative. You will learn the basics of creating a brand and an aligned communications plan.
Chapter 11. Policy Agenda for Pathways Systems
Local change requires the alignment of practice, policy and funding to support pathways efforts. Further, state-based policy and funding can either impede or support the development of strong local Pathways Systems. This chapter explains how states can create a coherent system of policy and support for local pathways initiatives, drawing from exemplars across the nation.
Chapter 12: Advancing the Pathways Movement
In this concluding chapter, learn about how ideas and innovations spread through people – the Pathways Influentials. For each stakeholder group, you will find suggested action steps for moving forward in launching a local pathways initiative, and envision how the Pathways Movement can transform American schools.
Profiles of Promising Practices
Throughout the book, profiles of exemplary Pathway Programs, pathway systems, and engaged employer and community partners are presented. These profiles provide real-life examples of how the Pathways System framework is already being accomplished.
Terms Related to Career and Career-Technical EducationPathways Support OrganizationsTypes of Career Awareness, Exploration and Application Activities