Getting Started With Pathway Development


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Use this section of the Field Guide in developing and implementing integrated career pathways. A model pathway provides the framework for examining the many components of a particular college’s pathways. This section will help you design a robust program around promoting student success.

We recommend that state and college teams work through this section and the associated tools together. Use the results of those conversations to assess strengths and gaps both in the model itself and how it is being implemented.

It's important to have the right people on board as you develop your pathways. You'll need to have CTE and ABE faculty and departmental leadership engaged as well as student services, admissions, and registrars. Consider all the college staff a student might interact with as they move through the pathway—how will the redesigned pathway impact the way they interact with students? When do they need to become involved in planning?

A critical first step is understanding what makes a strong pathway model. Some of the initial steps of developing a pathway model include selecting a target pathway and credentials, and determining the instructional approach. Comprehensive supports are a core component of an effective pathway design. Develop them early on.

Finally, remember that pathway design is an iterative process. Once implementation begins, you'll need to revisit and revise your program design to make sure it continues to meet the needs of students, instructors, and employers.