Panel Paper: Lessons from the Implementation of Three K-12 Career Technical Education Programs for Understanding Sectoral and Career Pathways Training for Youth

Friday, November 3, 2017
Wrigley (Hyatt Regency Chicago)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Rachel Rosen, MDRC

K-12 career technical education (CTE) pathway programs are designed to prepare students for success in both college and career. At the secondary level, pathway and sectoral programs are growing in popularity, but unlike programs for adults, these programs aim to balance the needs of young people for both academic and workforce skill development with the needs of employers to create a pipeline of skilled workers. The most promising models provide a combination of rigorous academics, high-quality CTE course sequences, and work-based learning experiences in high school that allow students to begin having real world work experiences before graduation. MDRC has been conducting implementation research on three such promising models. The programs under study include P-TECH, a six year high school model pioneered in New York City, where schools work with industry sponsors to provide work-based learning experiences to students, as well as help students earn associates degrees in fields related to the sponsors’ work. Youth Force NOLA (YF) is a career readiness program embedded in high schools in New Orleans that aims to connect students to regionally based, high-paying industries, while also providing technical assistance to schools to help them develop pathway programs, and connect students to industry experiences both through course work and internship experiences. CareerWise Colorado aims to create a robust youth apprenticeship program through strong linkages between school districts, training providers, and employers. This presentation will compare and contrast these programs’ models and implementation in order to highlight the range and variation of innovation currently occurring in the K12 CTE space, while noting how they differ from and can offer valuable lessons for pathway and sectoral approaches for adults.