PATHWAYS TO CAREERS
Pathways to Careers uses a community focused approach to open the world of career possibilities to ninth grade students. It is a partnership of Health Careers Futures and the United Way of Allegheny County and relies on the unique expertise of each of these organizations for success.
Working from the premise that "it takes a village to raise a child," Pathways to Careers brings together a lead community-based intermediary organization, other community-based organizations (CBOs), school staff members and key employers to provide effective career education to students in specific targeted communities. The major focus is on healthcare careers, but Pathways encourages students to investigate career opportunities in areas outside traditional healthcare occupations as well. Pathways will show students in designated communities the full range of career possibilities and help them plan the training path to enter those careers.
Pathways uses the Pennsylvania Career Education and Work Standards to unify the approach to career education that will be used by the community. The standards require schools to prepare students for careers, but making this content relevant and realistic usually requires real-world partners outside the schools. The unique outcome of Pathways is to get all three community partners schools, CBOs and employers to focus cooperatively on implementing the same learning standards rather than working at cross purposes.
Pathways will succeed when schools can document that they have implemented the Pennsylvania Career Education and Work Standards successfully through community partnerships. Two other indicators of success will be a greater appreciation of school as a key to the future and greater consciousness of career possibilities for students taking post program surveys.