College and Career Pathways

About College and Career Pathways

College and Career Pathways are important in supporting students to graduate high school with a post-secondary academic and professional plan. Main elements of consideration include:

  • Access—Learning can be validated beyond the classroom and it is important to recognize that integrating more alternative pathways will produce increased graduation rates at the secondary and post-secondary levels.
  • Alignment with real-world competencies—Intentionally align program content with skills to prepare students to be successful in college and long-term careers.

Key Information

  • Approximately 25 percent of students who start high school do not graduate.
  • Job applicants are assessed in the areas of communication skills, critical thinking, collaboration and creativity during the hiring process. 80 percent of executives believe that fusing these skill areas with schooling would ensure that students are better prepared to enter the workforce.

Strategies to Support College and Career Pathways

  • Build relationships with school administrative leadership (school districts, principals and teachers) as they carry a lot of weight in approval decisions for credit-recovery programs.
  • Connect with school counseling departments as they will know which students are at the greatest risk of dropping out or not graduating.
  • Be intentional about extended learning time. Set a master schedule, offer several courses at the same time and manage a reasonable class size.
  • Track important data, such as attendance, grades, college matriculation rates and student attitudes toward school.
  • Choose locations strategically. If a student must travel across town to the program, their attendance will suffer. Aim for the program to be located at or near the targeted school.


General Publications

This report discusses the challenges of preparing students for 21st Century job skills and proposes that the goal of the education system should be to enable the delivery of achievement.
An issue brief on career development opportunities for older youth.
An issue brief on career development opportunities for older youth.

Network Publications

The Indiana Afterschool Network describes key components of its sucessful afterschool programs.
Indiana Afterschool Network and Indiana Department of Education have worked together to strengthen the role of afterschool/summer programs to provide college and career readiness experiences for K-­‐12 children and youth.
Research on recruiting and retaining youth into out-of-school time programs indicates that youth may be interested in career-related activities.