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CLASP Career Pathways Initiative

Posted on 11/02/2012


Partnering with 10 states, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) has initiated and will lead The Alliance for Quality Career Pathways (AQCP), a state-driven effort. The goal is to establish benchmarks for high-quality career pathways and to identify the most relevant metrics for measuring student and program success. Representatives from Arkansas, California, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin will meet over the duration of this two-year effort. The purpose of this national framework is to help existing pathway programs improve in quality and to accelerate the development of new pathways for individuals who need postsecondary training and credentials to improve their chances of success in the workplace. According to Evelyn Ganzglass, director of workforce development at CLASP, "Career pathways could help nearly 48 million workers who need better skills and wages for economic advancement."

Career pathways provide a coordinated amalgam of education and training services that assist students, oftentimes employed students, to progress successfully to more advanced levels of education and employment in a particular industry or occupational sector. These initiatives focus on low-skilled adults and out-of-school youths to prepare them to compete for higher-skilled jobs through training in specific skill areas.

In its work, CLASP identified a large number of resources focusing on the design and development of career pathways, and other resources for identifying the key elements of a pathways approach. Yet, according to CLASP, "There are no existing and verified guidelines to help state and local career pathways administrators ensure that they are building a high-quality effort that is likely to yield the strongest possible student outcomes. This is the goal of the "Center for Law and Social Policy" AQCP, which will be achieved through a consensus-building process driven by the most successful career pathways states."

From the OVAE Connection (www), newsletter of the Office of Vocational and Adult Education, U. S. Department of Education, August 30, 2012.