TWG Members

Judy Alamprese, Abt Associates Inc.

Debra Bragg, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Brenda Brecke, Independent Higher Education Consultant, Oregon

Lea Anne Crooks, Ivy Tech Community College-Terre Haute, Indiana

Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield, CLASP

Ricardo Estrada, Instituto Del Progreso Latino, Chicago, Illinois

Maria Flynn, Jobs for the Future

Jennifer Foster, Illinois Community College Board

Jeffrey Gove, Ohio Board of Regents

Kim Green, National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEC)

Kenneth (Ken) Hurley, Central Arizona College

Anthony (Tony) Iacono, Indian River State College-Fort Pierce, Florida

Sharon Kennedy, Blackhawk Technical College-Janesville, Wisconsin

Mary Alice McCarthy, Office of Workforce Investment, Employment and Training Administration, USDOL

Donald McCoy, Recently Retired, IBM-Charlotte, North Carolina; Education Consultant, K-to-College STEM

Woody Oge, Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, Louisiana

Christine Ollis, Office of Workforce Investment, Employment and Training Administration, USDOL

Ann Randazzo, Center for Energy Workforce Development

Matt Saldana, Long Beach School for Adults, Career and Technical Education

This is an archived newsletter from ACP-SC and is available for archival purposes only. Hyperlinks on this page may be broken or may no longer link to the content specified from within the original posting date.

Welcome to the first edition of Adult Career Pathways (ACP) News, a Publication of the Designing Instruction for Career Pathways Initiative

The Designing Instruction for Career Pathways initiative was recently launched by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Vocational and Adult Education’s (OVAE) Division of Adult Education and Literacy. This three-year project is designed to provide technical assistance resources that support OVAE’s goals for increasing the quantity and quality of available career pathways instructional programming for low-skilled adults. The project will assist state and local adult education providers in developing and delivering courses that enable low-skilled adults to progress on a career pathway in addition to preparing them for success in postsecondary education.

Over the next three years the project will make available resources such as:

  • an online collection of adult career pathways (ACP) instructional resources
  • policy briefs
  • “how-to” resources on topics such as creating bridge courses to facilitate transitions along career pathways, contextualizing instruction, and integrating career counseling
  • regional professional development workshops
  • an online community of practice
  • bimonthly e-newsletters to highlight new resources available for local use

A Technical Workgroup (TWG) comprised of adult education and workforce development professionals from across the nation has been assembled to guide the work of the project. The TWG will provide advice and input by drawing on their varied implementation experiences with career pathways for adults. The TWG was convened for the first time on January 21, 2011 to begin identifying existing models, program elements/components, and definitions that will be used by the project, with the ultimate goal of establishing common terminology that can be used by state and local educators, workforce development professionals, and employers when describing career pathways for low-skilled adults.

Resources from the Field

ACP News will be devoted to highlighting resources of value to local practitioners. This first issue features recently published resources that have been recommended by the TWG members. As the project Web site is built and expanded, resources such as these will be linked for easy reference.


U.S. Departments of Labor and Education Partner on Career Pathways Technical Assistance Initiative

The Career Pathways Technical Assistance Initiative is directed at strengthening career pathway systems for low-skilled adults and dislocated workers. The initiative, which is co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (ETA), and Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE), leverages the latest research and best practices to support the development of career pathway systems. Nine states and two Indian and Native American entities have received grants to convene the necessary partners, including local employers and representatives from the workforce, education, and human services arena, to build effective and comprehensive career pathway systems.

To support the work of the grantees, staff from ETA and OVAE developed a shared definition and key elements for building career pathway systems that has been disseminated to grantees and serves as the organizing framework for the initiative. The document “Six Key Elements of Career Pathway Systems” is available here: https://learnwork.workforce3one. org/page/resources. ETA and OVAE staff also developed a “Career Pathways Readiness Assessment Tool” to help grantees clarify priorities and gaps around career pathways. Download the tool here:


Bridge Programs in Illinois: Summaries, Outcomes, and Cross-site Findings Bridge Programs in Illinois: Summaries, Outcomes, and Cross-site Findings
Office of Community College Research and Leadership, University of Illinois

A report of the Shifting Gears-Illinois project that evaluates the programs of 10 community colleges selected to develop and implement bridge program instruction in their developmental education or adult education divisions. Profiles of each program include bridge program description and goals, students served, promising practices, barriers and policy change, and student outcomes. The Illinois’ Shifting Gears initiative is aimed at implementing policy changes that support bridge programs that help adult learners transition to postsecondary educational opportunities and provide training and credentials to enter the workforce in high-demand middle skill jobs.

Building a Higher Skilled Workforce: Results and Implications from the BridgeConnect National Survey Building a Higher Skilled Workforce: Results and Implications from the BridgeConnect National Survey
Workforce Strategy Center

Commissioned by the Joyce Foundation, Workforce Strategy Center conducted the BridgeConnect Survey to examine bridge programs throughout the U.S. with a goal of quantifying the number and types of programs in operation to assist policymakers and funders in their efforts to improve policy and practice related to adult education. The report synthesizes bridge program elements, target populations, industry sectors, partner organizations, funding models, and program outcomes of the hundreds of sites responding to the survey.

Ohio Stackable Certificates: Models for Success Ohio Stackable Certificates: Models for Success
Community Research Partners (Ohio)

This publication is the result of research on program models that create a fast-track to removing barriers adults face to college success by connecting pre-college academics to career-technical coursework. The report includes a discussion of legislation and stakeholder perceptions, barriers adults must overcome to succeed in postsecondary education, national and Ohio best practices for engaging adults in postsecondary education, a framework for Ohio Stackable Certificates, and case studies of national and Ohio program models.


In Practice

Thriving in Challenging Times: Connecting Education to Economic Development Through Career Pathways Thriving in Challenging Times: Connecting Education to Economic Development Through Career Pathways
National Career Pathways Network/U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Institute for a Competitive Workforce

Thriving in Challenging Times profiles 17 local and two statewide career pathways programs from across the U.S. by documenting the challenges, strategies, results, and business engagement each partnership has experienced. Featured industry sectors range from aerospace to healthcare to nuclear energy with business involvement ranging from small businesses to multinational corporations. Each program includes essential elements for ensuring students are prepared for college and careers. The publication contains an overview of adult career pathways program components and several profiles of ACP programs.

Oregon’s Career Pathways Road Map Tools

The state of Oregon’s Career Pathways Road Map Tool is a unique set of web-based tools designed to help career pathways practitioners develop “road maps” to help students better understand their educational options and chart their career plans. These visual mapping tools include common information elements and follow standards so road maps created across the state look similar. Developed through funds from US DOL-ETA and the state of Oregon, the source code for the tools is available for download for educators from any state to create their own career planning resources.


How to Build Bridge Programs that Fit into a Career Pathway How to Build Bridge Programs that Fit into a Career Pathway
Instituto del Progreso Latino (Chicago, IL)

This manual offers tools and information to help local practitioners develop successful bridge programs. The manual summarizes key elements of Instituto’s Carreras en Salud program to assist others in adopting similar initiatives. Topics addressed include identifying and developing successful partnerships, essential elements of a bridge program, contextualizing bridge curriculum, teaching methodologies, program logistics, funding, and sustainability.

Funding Career Pathways and Career Pathway Bridges Funding Career Pathways and Career Pathway Bridges
CLASP Center on Postsecondary and Economic Success

This toolkit is designed to help states understand potential components and tasks involved in developing, implementing, and maintaining career pathways and career pathway bridges; identifying how federal resources can support these efforts; and pinpointing state policy changes or other actions needed to fully realize federal funding opportunities for pathways and bridges into them. While the toolkit is designed for state-level teams, the federal program summaries are very useful for local teams who need a clear understanding of the federal resources that can support career pathway and career pathway bridge efforts. The toolkit is divided into two main sections: a funding options worksheet and summaries of federal programs.

Contextualization Toolkit Contextualization Toolkit
Jobs for the Future

Developed as part of the Breaking Through initiative, this toolkit is designed to help community colleges and other educators serve low-skilled adults through the use of contextualized instruction. The toolkit describes how to integrate career subject matter with precollege skills development, allowing adult learners to get started more quickly on their chosen career path. The kit features examples of contextualized instruction, strategies for student engagement, and suggestions for sustaining a contextualized course or program.

ABE Career Connections: A Manual for Integrating Adult Basic Education into Career Pathways ABE Career Connections: A Manual for Integrating Adult Basic Education into Career Pathways
U.S. Department of Education (OVAE)

The Adult Basic Education Career Connections (ABECC) project, an initiative of the Department of Education Office of Vocational and Adult Education, focused on connecting ABE to postsecondary education, with the goal of improving adults’ basic skills so they can advance in their education, careers, and employment. As part of the project, five local demonstration sites developed and implemented work plans focused on improving adults’ basic skills to prepare them to enter career pathways. To help other ABE programs undertake similar work, this manual provides an overview of career pathways and describes approaches used by the ABECC sites to align basic skills training and partnership efforts with local career pathways.