Policymakers and educators alike want students to land good jobs once they graduate from high school or college. But are students prepared for the careers that are in demand? And is the coursework offered in high school or college aligned with today’s jobs?

A new report from Education Commission of the States, Aligning K-12 and postsecondary career pathways with workforce needs, examines the policy efforts in 13 states to improve alignment between high school and postsecondary career/technical education (CTE) programs and workforce needs.

“It is critical to prepare students for high-skill, high-demand jobs,” said Jennifer Zinth, director of High School and STEM at Education Commission of the States. “To help with that process, policymakers should consider ways to improve alignment between high school and postsecondary CTE programs.”

A chart allows for an easy way to compare and contrast approaches to policymaking activity from the 13 highlighted states.

Some important takeaways from this report:

  • Some states, including Colorado and Illinois, have taken a statewide approach, creating or assigning an existing state-level entity to develop or revise career pathways.
  • Other states such as Louisiana are encouraging or requiring the creation of regional partnerships of K-12, postsecondary and business/industry partners to better align career pathways with workforce needs.
  • California is a state that has created one or more competitive grant programs to support local alignment initiative. Other states have made an appropriation to one or more statewide entities to finance such efforts.

For questions, contact Education Commission of the States Communications Specialist Brady Delander at bdelander@ecs.org or (303) 299.3622.

Tweet this ECS report!

  • A review of state policies aligning K-12 & postsecondary career pathways with workforce needs @edcommission bit.ly/1Z3YfjM
  • What are states doing to align career pathways with workforce needs? More in @edcommission report bit.ly/1Z3YfjM
  • Read how some states encourage K-12, postsecondary & business partners to align career paths w/ workforce needs bit.ly/1Z3YfjM

Related ECS resources that you’ll find useful:


 PUBLISHED: October 6, 2015

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